Sant Joan 'verbenas' (parties the night before a holiday) are some of the most anticipated and most celebrated in Barcelona. So don't panic if you're wandering around town and you see a bonfire in the middle of a square. You'll also find dancing, outdoor neighbourhood meals, and even concerts all around the city. If you want to plan in advance, here are some we can guide you to – and you can always head down to the beach where you're sure to find a massive party.
RECOMMENDED: Don't miss out on the traditional Sant Joan pastry! Find out where to get the best Sant Joan cocas in town.
Sant Joan parties and events
Imagine a party where you hear your favourite music nonstop without having to run up to the DJ booth every five minutes to shout over everyone else in order to get your jam played. That dream can come true with the Jukebox Party. This special party on the night before Sant Joan (when all the fun happens), organized by record label Canada, is where the public gets to request the songs that play throughout the soirée, providing the soundtrack for the collective session. The party also brings in a pair of top selectors: Flaca and Tita Desustance.
The 'Ravetlla' (or 'verbena', or 'celebration the night before a holiday') at BeGood is a classic among classics. This definitive Sant Joan eve party features live music from Los Ganglios, a trio led by Xoxe Tétano whose sound spans genres including punk, cumbia, hard techno and romantic ballads. Stepping up to the decks are the Ultra-Local Records DJs, friends of the eponymous record shop and a favourite in Poblenou, with a session full of hits to keep you dancing.
There's strength in numbers at this outdoor party held in two parts in nearby L'Hospitalet (you can get there on the metro!): first you've got the On Sant Joan on June 23 and then it's the Off Sant Joan on June 30. Eat Street feeds you with quality street food; the Flea Market brings their vintage and second-hand market; Ameba gets you moving with an outstanding selection of DJs; Contorno Urbano provides space, equipment and paint to the illustrator Maga and the Monkey Fingers collective, who fill the party with large-format graffiti; and Street Dance Area inspires with their dancing.
Fancy a Sant Joan eve party in the street among real people who live in the neighbourhood and just want to have a fun time? Here's an option with great music in the heart of Gràcia. Head to the free traditional neighbourhood party in Travessia de Sant Antoni. Bring food to share, and you'll get 'coca', cava and friendly prices for anything you pay for. Music brought to you by the wildly popular local DJ Muerta Sánchez.
Mandanga verbenera: Jirafa Rey & Lapili 'Glitch Gyals' + Ms Nina + King Jedet + Siria DJ + Sanatruja
The term 'Glitch' is a reference to a post-internet aesthetic. Glitch Gyals aren't just singers or rappers, this is a trans-disciplinary act that gets inspiration from all kinds of trends and artistic movements. Some of the key ingredients of their work are Jamaican dancehall queen style, feminine empowerment, avant-garde performance arts, textile art, fashion styling and design, theatre arts, poetry and integration of current art philosophy discussions. Nevertheless, the result of their process isn't at all snobby but rather questions the separation between highbrow and base culture.
On June 22 and 23, Municipalisme Queer takes over Fabra i Coats with conversations and activities about and for the LGBTI community. And they're getting in on the fun for Sant Joan eve as well. If you like hip hop and reggaeton, electronica and rap, pop and dubstep, don't miss this concert they've organised to celebrate the summer solstice with Ascensa Furore and Las Bajas Pasiones.
On June 22 and 23 for Sant Joan and then again on June 27 and 28 for Sant Pere it's the seventh edition of Summer Verbenas with Mussels and Cava, where 9,000 portions of mussels from the Ebro Delta – prepared in marinara sauce – will be handed out, along with glasses of cava, in seven city markets. The point of all this is to bring back a Mediterranean tradition: celebrating summer holidays with tasty and fun mussels feasts just in time for the optimal season for mature Mediterranean mussles. The Sant Antoni market kicks it off on Friday June 22 at 11.30am, and on Saturday the 23rd tastings of mussels and cava take place simultaneously at the Carmel and La Concepció markets.
The Palo Alto market heads down to the sea to celebrate the longest weekend of the year. On June 23 and 24, the Fórum Port hosts Sant Joan Weekend, a festival full of art, culture, design and gastronomy that brings together more than 120 exhibitors, 25 food trucks, more than 20 hours of music, and activities for the whole family. Plus, on the night of the 23rd you can also celebrate Sant Joan eve with music and dancing until 3am.
– Rambla del Raval
– Plaça del Poeta Boscà
– Passeig de Lluís Companys, near the Arc de Triomf
– The corner of C/ d'Espronceda with C/ de Ramon Turró
– C/ de Huelva, 57
– Jardins del Clot de la Mel gardens
– Av de Meridiana, 99 (between Aragó and Corunya)
– LGBTI Sant Joan verbena in Consell de Cent (between Muntaner and Casanova)
– The intersection of Provença and Rocafort
– C/ Lepant with Ribes / Casp
– Consell de Cent, 158
– Passatge Lluís Pellicer
– C/ Viladomat (between Floridablanca and Tamarit)
– Plaça del Sol
– C/ Fraternitat (between Torres and Tordera)
– C/ Berga (between Cigne and Sant Marc)
– Centre Cívic El Coll - La Bruguera - Espai de Gent Gran
– Jardines Can Brasó gardens
– Jardins de Cal Sèbio gardens, as part of the Marina Festa Major festivities
– El Sortidor Civic Centre
– Casa del Rellotge
– Parc de l'Espanya Industrial
C/Europa (between Galileu and Gandesa)
– Plaça de Virrei Amat
– Plaça de Sóller
– Plaça de Can Fabra
– Plaça dels Jardins d'Elx
– Plaça Congrés Eucarístic, 1
– Plaça Orfila
La Llosa de Via Augusta, between C/Graus and C/Dolors Monserdà