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Barcelona celebrates La Mercè Festival 2023, with more than 500 events

Barcelona celebrates La Mercè Festival 2023, with more than 500 events

This week, Barcelona is celebrating La Mercè Festival, with an extensive programme that includes more than 500 cultural, musical and entertainment events. The activities, which began last weekend, will reach their peak this weekend, with the big day, La Mercè, on Sunday, 24th of September.   

From BusPlana, we provide you with the schedules of the regular line, which you can check on our website so that you can travel, without worry, to Barcelona, from, for example, Tarragona, Salou, Vila-seca La Pineda, PortAventura, Cambrils and Reus, among others.  

The opening speech, 22nd of September  

One of the most representative events of the town and city festivals is the opening speech, which marks the start of the main events. On this occasion, the writer Najat El Hachmi, born in Morocco, who grew up in the city of Vic, will be in charge of giving the starting signal for La Mercè. Author of books such as 'Madre de leche y miel', 'Yo también soy catalana', 'La hija extranjera', 'El lunes nos querrán' and 'El último patriarca', she has received several awards, such as Premio Ciudad de Barcelona and Premio Nadal, among others.   

The institutional act of the opening speech will take place this Friday, 22nd of September, at 7 p.m., in Saló de Cent of Barcelona City Hall.   

Live music  

From the 22nd to the 25th of September, Barcelona will become the stage for first-rate and emerging international, national and local artists. This year, there are three different programmes: Música Mercè, Barcelona Acció Musical Festival (BAM) and Acció Cultura Viva.  

This coming Friday, 22nd, the programme includes a concert by Cadena 100, with Buhos, Chanel, Abraham Mateo and The Sants; performances by Selma Bruna, Lia Kali, Dario Kolomec, Zoo and Vicco. And also Simona, Anika, Shego, L'Beel, Masta Quba and Kyne, among others.   

On Saturday, 23rd of September, there will be concerts by Lildami, Doctor Prats, The Tyets, Dani Fernández, Els Catarres and La Fúmiga; and other artists such as Mercury, The Notwist, Alyona Alyona, etc.  

On Sunday, 24th of September, the big day of the festival, Julen, Mosaic and Porto Bello will be performing, along with Europa FM; Gogol Bordello; Juan Quintero; Albert Sanz Grup; as well as Sa Pena, Baiuca, Amas, Maestro Espada, Abundance, Adelaida, LaFrancesssa, among many others.  

Finally, next Monday, 25th of September, the musical programme will end with concerts by Roly Berrío; Vozes Orchestra, with Eva Fernández; Verushka & Clara Cortés; Noia; PabloPablo; Claraguilar; Dàmaris Gelabert; MUV; among others.   

Day of La Mercè, 24th of September  

The big day of the festivities, this Sunday, 24th of September, will be packed with cultural events, starting with the 'matinades de grallers', first thing in the morning; followed by the 73rd competition of “sardana esportiva” groups and the sardana dance, in Avinguda de la Catedral; the parade of the 'cabezudos' and the giants, from Plaça Sant Jaume, and then the 'Diada Castellera', in the same place. At the same time, there will also be the ringing of bells and the procession of La Mercè from Plaça de la Mercè to the Palau de la Virreina.   

In the afternoon, from 6 p.m. onwards, La Mercè parade will take place from the crossroads between Carrer Pelai and Carrer Gravina, to arrive at the City Hall. This is the biggest parade of the festivities, in which almost all the city's giants, beasts, big-heads and other festive elements take part, accompanied by entertainment and music groups. 

In addition, as part of the Mercè Arts de Carrer (MAC) programme, workshops, circus shows, traditional and contemporary dance performances, puppet shows, performing arts and theatre will be held throughout the day in different venues: Parc de la Estació del Nord, Montjuïc Castle, Parc Joan Miró, Palauet Albéniz, OASI MAC, Parc de l’Aqüeducte, Plaça de la Mercè and the former headquarters of Editorial Gustavo Gili publishing house.   

The festivities will close this year's edition the following day, Monday, 25th of September, with the Piromusical show by Pirotecnia Igual. This is a mixture of fire and music, with Montjuïc as a backdrop, and this year the soundtrack will be Sonar, in homage to the 30th anniversary of this well-known music festival.   

Other novelties  

Barcelona pays tribute to the Ukrainian capital Kiev, making it the guest city of the festivities, in this 2023 edition. The traditions and history of the country will be present during the festive events, giving the city of Barcelona two giants, representing its holy princes, Olga and Vladimir. These elements will be unveiled during the “Toc d'Inici”, and will take part, as guests, in La Mercè Parade, which will take place on Sunday afternoon, 24th of September.   

In addition, during the festivities, you can enjoy folk dance performances by Alina Sokulska, and the Kyiv Academic Theater of Ukrainian Folklore group "Berehynia", which will offer a show, with a workshop open to the public.   

Barcelona will also host, on the 24th, the 9th International Ucrania Fest at “Palacete Albéniz”, which will consist of an exhibition to showcase the culture and traditions of the Ukrainian country, with various theatre, dance and music performances by artists who are refugees in Catalonia. Likewise, on the 23rd, 24th and 25th, Montjuïc Castle will host the Circus Cabaret, which will be presented by Itziar Castro and will feature the participation of Ukrainian professionals.   

Ukraine will also be present at La Mercè with various artists' projects, such as Maryana Klochko, the DakhaBrakha quartet, Ivan Sai, Dudu Alves and Maria Prymachenko.  

Remember that BusPlana offers schedules of its regular line, so that you can travel to any event of La Mercè festival in a sustainable and comfortable way. You can check on our website all schedules and routes available to travel to Barcelona, from Tarragona, Salou, Vila-seca La Pineda, PortAventura, Cambrils and Reus, among other locations. 


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