Things to Do

Essential museums, monuments, walks, talks and tours in Barcelona

Upcoming festivals and major events

It's not just about Sónar and Primavera Sound. For an unforgettable year of music, art and cultural experiences, follow Time Out's guide to festivals and events. The coming months promise an endless array of events showcasing the best in Catalan and international culture - from hip hop and documentary filmmaking to religious and traditional celebrations. Plan your year here.

This week and beyond


  • Rated as: 4/5

An ocean of data ('Hello world!', an installation of 5,000 personal video diaries downloaded from the Internet), a sea of ​​information ('', a system for discovering connected objects around us), rivers of references (basic vocabulary: algorithm, geolocation, prediction, pattern) and graphics ('Submarine Cable Map', marking the fibre-optic system that connects the world) attempt to explain what Big Data means. For some it's the new oil, a source of inexhaustible wealth; for others it's a tool of social control. What is certain is that the metaphor of the cloud, an ethereal place where all our tweets, passwords and photos go, is quite misleading: it's more like a tangle of wires and sensors that could literally encircle the globe, and large containers have been built to preserve the content._Big Bang Data is a dense and complex exhibition, in the amount of material presented. It's a panopticon on the storage of information (in 2009 alone as much data was produced as in the whole history of humankind leading up to then) that leaves us facing the abyss of a big question. We have created a technology ready for archiving information about ourselves and our surroundings, but we haven't been able (yet) to agree on certain uses, to establish rules for our own protection, as citizens and consumers, against the dangers of this creation.

  1. CCCB. Centre de Cultura Contemporània de Barcelona Montalegre, 5, El Raval, 08001
  2. Fri May 9 - Sun Oct 26
More info

Kerry James Marshall. Painting and Other Stuff

  • Rated as: 4/5

Kerry James Marshall is an African American artist who's almost unheard of in Spain. But that's about to change now he's exhibiting a new retrospective at Madrid's Reina Sofía as well as his most recent paintings, videos, sculptures, drawings and installations at Barcelona's Tàpies Foundation. By the second half of the 1970s Marshall had a notion, through television series, of the Jewish Holocaust, the extermination of the American Indians, and the journeys of African slaves in America. So much invisible suffering. Then he began to extend the language of political correctness, which included women, sexual choices, and the powerless in the list of verbal amends to be made. Marshall joined the art world around when others were watching 'Holocaust' and 'Roots' on TV. When he went in for figurative painting, he found there was a lot of artists doing portraits of Western white cultures, but nothing to represent his background. His portraits are great composotions, epic narratives, and featuring black subjects, something many hadn't seen before. As a suppressed culture, African Americans don't have historical documents, and there's a lack of self-representation.Marshall has managed to achieve a balance between presence and invisibility with the use of dark backgrounds with no white lines highlighting figures, or with the use of ultraviolet photographs of African Americans, and installations where you have to look through a hole in a wall. But at the same time he creates black super

  1. Fundació Antoni Tàpies Aragó, 255, Eixample, 08007
  2. Wed Jun 11 - Sun Oct 26
More info

Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings

For a decade Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings have been travelling round the world, suprising audiences with their crude recordings and explosive live shows. They were in Barcelona in 2010 in Sala Apolo, where so many fans came to worship at their feet that not a single other skinny teen would fit for fear of breaking every safety code there is. The veteran soulwoman has never followed fleeting fads and always hits you right in the heart, surpassing trends and delivering a visceral Rhythm & Soul to her ever-growing number of followers.In spring 2014, prestigous label Daptone anounced the August 2014 release of a new Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings album, 'Give the People What They Want', just when Jones was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. The album's release and its accompanying tours were put on pause immediately as Jones went through treatment. A happy announcement was then made that after a successful operation, and continued treatment and constant support from family, friends and fans, the queen of soul is back. Long may she reign.

  1. Palau de la Música Catalana Palau de la Música, 4-6, Ciutat Vella, 08003
  2. Tue Nov 18
Buy tickets

The Immaterial Legacy

  • Rated as: 4/5

You know how everyone thinks they can coach their favourite football team better than the actual coach? Well, I'm the same with exhibitions at the MACBA. They're now showing the first of a trilogy where they take a look at the works from the museum's collection from the 1980s, and as I walk among the halls, my inner curator is screaming out, 'No! Man-to-man marking, forget zone defence! ... Kippenberger up front? He’s better on the wing! ... Valldosera is still very green, better loan him out for another season, and so on, and so on.Ah, the '80s, the age of disenchantment. After Kennedy and Pope John XXII,  it was Reagan, John Paul II and the punks. And after the death of the bogeyman, the dictator Francisco Franco, Spain witnessed the birth of modern artistic and cultural institutions. Artists who had once criticised the system would no longer lift a finger without some kind of subsidy…  But the MACBA sees it differently. The collection is the home country, in the form of a handy Kleenex, used in a provocative revision of history. It’s a history with a revolutionary backdrop, in which the working classes armed themselves with dance music, Basque rock, fanzines and appropriation.Organised around familiar themes like 'the sacred and the profane' and 'the body and its inverse', the works on show form the basis of lengthy essays. You can read them or not. And this changes the effect. Carlos Pazos’s installation could be a jumble of references, or a secret semiotic drama, and Hum

  1. MACBA. Museu d'Art Contemporani Plaça dels Àngels, 1, El Raval, 08001
  2. Mon Oct 20 - Mon Jun 1
More info

The CCCB lookout opens

  • Free

The CCCB turns 20 this year, and to celebrate they're organising 20 things to do. Among them is the opening of the Mirador (lookout point) on the fifth floor. The first Sunday of every month from 11am to 8pm you can gaze through the glass facade and contemplate Barcelona from a new perspective, taking in the sea the Barri Gòtic, the Ciutat Vella, Montjuïc, Tibidabo and the Collserola tower, all from one spot.

  1. CCCB. Centre de Cultura Contemporània de Barcelona Montalegre, 5, El Raval, 08001
  2. Sun Nov 2 - Sun Dec 7
More info

Flamenguiri perdía

American-born comedian and cabaret artist Rachel Arieff, known for being the architect of the legendary Antikaraoke, has fallen into the pit of flamenco. After spending a year listening to and learning the basics of this unique and captivating music, she started composing songs without really knowing what she was doing. This solo show, where she plays piano and sings, is a sample of these early attempts – a series of original and naïve songs Arieff composed fully intending for them to be flamenco. But what she ended up with is a type of flamenco distorted by the music from her native country – blues, boogie-woogie, standards and rock – also adapted to the whims of her carefree and irreverent sense of humour.

  1. Gipsy Lou Ferlandina 55, 08001
  2. Sun Oct 26
More info

Bach in Barcelona

Dutch cellist Jurgen van Win is promoting this series of concerts that take place almost every Thursday over the summer, until 25 September. Every show features two of the six Bach Suites. Enjoy baroque music in Romanesque surroundings.For more info call: 93 589 28 55 / 679 305 718.

  1. Sant Pau del Camp Sant Pau, 101, El Raval, 08001
  2. Thu Oct 23 - Thu Dec 25
More info
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