Yes, we all know that Barcelona has one of the best urban beaches in the world, but there’s a whole lot more than just sand and surf in this city. With summer rapidly approaching, starting next month is one of Barcelona’s most celebrated cultural festivals, El Festival Grec, or “Greek Festival“. So, why The Grec Festival in Barcelona is so important? Why in the Catalan city?

All about The Grec Festival in Barcelona – The Greek theatre and more

Starting back in 1929, and in order to celebrate the second Universal Exhibition held in Barcelona (the first one was in 1888), an international festival of theatre, dance, music and circus was born.

Over the years, the event has become not only a huge cultural draw for the city of Barcelona but a performing arts festival of international recognition.

But you may still be asking yourself: in the most Catalan of cities, why a “Greek” festival? Well, the name comes from the festival’s main venue: an open-air theatre built on Montjuic in the Greek-style of an amphitheater – thus “Festival Grec”.

The greek theatre was initially the only venue hosting performances for the Festival Grec, however, over time the program includes several other venues including theaters, parks, and other cultural spaces all over the city of Barcelona.

Barcelona has long been a city of performing arts – it’s in its DNA. So much so that the Festival is promoted publicly but the Barcelona City Council and by no other public administrator – it’s democratic public performance at its very best!

The festival promotes everything from home-grown Catalan artists and dance troupes to the best acts from all over Spain, as well as a huge gamut of international performers – and what makes the festival so special compared to others is that it provides local artists with production support to help them launch their performing careers – olé!

Innovation has always been characteristic of the festival, and in recent years acts have come to Barcelona from as far away as France, the UK, Italy, US and even Japan.

In more recent years, the festival organizers have collaborated with other European performing arts festivals to encourage joint projects, giving a platform to promote artists, exchanging know-how and working experiences and, in the words of festival organizers, to “integrate political and social thinking regarding the Mediterranean”.

And this year’s edition will be no exception. A wonderful line-up includes some of the best and most dynamic acts in theatre, traditional Mediterranean and Catalan folk music, innovative and wild circus acts, and much more

So, of course we encourage you to go to the beach and take a dip in Barcelona’s blue waters; however, when the sun goes down, be sure not to miss out on this year’s special line-up and most Mediterranean of summer festivals. Events leading up the festival will kick off on May 27, so be sure to check out the fill list of activities and performances that will take place during the entire month of July.