La Mercè 2018
September 21 - September 24
Europe’s biggest street party (or so we’re told!), La Mercè is essentially a city-wide festa major, as Barcelona becomes a stage for all manner of fun activities such as concerts, parades, street theatre, workshops, wine tasting, book fairs, as well as the holy triumvirate of great Catalan festive traditions – castellers (human castles), correfoc (fire runs) and sardanes (regional dance).
The fiesta (theoretically at least) celebrates Barcelona’s patron saint, Our Lady of Mercy, whose feast day is the 24th September, and who was credited as saving the city from a plague of locusts in 1687. While some of the parades will pay homage to the saint, most of the merriment is contemporary and secular in nature.
As there’s so much going on, in all corners of the city, it’s best to take a good look at the programme, which is normally released around mid-July (don’t bet on it though) on the website below, and cherrypick some of the more interesting acts.
The BAM music programme is usually worth paying attention to, as it brings a glut of international music talent to the city, with a special focus in 2018 on Portuguese artists. Meanwhile Mercury Rev (remember them?) have been invited to commemorate 20 years since they released Deserter’s Songs. They play on Sunday on the Placa del Angels at 21:45.
Official website: http://lameva.barcelona.cat/merce/en
Feature photo by Fran Goncalves.