Spain is an excellent place to go for music, weather, culture; who wouldn’t want to go to a festival or two there?! If you need help choosing which to attend then look no further as I’ve put together a list of the best music festivals in Barcelona for you!
Although most festival goers know big Spanish festivals like FIB (Benicàssim) there are plenty of others! With so many festivals on offer, which showcase so many different genres, and that take place at various times throughout the year you’re sure to find one that fits your taste and schedule!
Spain hosts some of the best summer music festivals in the world! They can attract some of the most revered international artists and celebrate their home grown acts too, so you can always discover something new and different as well.
With it being such a vibrant and cultural city, you can immerse yourself in art, culinary delights and beautiful weather whilst being at one the best music festivals in Barcelona. One thing that is great about music festivals in Barcelona is the stunning venues on offer; dancing the night away at a beachfront stage, partying in historic gardens or raving in unique urban landscapes Barca has it all.
Music, sunshine and a beach in one of Europe’s most avant-garde cities. What else can you ask for?
The best music festivals in Barcelona
From renowned festivals like Primavera to cheaper alternatives like BAM, the Barcelona festival lineup is one of the best in the world.
1. Primavera Sound
30th May – 1st June 2024
This is probably the most famous and international festival in Barcelona and probably one of the best music festivals in the world. Usually held in May, just as the good weather is kicking in, Primavera Sound welcomes music lovers from all over Europe to offer an incredible three-day line up that mixes the newest and most exciting bands with great music legends.
Over the years, big names like Nick Cave, Blur, Kendrick Lamar, The Pixies, Calvin Harris, Depeche Mode, Halsey, Arcade Fire, Echo & The Bunnymen, Lou Reed, Sonic Youth and so many more have played in this huge venue.
Bear in mind that you can not camp at Primeavera Barcelona but with Barcelona being such a welcoming and tourist city you will have lots of options for hotels, hostels and other such accommodation.
There are different types of tickets available: general release & VIP tickets are the most common. However, if you are a Santander Bank customer or a resident of Barcelona you are eligible for discounted tickets (so maybe get your mate in Barcelona to buy them for you!)
During the week the festival is held, the whole city also fills with free concerts in other venues for those who couldn’t get a ticket to the main event. It’s no surprise that they sell pretty fast with it being one of the best music festivals in Barcelona and one of the best music festivals in the world, that’s why they’re on sale a year in advance!
Take your sunscreen and enjoy Primavera Barcelona!
13th – 15th June 2024
Sónar describes itself as being dedicated to music, technology and creativity and is to electronic music what Primavera Sound is to indie. The city is turned into electro heaven during June as this (practically) 24h three-day festival hits Barcelona’s Fira Montjuïc area in Plaça España.
This is a great chance to discover not only music but new initiatives and gadgets of the electronic world, with exhibitions and conventions open to all ticket holders – which adds a unique twist and therefore makes it one of the best music festivals in Barcelona.
Don’t worry if it’s your first time going to Sonar festival, some of the most well-known names that have played Sónar include Aphex Twin, Massive Attack, Chemical Brothers, Bjork, Kraftwerk, Orbytal or Skrillex.
11th – 13th July 2024
July hosts Cruïlla, which began in 2008, a mere newbie if we compare it to the other two festivals previously mentioned! Cruïlla festival offers a mixture of music styles that that will suit almost everybody: from hip-hop and R’nB to pop, punk-rock and flamenco music.
With one the widest possible ranges of artistic disciplines and expressions on offer, it really is one the best festivals in Barcelona. It celebrates everything from rap to salsa music and also supports up-and-coming artists as well as internationally famous acts.
Held in the same open-air venue as Primavera Sound at the Parc del Fòrum, the festival has grown impressively, having had the privilege to invite artists like Jack White, N.E.R.D., Madness, Public Enemy, Iggy & the Stooges, Justice, Cypress Hill, David Byrne, Suede and Rufus Wainwright.
24th June – 13th August 2023. TBC 2024
Probably the most veteran of all festivals in Barcelona, Grec was first held in 1976 and has since become one of Barcelona’s unmissable events of the year. This festival unites all stage arts to offer a month and a half long festival full of music, drama, circus and dance.
Hundreds of shows pop up in different Barcelona venues and uncommon spots like libraries, museums, the Montjuïc castle and even an open-air theatre which is probably the heart of the festival. During more than 40 years artists like Miles Davies, Nacho Duato, Elvis Costello, Robert Lepage, Celia Cruz, Dario Fo and even Bob Dylan have been on one of Grec’s many stages.
