This summer’s not-to-be-missed events, from the top to the bottom of the Costa Brava!
Llançà: Don’t miss the firework display on Sunday 15 July in honour of the Verge del Carme at midnight in the Port, followed by an havaneres concert.
Cadaqués: On 16 July the village celebrates the Verge del Carme saint’s day with a seaborne procession at 6pm, a sardine feast at Es Portell at 7.30pm and sardana dancing on the main promenade at 8pm. And during the first fortnight of August, Cadaqués plays host to its annual International Music Festival featuring a highly eclectic array of performers at a range of venues, with prices starting at just 8 euros. Check out http://www.festivalcadaques.com/index.php for full details.
Roses: On 20 July, Texas will be performing at 10.30pm in the matchless setting of La Ciutadella (the Citadel) in a concert to celebrate the thirtieth anniversary of the release of their first album. Tickets start at 35 euros; go to www.sonsdelmon.cat. And on 2 August you can step even further back in time to the late 70s/early 80s with a Boney M concert featuring original singer Maizie Williams – same time, same venue, same price!
Castelló d’Empúries/Empuriabrava: When it comes to music, there’s something for everyone this summer, kicking off with the Sons del Món Festival with concerts by Ramon Mirabet and Luz Casal on 5 and 6 July respectively, then The Original Wailers in Empuriabrava on 12 July. The Empuriabrava Beach Summer Festival takes place on 26-29 July from 9pm every night, followed by Empuria Rock on 3 August and Empuria Fusió on 17 August, a great opportunity to learn what Catalan Rumba is all about. Between 9 and 12 August it’s Castelló’s main patron saint’s festival, the Festa Major de Sant Llorenç, with a host of different activities and events. Check with the tourist office for details. And finally, jazz lovers should head for the Plaça de les Palmeres in Empuriabrava every Thursday night throughout August for the Nàutic Jazz Festival.
Heading a little inland, the ravishing gardens of the Castle of Peralada, in the sleepy little town of the same name, form the backdrop again this year for the Festival Castell Peralada, starting with the St Petersburg Ballet Mariïnski on 4 July and continuing through to 17 August, featuring artists such as Charlotte Gainsbourg, Paul Anka, La Fura dels Baus, Jessie J and Carlos Acosta, among many others. For information and tickets, go to https://www.festivalperalada.com/en/programacio/.
L’Escala and Empúries: If you get the urge to shake your booty (in this heat??) get yourself to Plaça de la Rosa in L’Escala every Monday night throughout the summer for Lindy Hop dancing between 8pm and 10pm. You might want to precede that with the Anchovy & Salt Museum’s organized walk along the coastal dunes, also every Monday between 6pm and 8pm. Price 5 euros. And every Tuesday there’s a lovely boat trip between 10am and 12.30pm from Port La Clota. Tickets 16 euros for adults and 8 euros for children – don’t forget your swimsuits. For music lovers, the Portalblau music festival runs from 11 July to 9 August with a packed programme featuring Mediterranean artists (http://portalblau.cat/) and on 16 July it’s the sixty-eighth festival of the Verge del Carme (Our Lady of Mount Carmel) with processions on land and sea, as befits the patron saint of sailors, fishermen and seafarers. On 25 August a whole troupe of Catalonia’s famous gegants (giants) will be parading through the streets between 6pm and 9pm, and on 30 August don’t miss the celebrations of L’Escala’s patron saint, Santa Màxima, staring on 30 August and culminating in a spectacular fireworks display in the bay.
Torroella de Montgrí and Estartit: The summer concert season kicks off with the Black Music Big Band on Friday 5 July at 9pm in the Espai Ter Auditorium, followed a few days later by Estartit’s Beatles Weekend 2019 between 12 and 14 July, packed with shows, conferences, exhibitions and family activities. View the full programme at www.beatlesweekendestartit.cat. The Chamber Orchestra of the Palau de la Música Catalana will be performing at 10pm on 12 July at the Espai Ter Auditorium, with tickets from 25 euros. But of course the two big events this summer are the annual Festival de Torroella de Montgrí, between 2 and 22 August, featuring an outstanding programme of classical, orchestral and choral performances and the Estartit Jazz Festival (www.jazzestartit.cat), which runs from 25 to 28 July, not forgetting the Fringe Festival from 18 to 21 July. For information on all these events, go to www.festivaldetorroella.cat. And finally, Estartit honours its patron saint, Santa Anna, between 20 and 28 July, the main day being 26 July, with all kinds of activities going on. Visit the tourist board for full details.
Moving slightly inland, the lovely little church of Sant Pere at the top of the picture-postcard village of Pals makes a wonderful backdrop to listen to classical Spanish guitar, with concerts every Friday throughout the summer at 9pm. Tickets cost 15 euros.
