Secret festivals close to Barcelona
And what if, just like “kilometre 0” (local) produce, there were “kilometre 0” musicians, from the local scene – some unknown; others more established names – who you could listen to in beauty spots that you may never have discovered if it wasn’t for these summer events?
And what if listening to music was more enjoyable in the shade of pines? And what if we told you that you don’t need to stray too far from Barcelona to enjoy these festivals for the senses in bucolic surroundings?
For sure, we all know that Sónar and Primavera Sound are two of the big summer music events in Barcelona, but for those who are averse to crowds, here are four festivals held close to the capital that offer great music and plenty more.
At Mas Solers, a well-known estate in Sant Pere de Ribes, supremely elegant weddings and other ceremonies are held throughout the year. The history of the estate dates back to the 13th century, when it was home to a community of Augustine monks. It became the magical and sumptuous venue we know today after the banker Manuel Girona purchased and renovated it in the late 19th century. In mid-July you can enjoy a day of live Catalan pop, indie and folk music performed by well-known artists and newcomers from the local scene. The Son Solers Festival, which calls itself a slow festival, is the opposite of musical fast-food; it’s an occasion to savour live music in a leisurely atmosphere.
If you ask yourself what gives us most pleasure through the senses, food, wine and music are likely to be right at the top of the list. Imagine if we could combine these three experiences... Well, we can, and while we’re at it we can visit some of the loveliest and best-known vineyards and wineries in the regions of Barcelona. Over the course of a few weekends in June, July and August, Vinyasons provides an unforgettable experience, offering you the chance to enjoy all sorts of music (jazz, singer-songwriters and even classical) in a leisurely setting combined with food tastings, a glass of wine and a tour of one of the wineries. Priorat, Berguedà and Cadaqués are three of the furthest-flung options for seeing concerts but the wineries that open their doors in Anoia, Penedès, Alella or Bages give you options much closer to Barcelona.
Música a les vinyes (Music amid the Vineyards)
In Subirats, the Música a les Vinyes (Music amid the Vineyards) festival also combines great music with the best local wine. The festival kicks off with a concert in the cellars of Sumarroca, which is followed by two days of superb live music at the Torre-Ramona site. The building, an ancient mediaeval palace surrounded by vineyards, is a unique setting in which to enjoy a superb mix of jazz and classical music featuring works by everyone from Vivaldi to Keith Jarret.
With a musical line-up committed to multiculturalism and political protest, Bioritme is a festival that combines music with awareness raising, bringing the curtain down on the music festival season at the end of August. It defines itself as “a space in which to share music from all over the world; politically committed, critical and constructive music for a better world.”
But what makes Bioritme a really special festival is its unique setting, where you can camp out for the full four days. The Sau Reservoir, where a bell tower pokes out of the water, is without a doubt one of the major landmarks of the regions of Barcelona. All you have to do is have fun and make sure you take care of nature, keeping everything clean and tidy.
Festivals such as Terramar, in Sitges, or the Festival d'Arts Costa Barcelona in Calella, held in two of the most attractive beach towns in the Barcelona area, are just two more festivals from a list that’s so long and diverse that you’re spoilt for choice.