MIRA Festival 2015

The MIRA festival is a unique festival of audiovisual experimentation, a unique sensory experience to be enjoyed through two weekends (from October the 30th to November the 7th) of exhibitions, installations, concerts, conferences, workshops and many other things that defy all attempts at categorisation!

Firstly, there’ll be audiovisual treats with performances from the the likes of Andy Stott, Rival Consoles, Lenticular Clouds and MFO.

During the weekend of the 30th and 31st of October, the Santa Mònica Arts Centre on Las Ramblas will offer a range of free activities and classes based on the subject of artistic vision, with a focus on new visual art trends, technologies and debates.

Throughout the festival workshops will be on offer for visitors. For example, the MIRA Immersive Camp 2015, a fully immersive insight into the most cutting edge and advanced digital video creation technique—Fulldome Workshop 360º. The workshop is led by international experts on the theoretical and technical aspects of dome-based audiovisual projection.


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48H Open House Barcelona 2015

48H Open House Barcelona offers a rare chance to see inside some of the city’s most inspiring buildings that otherwise remain closed to the general public. The Open House initiative was begun in London in 1992, and was brought to Barcelona in 2010 initiative to engage the public as well as visitors with the city’s architectural heritage.

Over the course of 48hrs on the weekend of the 24th to the 25th of October, over 150 buildings of note will open their doors to the public. To engage the general public, the people behind the buildings, including the architects who designed them as well as their current occupants, will come together for a series of free activities and conferences.

48H Open House has spread to other architecturally rich cities around the world, including New York, Dublin, Galway and Tel Aviv.

More information here: http://www.48hopenhousebarcelona.org/

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Hidden Art Nouveau treasures in Barcelona

Barcelona is synonymous with art nouveau and Gaudi. The Sagrada Familia is no less than Spain’s most visited monument, which along with the Casa Battlo and the Pedrera make up Barcelona’s holy trinity of Gaudi art nouveau monuments.

These are excellent sites and must be visited, but it is also worth exploring some of the lesser-known art nouveau architecture that belongs to the city’s rich architectural heritage.

This is heritage that the city is working hard at renovating and opening to the public; the Casa Viçens de Gràcia is the latest in a series of restoration projects.

Being off the beaten track there are no long queues in the sun to enter these museums, just a chance to see some beautiful architecture at your own leisurely pace, or as part of a small tour group.

A good starting place to plan your visits would be Barcelona historical group the Ruta del Modernisme’s (www.rutadelmodernisme.com) detailed map of 115 places of historical interest in the city, of which at least 20 open their doors to the public.

Or, here are some of our own favourites:


Overlooking Barcelona from upon high on Collserola, La Torre Bellesguard was built between 1900 and 1909, and opened to the public in 2013; it is more usually know as the Casa Figueres.

Originally designed by Gaudí for Jaume Figueras, a wealthy businessman and personal friend of the architect, the house was extensively renovated prior to its opening.

La Torre Bellesguard has a castle-like exterior inspired by a medieval fort which used to stand on the same spot, and whose ruins can still be seen in the grounds around the house.

During the summer you can enjoy a “Noche de Gaudí” (Gaudi night) at La Torre Bellesguard with live music, guided tour and a glass of cava.

Carrer de Bellesguard 16 www.bellesguardgaudi.com


The Cercle Artístic de Sant Lluc was a meeting point for artists and intellectuals and boasts a stellar list of former members, including Gaudí himself.

Founded in 1893 at the peak of Barcelona’s golden age and the peak of art nouveau, the Cercle moved to its current home in Palau Mercader in 2009, a small 17th-century palace off Via Laietana.

The Palau Mercader was opened for public viewing in March 2014. It houses a small but significant collection of Modernista art. Every Wednesday morning there is a tour that includes breakfast in the lovely bar, where you can soak up the atmosphere and leaf through Modernista magazines from around the world.


The Casa Lleó Morera was opened to the public in 2014. Designed by Lluís Domènech i Montaner, this house forms part of the famous Manzana de la discordia on Pg. de Gràcia,

Take a guided tour of the house’s ornate first floor, home to some especially fine examples of Modernista sculpture, ceramics, mosaics and glassworks.

Pg. de Gràcia 35 www.casalleomorera.com

Posted in Areas - The Eixample, Areas - The Old Town & Ramblas, Barcelona's Museums, design in barcelona, Exhibitions in Barcelona, Gaudi architecture | Leave a comment

Festival de Creació Contemporània Escena Poblenou

The Festival de Creació Contemporània Escena Poblenou is an exciting event that builds bridges between art, activism and society; at the same time acting as a place for performing arts professionals to meet, network and collaborate. The Festival uses unconventional spaces and unconventional methods to make the performing arts more accessible to the public.

There are lots of entertaining and thought provoking shows on offer. With the topic of immigration in the news globally, one un-missable piece is the work of Kamchatka, an artist collective whose work tackles the topic of immigration and integration.

Spanish artist Jaime Refoyo’s work deals with the essence of human nature and explores the boundaries between the natural movement of the body and the space that surrounds it.

Events take place at the Centre civic Can Felipa, Pallars 277, Poblenou, from the 22nd to the 25th of October.


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Miguel Poveda

Barcelona is not the first Spanish city you would instantly associate with Flamenco, but is the birth place of flamenco artist Miguel Poveda. Poveda, like many flamenco artists, started his flamenco career at a young age; at the age of 15 he began performing in the flamenco clubs of Catalunya.

