During the second half of September, Barcelona celebrates “La Mercè” every year, that is, its Fiesta Mayor. A Fiesta Mayor that we could define as a massive and popular festival of festivals, which in a week brings together between 1,500,000 and 2,000,000 people in different public spaces of the city, to follow and enjoy the numerous cultural, artistic and cultural activities. festive.
The city becomes a great setting that overflows imagination and fantasy. The involvement of a large number of groups and entities is its great secret. Sponsoring and collaborating private companies offer their support. And, in addition, all the proposals, from the most popular to the most sophisticated and minority, are free.
After 2020, the year in which La Mercè was held, but with many limitations, this year the most important event in Barcelona recovers its essence, although with all the necessary precautions. 2021 will put us back in touch with the traditions that we most appreciate and the classic scenes of the party will be present again and, as always, new spaces will be added.
And what can we see during La Mercè?
In a normal edition, these are the main activities:
- The street theater is particularly noteworthy: dance, circus, brass bands, elite proposals or traveling shows that are grouped under the name of MAC (Mercè Arts de Carrer, Mercè Artes de Calle)
- 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”), sardanas, groups of choirs and dances, “correfocs”, parades of “bastoners”, “grallers” and "Trabucaires" that reach a total of 600,000 people.
- Music also plays a prominent role during the “La Mercè” Festival. Two proposals are combined: a set of concerts programmed for all types of audiences and the BAM (Barcelona Acción Musical), a festival of independent music that brings together the best of the Catalan music scene and the rest of Spain, and some leading international figures .
- 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, it is better to participate.
Let's see how this year's edition 2021 will be.
The proclamation that will mark the beginning of La Mercè 2021 will be in charge of Custodia Moreno Rivero, activist and neighborhood leader of the Carmel and Can Baró neighborhoods, who was born in Granda and arrived in Barcelona in 1947 and settled in one of the Horta-Guinardó barracks neighborhoods. Custodia Moreno fought tirelessly for the improvement of the living conditions of the neighbors and his role was very important in the disappearance of the barracks in the area. In 2009 he received the Medal of Honor from Barcelona. The reading of the proclamation can be followed by betevé.
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 spaces in the city are added to the celebrations such as the Park del Turó de la Peira (Nou Barris) and the Vall d'Hebrón football field (Horta-Guinardó). In this edition, Passeig de Gràcia will have a prominent role. In total there will be 85 stages spread over seven districts of Barcelona.
The guest city
Every year Barcelona declares a city as a guest that has special relevance in the selection of events. Havana is the guest city in La Mercè 2021, so in La Mercè this year you can enjoy music, dance and images created in the capital of Cuba.
Traditional La Mercè
On September 24, Passeig de Gràcia will host, between Diputació and Rosselló streets, the popular culture collectives of Barcelona. Groups of giants, castellers, bastoners, falcons will participate ... The parades and the Correfoc are reconverted this year into a Cavalcade with a different route than usual. The celebration will be divided into time slots (capacity control in the morning; with reservation during the rest of the day).
The BAM (Barcelona Musical Action)
The BAM festival and Acció Cultura Viva, which last year were held at the Fabra i Coats venue with local artistic proposals, will return this year to the usual open spaces such as the Moll de la Fusta.
The MAC (Mercè Arts de Carrer)
Many of the MAC festival proposals, including some aimed at children, will refer to the World Capital of Sustainable Food 2021 project.
End of Party: the Piromusical
Yes, it will be held, but not to be seen from the street. the same as last year. 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. The Piromusical will be broadcast by TV3 and Catalunya Ràdio. The soundtrack will pay tribute to Havana, will commemorate the 150th anniversary of La Mercè, and will commemorate the 250th anniversary of the birth of Ludwig van Beethoven and the first centenary of the first concert of the Orquestra Pau Casals at the Palau de la Música Catalana.
About booking tickets (free, let's remember)
The activities of la Mercè 2021 are scheduled between 10:00 a.m. and 00:30 p.m., and most will require a reservation. Reservations will not be made for shows but for time slots and spaces. In this way, whoever makes a reservation will be able to enjoy all the shows that take place in a space in a certain time slot.
When can it be reserved?
On September 14, tickets for the concerts of the BAM and Acció Cultura Viva can be reserved, on September 15 for the rest of the concerts and on September 16 for the MAC shows and the Traditional activities.
The musical programming is already available, the rest will be from September 13.