From 22 to 25 September, Barcelona’s Festa Major is growing and expanding to more districts in the city
La Mercè 2017 is further establishing the decentralisation of the festival and giving the city’s districts a leading role: as well as the usual venues, the Festa Major will be returning to the Parc de la Trinitat and will be coming for the first time to Parc de Nou Barris and Parc de Sant Martí.
Reykjavik is the guest city and its presence will be felt throughout the whole Festa Major programme. The proclamation given by Marina Garcés will be the starting gun for the festival on Friday 22 September, and the events and celebrations will carry on until Monday 25 in the evening, when the Fireworks and Music Display will be held on Avinguda de la Reina Maria Cristina.
Popular culture will be the beating heart of the Mercè. The toc d'inici ceremonial start (which this year is extended with a ball de bastons stick dance), the Correfoc fire run, the Mercè procession, the giant-heads and giants dances, the sardana and the Castellers human tower festival are just some of the many activities rooted in tradition that we’ll be able to see and take part in.
Light and fire are essential elements of the Mercè of the twenty-first century: you can enjoy the Fireworks and Music Display, the Platja de la Barceloneta beach will host the twentieth International Fireworks Festival and, as in other years, City Hall will light up with a light screening show, focused this year on the world of dance.
Once again this year, Mercè Street Arts (MAC) will be a unique showcase for street arts, circus, dance, theatre and technologies, with a display of local and international talent at various venues in Barcelona. Over the four days of the Festa Major, the MAC will be scheduling over a hundred shows. There will be circus at the Castell de Montjuïc and the activity in the Parc de la Ciutadella will grow as far as the Passeig de Lluís Companys. In this year’s Mercè, the Parc de Sant Martí will become a small paradise of family activities, while in the Parc de la Trinitat the MAC is offering spectators the chance to be part of the shows, with circus, hip hop and even stand-up. This year, the Palauet Albéniz will be offering three full days of programme, and to finish, the Antiga Fàbrica Damm will also be one of the venues to include shows as part of the MAC.
There’s no party without music, so La Mercè 2017 has launched its music programme with sounds to please every ear! Audiences will be able to hear everything from the most alternative rhythms of Barcelona Acció Musical to the classical sounds of symphony orchestras. Consequently, the Plaça Major in Nou Barris will be a venue for the first time, hosting classical music concerts with such leading names as the Banda Municipal de Barcelona and the Orquestra Simfònica de Barcelona i Nacional de Catalunya. You can listen to pop, rock, electronic and flamenco, and there’ll be room for experimentation: the BAM – Living Culture venue at Fabra i Coats in Sant Andreu will be a meeting point for live music and the new ways of understanding music and communities. In all, the Mercè will be offering music for seniors and for the whole family, as this year sees the première of Music with the Family at the Parc de Sant Martí. You can consult the full Mercè 2017 programme here.
Saturday 23 to Monday 25 September sees the second edition of Become a Friend of the Mercè with nearly 200 plural, participative, unique and creative activities that will fill Plaça de Catalunya during the Mercè.
The poster for the Mercè, designed by Javier Mariscal, pays tribute to the 25th anniversary of the Barcelona Olympic Games. As part of this anniversary, the Festa Major is presenting an extensive and diverse programme of sporting activities.
Also this year, the Mercè invites you to visit Reykjavik, the guest city! From 17 September at 10 am, you can take part in a prize draw for a holiday for two people in the Icelandic capital (including hotel and excursion!).
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