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La Mercè: Barcelona's big celebration

We unveil the essentials of Barcelona's biggest festival, celebrated to honour the city's patron saint: concerts, traditions and family activities that you won't want to miss

©Pep Herrero

This year's La Mercè celebrations are the shortest and most concentrated in recent years, but they won't be any less interesting, intense and fun. You'll thrill with La Mercè essentials such as the 'correfoc' (fire run), 'castells' (human towers), circus acts on Montjuïc and concerts in the BAM festival. And there are also new spaces this year such as Fabra i Coats and the Parc de la Trinitat, bringing Barcelona's festival to more neighbourhoods throughout the city. Here's your guide to all you need to know to get the most out of Barcelona's Festa Major, from September 22 to 25.

La Mercè by area

The Ciutadella by day
Things to do

The Ciutadella by day

The Ciutadella at night
Things to do

The Ciutadella at night

The Palauet Albéniz
Things to do

The Palauet Albéniz

Montjuïc Castle
Things to do

Montjuïc Castle

La Mercè 2016: Fabra i Coats
Things to do

La Mercè 2016: Fabra i Coats

Parc de la Trinitat
Things to do

Parc de la Trinitat

La Mercè highlights

La Mercè kicks off!
Things to do

La Mercè kicks off!

All the concerts, tradition and fun are packed into four days

Opening speech and ceremony
Things to do

Opening speech and ceremony

Opening speech, parade, and a mapping projection

La Mercè parade
Things to do

La Mercè parade

Traditional parade with typical Catalan characters

Traditional celebrations
Things to do

Traditional celebrations

Dances, human towers, fire features and more tradition

Human towers
Things to do

Human towers

Wow at the 'castellers' building awe-inspiring towers

Correfoc
Things to do

Correfoc

Get ready for the festival's big fire run

Piromusical
Things to do

Piromusical

Fireworks, French music, and tributes to Bowie and Prince

Mapping: 'Colorama'
Things to do

Mapping: 'Colorama'

City Hall becomes a screen for a show of living colours

La Mercè and BAM concerts: Thu 22

El Niño de Elche + Isaac Ulam
Music

El Niño de Elche + Isaac Ulam

Opening the festival is Catalan singer-songwriter Blanes Isaac Ulam (9.15pm) with his intense double album 'Ratpenat' (2016), part rock and part funk...

La Mercè and BAM concerts: Fri 23

Ramon Mirabet + Love of Lesbian + Animal
Music

Ramon Mirabet + Love of Lesbian + Animal

The Estrella Damm–sponsored Mediterràneament stage at Bogatell beach welcomes Ramon Mirabet, whose song 'Those Little Things'...

La Gran Pegatina + Oques Grasses + La Raíz
Music

La Gran Pegatina + Oques Grasses + La Raíz

On Friday the Fòrum stage is the place to be for the high energy and joyful rhythms of Oques Grasses and their latest album 'You poni'. Next up it's...

Maria Arnal & Marcel Bagés + Bachar Mar-Khalifé
Music

Maria Arnal & Marcel Bagés + Bachar Mar-Khalifé

A night of music kicks off in front of the Cathedral with a duo featuring the extraordinary voice of María Arnal and Marcel Bagés with his guitar...

Nakany Kanté + Baaba Maal
Music

Nakany Kanté + Baaba Maal

There's a new stage for concerts this year during the Mercè festival at the Fabra i Coats art factory. The live music starts on Friday with emerging acts...

Sassy Black + Juventud Juché + Acid Mess
Music

Sassy Black + Juventud Juché + Acid Mess

One half of the alternative R&B duo THEESatisfaction, Sassy Black, is Catherine Harris-White, singer-songwriter, producer and...

Vikings de la Guadeloupe + Bad Gyal + Maurice Louca + Outer Space + EEk & Islam Chipsy + Cabaret Contemporain
Music

Vikings de la Guadeloupe + Bad Gyal + Maurice Louca + Outer Space + EEk & Islam Chipsy + Cabaret Contemporain

The second day of BAM at the Moll de la Fusta is full of hours of music that will get you moving. Kicking off the night is Bad Gyal, one of the new voices...

Ephemerals + Jeanne Added + MHD
Music

Ephemerals + Jeanne Added + MHD

Three acts fill the Plaça dels Àngels with music on the second night of BAM. French singer Jeanne Added presents her debut solo album that...

La Mercè and BAM concerts: Sat 24

Manu Chao + Dubioza Kolectiv + La Sra. Tomasa + Dani Llança
Music

Manu Chao + Dubioza Kolectiv + La Sra. Tomasa + Dani Llança

Barcelona band Sra Tomasa opens with their mix of Latin music and electronica. Next up it's Portuguese-born Barcelona resident Dani Llança...

Lloyd Cole + C. Tangana + The Goon Sax + Triángulo de Amor Bizarro + Sr. Chinarro...
Music

Lloyd Cole + C. Tangana + The Goon Sax + Triángulo de Amor Bizarro + Sr. Chinarro...

The Antiga Fàbrica Estrella Damm is one of the main stages for the BAM festival concerts, and this Saturday there's a day full of live music...

Lafawndah + Aquagascallo + Nothing Places
Music

Lafawndah + Aquagascallo + Nothing Places

Born in Paris and with Egyptian and Irani roots, Lafawndh is currently making music in the USA, between New York and Los Angeles...

Zombie Zombie + Eska + Chris Cohen
Music

Zombie Zombie + Eska + Chris Cohen

California musician Chris Cohen gets things going at the Plaça dels Àngels stage on the third day of the BAM festival with his psychedelic pop...

Imarhan + Flamingods + Baloji & L'Orchestre de la Katuba + Dakhabrakha + Metá Metá + Moya Kalongo
Music

Imarhan + Flamingods + Baloji & L'Orchestre de la Katuba + Dakhabrakha + Metá Metá + Moya Kalongo

The Moll de la Fusta stage gets things started with Moya Kalongo, a pioneer Barcelona afrobeat and afrofunk band led by Mozambican singer...

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