From the 19th to the 24th of September the streets of Barcelona will play host to more than 600 activities in honour of the city’s Festa Major, or annual festival
La Mercè 2014 kicks off on Friday, September the 19th and, up until Wednesday the 24th, many of Barcelona’s most emblematic spaces will be given over to more than 600 activities of all types in honour of the city’s Festa Major, or annual festival. These activities will include popular culture, street art, circus, music, dance and mappings, among others.
One of the main features this year will, in fact, be the mapping entitled Barcekholm on the façade of the City Council, co-produced by La Mercè and the Stockholm Culture Festival and created by a team of Catalan and Swedish artists.
Stockholm is this year’s guest city and throughout the festival visitors will have the opportunity to sample some of the varied representations of creative culture currently emerging from the Swedish capital. The Mercè Street Arts (MAC) festival will offer, among others, dancer Virpi Pahkinen, the group of magicians known as D1gits, and part of the original company that, even today, keeps alive the memory of emblematic Swedish character, Pippi Longstocking. Swedish pop-rock will also feature as part of the Barcelona Acció Musical (BAM) festival and, on Tuesday the 23rd, visitors to the Plaça Coromines and Plaça dels Àngels stages will be treated to performances by Mariam the Believer, Seinabo Sey, Zhala, Postiljonen, Frida Sundemo and NONONO.
As with every year, the productive Catalan network of associations will have their own space at the Mostra d'Associacions, which will be installed in the Plaça Catalunya. On Saturday the 20th, Sunday the 21st and Wednesday the 24th, a complete programme of activities has been organised, including games and workshops for adults and children, performances, and a variety of traditional and cultural displays ranging from traditional Catalan dances to demonstrations of indigenous Quechua culture.
Some of the city’s most representative institutions, such as L’Auditori, are also joining in the La Mercè 2014 festivities by promoting street music. On Sunday the 21st at 12 o’clock midday in the Moll de la Fusta, the Barcelona Municipal Band, under the direction of Henrie Adams, will offer interpretations of some of the greatest hits by Frank Sinatra, The Jackson Five and Gloria Estefan, among others. On Tuesday the 23rd, at 7.30 pm, the city’s most popular municipal orchestra will return, this time on the Avinguda de la Catedral with director Salvador Brotons and a repertoire that will include the Shostakovich Festive Overture, Tchaikovsky’s Slavonic March and a selection of traditional Catalan ‘sardanas’.
La Mercè would not be complete without fireworks displays and, on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, the 19th, 20th and 21st, on Barceloneta beach, performance displays will be offered by companies from Azerbaijan, Switzerland and Japan along with Catalan representatives, Pirotecnia Igual. As is customary, the musical fireworks performance on the Avinguda Reina María Cristina will put the closing touches to both the La Mercè festivities and, in this case, the city’s tercentenary celebrations.
La Mercè will also be present in the social networks. The Fotomercè photography competition, for example, encourages Barcelona residents and visitors to upload their favourite photographs taken during the festival, while Barcelona Cultura’s Facebook and Twitter accounts will offer updated information on all aspects relating to the festival. Another competition entitled Fotomòbil - Moments Mercè, this time via photocalls, will be visible in various locations around the city.
La Mercè 2014 takes place from the 19th to the 24th of September throughout the city and the complete programme of events is available on the official La Mercè 2014 website.
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