In 1993 Poveda launched his professional career through a performance at the 33rd Festival Nacional del Cante de las Minas de La Unión in Murcia; a performance that earned him a number of awards, including the prestigious Lámpara Minera.

Building on this success, Poveda launched his by debut album, Viente del Este, in 1995; it was critically highly acclaimed.

His most recent release ‘Sonetos y poemas para la libertad’ was released earlier this year and consists of songs based on poems by classical authors and songwriters. Poveda is touring to promote the new release and will be appearing at the Teatre Coliseum for four nights from the 8th to the 11th of October.

For more information and tickets go to https://www.grupbalana.com/teatro.asp?ID=595

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Barcelona Gallery Weekend

Barcelona Gallery Weekend is an exciting new event for art lovers and a great introduction to the Barcelona art world. This weekend some 40 venues across the city, including 21 art galleries and several museums, will showcase work from an eclectic selection of artists.

Gallery Weekend showcases the work of well established and internationally known artists such as Matt Mullivan and Mladen Stilinovi with fresh up-and-coming local talent such as Perejaume and Antoni Llena.

A wide variety of artistic styles ranging from the classical to the avant-garde are on offer, with exhibitions including works from artists such as Joaquín Torres García and world famous Catalan artists such as Joan Miró and Salvador Dalí. An interesting project called ‘Compositions’ is being run alongside the main program. Curated by Latitudes (Mariana Cánepa and Max Andrews), this examines some of the less known aspects of Barcelona through a series of temporary installations by local artists.

If you feel like a bit of gallery hopping there are four suggested routes for visiting a series of exhibitions in one go, without trekking all over town! There are two in the Eixample, one in Ciutat Vella and one in Montjuïc-l’Hospitalet.

Barcelona Gallery Weekend runs from the 1st to the 4th of October. See the event website http://www.barcelonagalleryweekend.com/ for full details.

Posted in Areas - The Eixample, Areas - The Old Town & Ramblas, Barcelona's Museums, Exhibitions in Barcelona, Montjuic | Leave a comment

Picasso and the Reventós

A new exhibition celebrating Picasso’s close friendship with the local Reventós family gives some fascinating insights into Picasso’s personal life and his persona. The Reventós family were a bourgeois Catalan family from Barcelona, the same city where Picasso grew up. Picasso’s first met brothers Ramon and Jacint Reventós Bordoy in 1899, leading to a friendship over many decades.

On show are letters between Picasso and the Reventós brothers, many of which are illustrated with Picasso’s drawings, as well as a series of portraits by Picasso of the Reventós family.

Picasso’s relationship with the Reventós family survived the Civil War and the death of Ramon Reventós Bordoy in 1923. Later on in his life Picasso went on to support the family’s medical foundation, inspiring the creation of today’s Picasso-Reventós Foundation, which supported the organisation of this exhibition.

The exhibition runs from the 1st of October 2015 to the 10th of January 2016 at the Picasso Museum on Calle Montcada, 15-23.

For tickets and more information click here.

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Okoberfest Barcelona 2015

Oktoberfest is not from Catalunya. But the Catalans do love a good glass of beer and an excuse for merriment and a party. So if you are in town at the start of October, drop in on the Barcelona edition of this much loved and increasingly globalised festival.

Plenty of authentic German beers will be on offer including various Pilsners and Weiss beers, as well as official Oktoberfest brew from Paulaner, as created for the original Oktoberfest in Munich. Needless to say, typical Bavarian foods can be enjoyed, as well as live music and a great atmosphere.

The beauty of this celebration however is that it is includes everyone, with a children’s area meaning that the event is suitable for families.

While entry to Barcelona Oktoberfest is free, reserving a table is recommendable due to the popularity of the event.

More info.

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Casa Batlló Sound and Light Show

La Mercè has been celebrated in Barcelona since 1687, in honour of the Virgin of Grace (Mare de Déu de la Mercè) .

The Casa Batlló was built in 1877 by Antoni Gaudi, and is one of his most emblematic works. It features practically zero straight lines, and much of the façade is decorated with a colorful mosaic made of broken ceramic tiles.

Gaudí’s iconic Casa Batlló was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO a decade ago, and this will be celebrated as a part of this year’s celebration of La Mercè through the projection of an audiovisual son et lumiere show upon the building’s façade. This show features shapes and symbols which inspired Gaudí’s design for the Casa Batlló.

For more information go to: https://www.casabatllo.es/mapping-despertar/

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47th Voll Dam Jazz Festival

Barcelona is a city that loves Jazz. The Barcelona International Jazz Festival is fast approaching its 50th edition in the city, this year being the 47th.

The upcoming festival boasts a prestigious array of Jazz luminaries, as it does every year. Sponsored by the Catalan Voll Damm brewery, the four-month-long programme has become known as one of the biggest events on the international Jazz scene.

A performance from none other than Diana Krall marks the opening of this year’s festival, her new album Wallflower is released simultaneously. She first performed in Barcelona in 1996 and has returned on many occasions since.

Other acts included in the line-up for this year’s eclectic festival include folk singer-songwriter Iron & Wine, jazz and electronic duo Roberto Fonseca, clarinet maestro Paquito D’Rivera and Fatoumata Diawara, as well as a host of other interesting high calibre performers.

Performances take place at venues across the city. This year the Art nouveau treasure the Palau de la Musica will be used, as will the more intimate Jamboree Jazz Club.

You can obtain more information and the full line-up here. The festival runs from September the 26th to December the 10th.

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