Every August Gràcia hosts Barcelona’s biggest street party, La Festa Major de Gràcia. This summer the Festa takes take place from the 15th to the 21st of August, and is set to be a bigger party than ever before. Plaça de les Dones has been added to the Festa, and Providència Street will once again be a part of the proceedings as also. decked in its editing and more preventive security measures spaces.
Traditionally this has been very much a neighbourhood party for the residents of Gràcia. However, the president of the Festa Major de Gràcia Foundation, Carla Carbonell, announced at a press conference on Monday that more and more tourists are attending the Festas each year, and so the this year leaflets will be distributed in Catalan and English in Gràcia explaining the values of the Festa. Locals rightly fear that otherwise tourism will takeover their party and alter its identity.
New safety measures are being introduced this year due to this greater interest from tourists, and ensure the safety of all. This is a multi generational party with small children and great grandparents taking part, a true Spanish family affair.
Gràcia district councilor, Maite Fandos, has explained that to minimize the effect of the large number of people at the party a one-way street system will be implemented in seven of the busiest streets in order to prevent overcrowding. First aid teams will be on hand during the festival as well as marshals whose job it will be to provide advance warning of ‘correfocs’ (street level firework displays) to those with sensitive hearing. This year there will also be noise level restrictions for the first time, aimed at the 100 live music performances taking place.
Technology is being incorporated into the Festa for the first time. A downloadable Festa de Gràcia App is being developed. This interacts with Google maps where events are plotted, and allows users to set reminders for any performances or events they do not wish to miss, and then to navigate their way there. As well as the App, this year QR codes will be placed streets and squares, allowing party-goers to access information and the program of events via their phone.
Enjoy the Festas de Gràcia!