Meanwhile, one of the biggest attractions on the Costa Brava takes place for the fifty-third year in Calella de Palafrugell on Saturday, 6 July: La Cantada. See our article at http://bravamagazine.cat/la-cantada-6-july-2019/ for details. If you can’t find a space in the main venue of Port Bo – and you won’t – there are giant screens set up on the beaches of Canadell, Port Pelegrí and Llafranch so thousands of fans can follow the havaneres performances. The event kicks off at 10.25pm. Another huge attraction every summer is the Cap Roig Festival, held in a small open-air auditorium set in one of the most exquisite botanic gardens in Spain. Guest artists this year include Nile Rodgers and Chic on 13 July, Sting on 19 July, Liam Gallagher on 27 July, Jamie Cullum on 2 August and Eros Ramazzotti on 13 August, to name but a few. For full information on the programme and ticket sales, go to http://www.caproigfestival.com/programa/.
Whether this is your first time in the Palafrugell area or you’re a seasoned visitor, you can’t go wrong with a trip on the Julivia tourist bus for a very comprehensive overview of the whole area, its beaches and the most stunning viewpoints. Running from 12 July through to 22 September, the bus leaves Palafrugell bus station at 9.30am, 11am, 12.30pm, 4pm, 5.30pm and 7pm every day on the ‘hop on hop off’ principle. A one-day ticket costs just 5 euros.
There’s plenty going on in the gorgeous hilltop village of Begur this August, not least the summer Film Festival on the eleventh, featuring different screenings in the village centre and the beaches and a cello concert at midnight at Begur castle. Later on in the month, on 23, 24 and 25 August, the village celebrates the life of one of its most famous residents, the late flamenco dancer Carmen Amaya, with guided tours, flamenco workshops, flamenco shows, a sardine feast for all at her former home, and a special al fresco screening of the Oscar-nominated film Los Tarantos at 10pm in the Escoles Velles venue (Sunday 25 August). Further details and tickets can be obtained at the local tourist office.
In Palamós the annual Catalan Rumba festival (which is free of charge – all concerts at 10.30pm) kicks off on Friday 5 July with a performance by Marjua Limón in Plaça Catalunya, followed by Rumb(A)nd Palamós in the Park of the Convent of the Agustins on Friday 12 July, then Bemba Saoco in the petanca area of the seafront on Friday 19 May, and Miliu Calabuch on the stage on the seafront on Friday 26 July.
There are two big events this summer in Sant Feliu de Guíxols: the town’s Festa Major, between 31 July and 4 August, and the Porta Ferrada Festival featuring a host of big names in concert, including Melody Gardot on 20 July, Joan Baez on 27 July (apparently on her farewell tour), the Queen tribute band God Save The Queen on 29 July, Patti Smith on 7 August, New Order on 12 August, and The Human League on 14 August, to name but a few.
Meanwhile, in Platja d’Aro it’s the Desemboca Rock’n’Roll Festival on 6 and 7 July featuring rock, garage, R&B, soul, punk and blues in the Plaça dels Estanya, all free of charge. Jazz fans are in for a treat with eight free jazz concerts, every Friday night in July and August at 11pm, in the incomparable setting of the Cavall Bernat section of Platja Gran (the main beach).
Lloret de Mar celebrates its main annual festival in honour of its patron saint, Santa Cristina, between 13 and 28 July, with all kinds of shows and events taking place, including the beautiful Square Dance in front of the Town Hall on 24 and 26 July and a seaborne procession from Lloret beach to the chapel of Santa Cristina, behind the beach of the same name, on 24 July.
And finally, Blanes hosts its Festa Major between 22 July and 28 July which includes the International Fireworks Competition with stunning displays every night from Tuesday 23 to Saturday 27 July. Make sure you get to the town early as accesses to the town centre and port are closed between 7pm and midnight. This is a truly spectacular event, and you can find more information in our article http://bravamagazine.cat/category/worth/.
And if the heat all gets too much, simply remove yourself to the air-conditioned cool of the cinema with a big bag of Haribo and enjoy one of this month’s original-version movies…
Ocine Platja d’Aro: Yesterday, starring Himesh Patel, Lily James and Ed Sheeran, on Thursday 11 July; Wild Rose, starring Jessie Buckley and Julie Walters, on Thursday 25 July, both at 8.30pm.
Ocine Blanes: Toy Story 4, on Thursday 4 July at 8.30pm; Apollo 11, on 16, 17, 18, 19 and 20 July at 8pm.
Ocine Girona: The Dead Don’t Die, on Thursday 4 and Tuesday 9 July; Spider-Man, Far From Home, on Thursday 11 and Tuesday 16 July; Wild Rose, on Thursday 18 and Tuesday 23 July; Cold Pursuit, starring Liam Neeson, on Tuesday 6 August; Fast & Furious, Hobbs and Shaw on Thursday 8 August and Tuesday 13 August, all at 8.30pm.
Palafrugell: The Sisters Brothers, starring Joaquin Phoenix and Jake Gyllenhaal, on Saturday 6 July at 7.30pm; Orson Welles’ classic Citizen Kane, on Friday 26 July at 7.30pm and Sunday 28 July at 10pm. The original version of A Star is Born (from 1937!!) on Friday 9 August at 7.30pm and 10pm; Once Upon A Time in Hollywood, starring Brad Pitt and Leonardo DiCaprio at 7pm on Saturday 24 August; and that old classic, Singing in the Rain, on Thursday 29 August at 10pm.