Top events for the week and month ahead in destinations from Madrid to San Sebastian, via Barcelona and Alicante. Anyone who likes unusual concert venues is in luck: from cemeteries to cloisters, and palaces to rooftops . . . there is music everywhere, right now.
Madrid Veranos de la Villa (Until August 31). More than 200 events in 29 venues across the city, ranging from circus and theatre to dance and concerts, and featuring the gambit of artists from Ute Lemper to the Ballet Nacional de España – and half of the performances are free. See our feature for more details.
Sevilla XXIV Noches en los Jardines del Alcázar 2023 (until September 16). Could there be a more luxurious and elegant setting for a series of evening concerts? Not really! Visit the website for details of the performances, which tend to lean to classic.
Madrid August Fiestas (4 – 15 August). A major part of Madrid’s culture lies in their famous ‘Verbenas’ or open-air festivities. During this month, three are being held one after the other in neighbouring districts. Starting with San Cayetano, continuing in San Lorenzo and finishing with the biggest of the three, La Paloma in La Latina. These celebrations are a big part of Madrid’s culture and consist of a range of activities from dancing in the streets to live music and food in beautifully decorated streets.
Sevilla Jazz Cycle at the Andaluz Centre of Contemporary Art (August 8, 15, 22, 29). The city’s jazz association puts on a varied program of standards and the more out there for those after a classy night of culture for the reasonable price of €10. Concerts start 10pm.
Sevilla Live the Roof (August 10 & 18, September 1, 8 & 21). The roof in question is the Hotel Barceló Sevilla Renacimiento, and these small concerts with the slightly odd name have proved very popular so book early even if you have never heard of the summer lineup which includes Delaporte, L.A. and Siloé. The sunset views are good!
Barcelona Brunch Electronik (11 – 13 August). Experience the music of more than 90 artists over three days at this famous festival spanning three venues in Barcelona. Complimenting the great atmosphere, there are areas to cool down with tables for a brunch break. Children can also enjoy themselves at this party with delicious food as it is kid-friendly.
Ibiza Bloop art festival (August 12 – 25). Returning for its 15th edition, this festival invites people to think. It is free and is accessible to everyone no matter your experience with art. The motto for the festival is ‘art is for everyone’ and it offers music events, video and contemporary art as well as sculptures and street performances so there will always be something you will want to explore and experience
Alicante Night of Fire (August 13). Boasting an explosion of light, colour and sound, this pyrotechnic show honours the city of Elche’s patron saint. The Palm of the Virgin is launched from the top of the bell tower of the Basilica of Santa Maria, reaching up to 300 metres and illuminates. Lasting around an hour, families join the city by lighting up their own rockets and firecrackers.
Malaga feria (August 12 – 19) takes place every August in the city of Malaga, Spain. It kicks off with a bang at midnight on Saturday Aug 12 with a firework display launched from the port terminal. Head to la Malagueta or La Misericordia beaches or climb to a high point for the best views. Events during the rest of the week take place around the historic centre by day, the Real de la Feria in the Cortijo de Torres district by night. See Malaga Fair feature
Valencia Tomatina Festival (August 30). ‘Have a great, fun time!’ is the last of a handful of rules of this tomato fight hosted in the Valencian town of Bruñol. After an altercation during a parade in 1945, a tradition was born in the town. Every last Wednesday of August, the festival brings people from all around the world to have child-like fun throwing tomatoes at anyone in their path.
Jerez Fiestas de Vendimia (September 2-17). More about this picturesque and slightly dangerous wine festival nearer the time, but get yourself to Jerez for the first day, when there’s the symbolic treading of the grapes outside the cathedral (8pm), and inaugural concert in the beautiful Plaza de la Asunción (at 9.30pm). Throughout the two weeks there are many wine-related activities including tours of the Miguel Domecq bodega, Jerez brandy mixing days at the Santo Domingo Cloisters, and nightly concerts in Plaza del Arenal, Plaza Plateros, and Plaza Rafael Rivero.
San Sebastian La Bandera de la Concha, Basque Country (September 3). This is a hugely popular boat race in the bay of La Concha, involving fishing boats, known locally as regatas or estropadak. The event has its roots in the fishermen’s race to harbour to sell the daily catch, and thousands of enthusiastic spectators flock to the beach to watch the competition. Starts 11am.
Barcelona Mas i mas (Until September 3). Culturally explosive with genres ranging from Flamenco to techno funk, the festival has become a classic summer nightlife activity during August. Artists come from all over the world more than 100 concerts take place in three main venues: Moog, Los Tarantos and Jamboree.
Mallorca Elrow Festival (September 3). Say goodbye to summer in style at Origin Fest Elrow this September. Dubbed the ‘biggest party in the world’, tickets are available now to this colourful finale to a spectacular summer. Although artists have not yet been announced, last years line-up included acts such as; Cuartero and Florentia.
Malaga las noches del Ingles (Until September 17). Spend the evening in a graveyard – it’s not as spooky as it sounds. The English Cemetery near the bullring has a fascinating history. It’s always beautiful, but throughout summer it’s lit with thousands of lights. There’s a summer programme of guided nocturnal tours and concerts that includes Djangolines swing (August 18) and Alpha Bass Trio (August 20).