Grec prides itself on it’s support and curation of creativity of all forms. It likes to celebrate both local community arts and internationally well-regarded artists.
It is also very conscientious about sustainability. Since 2016 it has introduced measures like offsetting 250 tonnes of CO2 via various methods such as using shuttle buses with zero emissions, providing reusable water bottles, reusable material in restaurants, introducing low-flow taps and encouraging bike usage. Surely a festival as wonderful and wide-ranging of this makes it one of the best music festivals in Barcelona.
22nd – 25th Setpember 2023. TBC 2024
Last but not least is probably the most low cost option of all of Barcelona’s festivals, because it’s actually free. September brings the saints day of Mercè, one of Barcelona’s patron saints. This time of the year is a great one to visit Barcelona because the whole city turns into a huge party to celebrate this festivity with fireworks, parades, shows and concerts.
BAM is one of the best music festivals in Barcelona fro supporting up-and-coming acts. The festival organises free concerts in different stages around the city to suit all tastes, with over 40 acts appearing across the dates.
The curators pride themselves on showcasing new sounds and discovering emerging talents as well as giving a platform to diverse communities. So definitely explore BAM if you are interested in experimental acts and supporting represetnation!
There are many more festivals in Barcelona such as Festival Jardins de Pedralbes, the Barcelona International Jazz Festival, Barcelona Beach Festival and many more.
6. Brunch Electronik
August, TBC 2024
In the summer, Brunch Electronik hosts various electronic music parties across three days in the city. It includes events held at Parc Forum, which is a major spot for some of the best festivals in Barcelona, as well as Jardins Joan Brossa and Sala Apolo.
It’s truly a summer festival, designed for festival-goers to both enjoy and fight the Barcelona heat. There’s hammocks in shaded areas, fans and water sprinklers so you won’t get over-heated as you party the day away.
Brunch Eletronik prioritises sustainability too, with lots of initiatives in place and a new B! Hub to promote awareness. With over 250,000 people attending, it’s a great way to reach large groups.
7. Festival Jardins de Pedralbes
Set in the stunning Pedralbes gardens, the Festival Jardins de Pedralbes offers a blend of mainstream, jazz, classical, and world music performances. Despite being so popular, it’s definitely one of the more calmer festivals in Barcelona.
It’s also a great event when it comes to food. There’s lots of food stalls and trucks where you can find all sorts from Catalan and other cuisines.
Besides the main musical acts, the festival also boasts a series of parallel activities such as workshops, guided tours, and exhibitions. These activities offer attendees an opportunity to delve deeper into the cultural and historical aspects of the Pedralbes gardens and the surrounding areas.
8. DGTL Barcelona
DGTL Barcelona is an extension of the DGTL brand, which originated in Amsterdam. Since its inception, DGTL has grown to be recognised as a prominent brand in the electronic music industry. They’re generally music festivals, but also showcase art and other creative works.
At DGTL Barcelona, you can expect to see innovative art installations, light shows, and interactive exhibits. These artistic elements are often designed to be sustainable or to raise awareness about sustainability, tying into the festival’s core ethos.
9. Barcelona Jazz Festival (Festival Internacional de Jazz de Barcelona)
Running since the 1960s, the Barcelona Jazz Festival is one of the best music festivals in Barcelona by far. As made clear by the name, it celebrates the versatile genre of jazz, attracting renowned international acts and up-and-coming artists.
It’s a great way to get to see lots of Barcelona’s music venues, where the festival takes place throughout the city. These include the likes of the glorious Palau de la Musica in Born, and other smaller clubs and bars like Jamboree, Harlem Jazz Club, JazzMan and more.
What is the big music festival in Barcelona?
Primavera Sound Barcelona is the most famous and high-profile music festival and it happens every year at the end of May / beginning of June. A 3 day festival which is often headlined by some of the biggest acts in music, making it one of the best music festivals in the world.
What is the most popular festival in Barcelona?
Running for 6 weeks, and presenting many different forms of artistic expression, the Grec festival is considered the most popular festival. Multiple venues host multiple disciplines such as dance, theatre, music and circus. One of the venues of the beautiful Grec Teatre.
What festivals are in Barcelona?
The five we have mentioned so far Primavera Sound, Sónar, Cruïlla, Grec and BAM. However there are also others such as Barcelona Beach festival BBF, Vida festival, Circuit festival, International Jazz festival Barcelona and Pride in Barcelona. They are not only amongst the best music festivals in Barcelona but also the best festivals in the world.