When one thinks of Spain, typically you would imagine beaches, sun, sand and total relaxation. However there is more to the country than just the sun. Fair enough, scorching summer sun is an advantage enough for a holiday but what could be better than adding value to your holiday than attending a festival in a sun drenched paradise?
Benicassim Festival 2009
The Benicassim Rock Music Festival takes place between 16-19 July 2009 and is a huge crowd puller every year. Similar to Oxygen in Ireland, there are camping sites available for revellers! The 2009 acts include the likes of Oasis, Kings of Leon, The Killers and Franz Ferdinand. The best way to get to Benicassim is to first get to Valencia or Barcelona, as they are the closest large cities to Benicassim. You could also base yourself in Alcoceber, which is in the Costa De Azahar and is only a 30 minutes drive from the Festival.
Pamplona Bull Run (San Fermin)
The San Fermin Festival, or as its more commonly know, the Pamplona Bull Running Festival, begins every July 6th at midday. The Festival begins with the "Chupinazo", which happens on a balcony of the Casa Consistorial building in Pamplona. The crowds that converge run into many thousands so the advice is to get here early to book your place! The local mayor then announces the beginning of the fiesta, and the party starts!
This Festival dates back as far as the 14th century. It started out as a religious feast but over the years has included music, dance, the famous bullfighting and street markets. The weather is usually very hot to add to the occasion so it is a wonderful glimpse into Spanish culture. The Festival runs from July 7th to the 14th, with the first bull run taking place on July 7th at 8am.
Remember that the streets are cordoned off so the bulls cannot escape and the event is perfectly safe, but please remember to always co-operate with the organizers and the local authorities in order to fully enjoy this fascinating festival! Find out more about the Pamplona Bull Run Festival.
The Semana Grande Festival has been in existence for over one hundred years, and takes place in San Sebastien, in the Basque Region of Northern Spain. The weeklong celebration of Basque culture has plenty of sporting, musical and cultural events, with plenty of traditional Spanish bullfighting, and the majestic international fireworks competition, which starts around 10.45pm every night. The La Concha Bay area is awash with crowds flocking to see the stunning fireworks display. La Semana Grande takes place during what week the 15th of August falls in.
Screamin' 2009 Festival
The Screamin Festival takes place every year at the Pineda de Mar, and is positioned in the middle of the Costa Del Maresme, with breathtaking coastal scenery and a wonderful beach setting by the sea. It is around 55km from Barcelona and 40km from Girona. The Festival theme for 2009 is 1950's Rock n'Roll, and bands such as Speedo and the Cadillacs, Levi Dexter and the Blasters perform. The Festival runs for a week from May 26th to June 1st and features great entertainment in a truly stunning location.
Primavera Sound 2009
Primavera Sound 2009 is Spain's premier alternative and indie music festival. The 2009 event takes from May 28th to May 30th at Parc Del Forum in Barcelona. The major acts that have confirmed are Neil Young, My Bloody Valentine, Bloc Party, Sonic Youth, Spiritualized, and Jarvis Cocker. Tickets for the entire festival cost 115 euros.
Barcelona Summer Festival
Also known as the "Grec Festival", this is one of the highlights of the cultural and art world in Spain. Each summer, the city is full with some of the most enchanting theatre, dance and music performers from the classical arts world. The Grec attracts a huge crowd of visitors that welcome the renowned creativity of the live theatrical and musical performances.
If you don't mind getting splattered with tomatoes, maybe you should take a trip to La Tomatina, the world's biggest food fight, which takes place in Bunol, around 40km from Valencia.
Run since 1945, when it was originally part of a political protest, la Tomatino attracts nearly 10,000 visitors every year. Participants pelt each other with tomatoes delivered by the crateload in a crazy festival street party of which the food fight lasts about an hour! The Tomatina is only one event in the celebration of a weeklong festival including musical bands, fireworks, food, and plenty of fun.