La Mercè - Barcelona's Festival

Local fiestas

This year 2020 edition of La Mercè will not be, as expected, like previous editions. The activities and events will be held during the day (from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.), there will be no mass events and, to participate in the events, you will have to register. Neither will activities as classic of the Fiesta as the correfoc or the castellers be held, but, on the other hand, La Mercè will be much more present in the program of betevé (official media of the party), and will extend to more points of the city, for so, close to home, you can enjoy dance, music, circus, popular culture or theater proposals on the street.

The proclamation

This year's proclamation will be carried out by Jaume Mateu (or what is the same, Tortell Poltrona), a clown born in Barcelona who is the most recognized circus artist in Catalonia. Co-founder of Payasos sin Fronteras (clowns without borders), he is a reference for his personal career, for his circus (the Circ Cric) and for his contribution to the renewal of the concept of clown.

More spaces

To the usual spaces of La Mercè (the Moll de la Fusta, the Montjuïc Castle, the Ciutadella park, the Magic Fountain of Montjuïc ...), this year new emblematic spaces of the city are added to the celebrations such as the Teatre Grec, FC Barcelona facilities, Plaza de la Trobada (outside the Ateneu Popular 9 Barris), many l'Eixample block interiors, Joan Miró park, Center del Poblenou park, Parque de the Estació del Nord, the Ca n'Altimira gardens and the Drets Humans gardens. In total, fifty stages spread over the ten districts of Barcelona.

The guest city

This year Barcelona invites itself. The festival is designed to celebrate the city and the talents that live and work in it, for this reason, Barcelona will be the guest city and the program will focus on the city's artists to offer support to local talent.

The traditional La Mercè

Barcelona's popular culture entities will approach the neighborhoods to offer small-format performances. The Moll de la Fusta will become the epicenter of popular and traditional culture activities, although there will also be traditional dances in the Albéniz Palace and in the Plaça de Joan Coromines.


The BAM Cultura Viva festival is adapted and will take place at the Fabra i Coats venue with more than twenty local artistic proposals. A friendly and relaxed event for all audiences and all tastes that, this year, rethinks the spaces and is presented with a smaller capacity.

The Pyromusical

Yes, it will be held, but not to be seen from the street. This year they have designed a pyromusical so that it can be seen from the buildings (balconies, windows and roofs). Maybe not from all the buildings, but from almost all of them. For this, the fireworks will be launched from four districts (Sants-Montjuïc, Nou Barris, Les Corts and Sant Martí) and will rise higher and be more powerful.


Description of usual La Mercè and last year's edition (2019)

During the second half of September Barcelona celebrates each year "La Merce", that is, its Festival (Fiesta Mayor, in catalan Festa Major). It could be defined as a festival of festivals, with a lot of activities and with a popular character. In a week between 1,500,000 and 2,000,000 people will visit different public spaces of the city and enjoy the many cultural activitites, artistic and festive.

The city becomes a big stage full of imagination and fantasy. The involvement of a large number of groups and organizations is their big secret. Private Sponsors and coworkers provide their support. And besides, all the proposals, from the most popular to the most sophisticated and minorities, are totally free.

Each year Barcelona declares a city as a guest who has special relevance in the selection of events. Beirut is the guest city in La Mercè 2019, so this year you can enjoy theater, dance, street arts and cinema made in Beirut.

And what we can see during La Mercè?

  • A particular highlight is the street theater: dance, circus, brass bands, special proposals or parades.
  • Large format night shows: related to light and new technologies through artistic projections on buildings and monuments, or with fire and pyrotechnics.
  • Traditional activities: "toc d'inici" (which opens the festivities), parade of giants, human towers ("castellers"), Sardana, choirs and dance groups, "correfocs", Parades of "bastoners", "grallers" and "trabucaires" which brings together a total of 600,000 people.
  • Music also plays a prominent role during the Fiesta of "La Merce" . There are two combined proposals: A series of concerts scheduled for all audiences and the BAM (Barcelona Musical Action), an independent music festival that brings together the best of Catalan music scene and the rest of Spain, and some first-rate international artists.
  • La Cursa: a 10 km race that passes through the most emblematic places of Barcelona. It is good to see it but in this activity, better participate.

And where are the stages?

Barcelona City Council, Antiga Fàbrica Estrella Damm, Avinguda de la Catedral, Avinguda Reina Maria Cristina, Castell de Momtjuïc, Moll de la Fusta, Central Park of Nou Barris, Parc de la Ciutadella, Plaça de Joan Coromines, Plaça dels Àngels, Plaça Reial and Bogatell Beach.

The proclamation of La Mercè 2019

The proclamation that will mark the beginning of La Mercè 2019 will be in charge of Manuela Carmena. Mainly known for having been mayor of Madrid, Manuela Carmena is a lawyer and practiced the judicial career since 1981. She has received the National Human Rights Award, has been a member of the General Council of Judicial Power and is one of the founders of the progressive association Judges for Democracy. She was elected dean judge of Madrid and has also been President-Rapporteur of the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention of the United Nations Organization. His relationship with Barcelona began in 1966, the year he moved to our city and where he participated in the creation of the clandestine association Democratic Women, together with Montserrat Roig and Merced Olivares.

The end of the Festivities: the Piromusical

And like every year, a Piromusical show, a performance of fireworks, music, light and water (light and water of the Magic Fountain of the Montjuïc), will end the Merce festival this year.