Known for traditional guitar and flamenco music, the culture of music in Spain has evolved over the past several decades. Today, music lovers from across the world travel to Spain to go to one or more of their annual music festivals. Held in big cities, on beaches or in the mountains, whether to relax, dance, or reminisce about the past, the choices are endless. Listed here are just a few of the most popular festivals including genres of rock, indie, pop, electronic, jazz, and reggae.
Primavera Sound is one of the best music festivals in Spain. Celebrating its 18th year and featuring 200 bands, this festival offers music genres of pop, rock, electronic and dance. Because of the variety, people of all ages worldwide visit this festival. A few of the headlining bands this year include Lorde, Haim, and the Arctic Monkeys. New acts and legends play here every year. Held in the Forum, an outdoor auditorium built for the event, a clear view of the bands is not a problem.
Mad Cool Festival
Since making its debut in 2016, the Mad Cool Festival has proven to be a favorite among rock fans. Madrid hosts this 3-day event which begins in the early evening and continues into the early morning hours. This festival features seven stages, two more than last year, with over 100 bands scheduled to perform. A few of the headliners are Pearl Jam, Depeche Mode, Arctic Monkeys, Queens of the Stone Age, and Nine Inch Nails.
Barcelona Beach Festival
Now in its 5th year, the Barcelona Beach Festival has become one of the largest dance parties in Europe. Although this festival only lasts one day, it features 14 hours of uninterrupted electronic house music featuring some of the best DJ’s in the business. David Getta, Oliver Heldens, Robin Schulz, and Don Diablo & the Chainsmokers are headlining this year’s events.
In its 53rd year, The Heineken Jazzaldia is the oldest jazz festival in Spain. Lasting 6 days with 8 venues and over 60 performances scheduled, this festival includes both free and paid events. The main venue is at the Kursaal Centre. A few of the other venues include Trinidad square, Piene Del Viento, and Kursaal Palace. Headliners include Vincent Peirani, Michel Portal, Salvador Sobral, Kenny Barron, Brad Mehldau, Benny Green, and Carla Blea. This year’s date is 7-25 through 7-29.
Rototom Sunsplash, the largest reggae festival in Europe, debuted 25 years ago. Featuring traditional reggae, ska, dub, and dancehall, musicians from all over the world are scheduled to perform. Among the headliners are Jimmy Cliff, Ben Harper & the Innocent Criminals, and Fat Freddy’s Drop. In Benicassim, this 7-day event will include over 18 hours of music daily, set on several stages, equaling over 200 performances. Set for 8-16 through 8-22, on the beach.
With all the choices available, it would be difficult to choose which among them are the best music festivals in Spain. Whether dancing on the beach to reggae, relaxing to smooth jazz, playing the air guitar to favorite classic songs, or finding a new band to follow, Spain is the place to visit.