Festivals In Spain: Music, Food & Culture

Festivals In Spain: Music, Food & Culture

From throwing tomatoes, to live music at the top of a mountain, Spain is the country to go for when it comes to festival variety both in music choice and activity.

Described as an exotic country by endless travel blogs and guides, here's our rundown of what spectacular events to check out in this idyllic Iberian location.

Food Festivals

LA TOMATINA - Unlike the other food festivals on this list, La Tomatia is more about the joyful fun of throwing food instead of eating it. Putting the town of Buñol on the map for one of the world's largest food fights, La Tomatina is a long-standing fun tradition that has happened since 1945. Over 150,000 tomatoes are thrown at thousands of goggle wearing participants from trucks and buckets creating a perfect excuse to get wild and messy.

FIESTA DE LA BUTIFARRA - Honouring the classic butifarra sausage of Majorca, every third Sunday in October the town of Sant Joan becomes a feast of stalls offering tastings during the day, and night-time dancing at an event organized by a local motorbike chapter.

FERIA DE LA MANZANILLA - Devoted to Sanlúcar's signature wine Manzanilla, around late May to early June there is always a week long celebration featuring dancing competitions, several events where wine is served and an eye-catching firework display on the closing Sunday.

Music Festivals

BILBAO BBK - Taking place at the luscious green heights of Arriaz mountain, Bilbao BBK is a rock and pop music festival located ideally between Bilbao city and the beautiful coast. The first 2015 headliner to be confirmed is Muse, with 2014's lineup featuring Franz Ferdinand, The Prodigy and The Black Keys.

AZKENA ROCK FESTIVAL - From heavy metal to classic rock, this celebration of all things Rock & Roll has grown incredibly in size since its 2002 inception, with the 2015 edition so far confirming Red Fang, Eagles Of Death Metal and ZZ Top.

MONEGROS DESERT FESTIVAL - And now for a completely different image from the green and guitar pastures of our last two choices. Monegros is a large rave in the middle of a desert with a world-class lineup of house, techno, drum and bass and dubstep. 2014 featured Skrillex, Carl Cox, Steve Aoki and Boyz Noise.

BENICASSIM - One of the most highly coveted events on the international summer calender, world famous pop, rock and electronica along with films and other artistic ventures can be found at "FIB" (slang for Festival Internacional de Benicàssim). With the chance to camp on the beach, 2014 attendees danced to the sounds of Kasabian, Tine Tempah, Ellie Goulding, Chase & Statu, Jake Bugg and Alesso.

VIDA FESTIVAL - If you are looking for something a bit more laid back, then Vida Festival is the one for you providing a holiday escape to the seaside location of Vilanova i la Geltrú. From a stage in a forest to the decks of a beach club, Vida Festival is a dreamy gathering for fans of singer-songwriters.

SONAR BARCELONA - With editions taking place all over the world, the home of the original event is Barcelona. From live performances to showcases and side events, the festival is known for transforming the area into a cultural hotspot for advanced sound appreciation.

PRIMAVERA SOUND - a celebration of the more independent sounds, Primavera truly is an eclectic offer with a lineup that treads the spectrum from RnB to punk. Celebrating it's 15th birthday this 2015, the festival has already confirmed the likes of The Strokes and the anticipated reform of Ride.

Culture Festivals

BIENAL DE FLAMENCO SEVILLA - Since 1980 this bi-annual event has attracted the very best flamenco dancers and musicians from around the world, taking over the various venues of the city of Sevilla. Outside of the official program there also countless side-shows, events, exhibitions and more.

THE ARIZKUN CARNIVAL - Every year hundreds of people gather in the village of Arizkun to run over flaming bonfires, a ritual tradition that dates back to the pagan times. Believed to scare off evil sprits and encourage fertility the event usually takes place around February.

RUNNING OF THE BULLS - Equally adored and detested for its controversial use of animals, every year this event takes place between July 6-14 beginning at 8am, where a small group of bulls are released onto the streets for participants to run away from. Some traditions say the event begun as a means to transport cattle and use excitement as a trick to hurry the process.

THREE KINGS DAY - On the 6th January Christian countries around the world celebrate 'Epiphany' differently, but all over Spain is El Día de los Reyes (The Day Of The Kings). Traditionally when the three kings came to bring gifts to baby Jesus, it's a special day for children in Spain and Latin America, where colourful processions and street parades lead through the streets throwing sweets to excited children.

Whether you're looking to fill your belly or put your body into action, the Spanish festival landscape is a rich assortment of food and wine feasts, long-standing traditions and music festivals celebrating milestone after milestone.

With events taking place at the top of mountains, by the beach and amongst vibrant towns, you might want to consider staying in Spain for a whole year! 


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