It’s is the end of the festive season of Barcelona but we end it with one last big celebration! It is called Festes de La Mercè and you cannot simply miss it. Save the date: It will start on September 23 and will last until the 26th. La Mercè 2021 is coming!
Barcelona has had several festivals since the start of the summer but one cannot have enough festivals, right? Every neighbourhood has its own Festa (Fiesta) and some of them are quite popular such as Festa Major de Gràcia, Poble Sec, Sants or Poble Nou. Now forget about all the festivals you heard, La Mercè is the one and only celebration of the city of Barcelona. Be prepared for several shows and events that will take place in 23 different locations in 7 neighbourhoods in Barcelona. If you miss a good concert you will love this festival because over a hundred concerts will take place in 12 stages all over the city.
Despite the fact that since Covid-19 restrictions the festival habits changed a little bit, it’s for sure though we maintain the festive culture of La Mercè. Similar to last year, you need to book the events you would like to join in advance due to capacity limitations.
Excited to learn more and get ready for La Mercè edition 2021? In this blog post, we will share with you the history of La Mercè, the different events you can see and festival program for the concerts as well as how to book your tickets for this amazing celebration.
What is La Mercè and why do we celebrate it?: The Legend of the patron saint of Barcelona
“The legend goes that on the night of 24 September 1218, the Virgin appeared simultaneously to King Jaume I, Saint Pere Nolasc and Saint Ramón de Penyafort. She asked all three to create an order of monks dedicated to saving Christians imprisoned by the Saracens. It was the time of the wars of religion.
Centuries later in 1687, Barcelona suffered a plague of locusts, and placed itself in the hands of the Virgin of La Mercè. Once the plague had been overcome, the Council of the City named her patron saint of Barcelona. The Pope did not ratify this decision until two centuries later, however, in 1868.
After Pope Pius IX declared the Virgin of La Mercè the patron saint of the city, Barcelona began to celebrate a festival in the month of September. La Mercè really took off in 1902, when under the impulse of Francesc Cambó, the festival became the model the those that are currently held all over Catalonia. However, the history of La Mercè would suffer many high and low points that extended throughout the Civil War and the years of Franco.”
Nowadays, it is a festival held in a large number of public places with a programme centred on Mediterranean culture. In less than a week Barcelona brings together a huge programme of events which forces you to choose between them: street arts, street processions, concerts, traditional dances. It’s a mix of the popular and traditional culture of Barcelona and it is quite an unforgettable spectacle for both locals and tourists.
La Mercè 2021: What’s happening?
La Mercè 2021 is in particular special because this year is the 150th anniversary of the biggest festival in Barcelona. During the Mercè Festival, you can enjoy a compendium of popular culture from all over Catalonia: dance, circus and theatre on the street. Like Sardanes (typical Catalan dance), Castell (the human towers) and devils from the Camp of Tarragona. The streets are crowded and you can discover hundreds of parades, creating a spectacular procession. The organisation of the street parades relies on groups representing popular culture working side by side with the street artists. Their main task means consist of keeping alive the festive and theatrical spirit that these events have always had.
The tribute to popular culture will take place along the entire Paseo de Gracia, between Diputación and Rosselló streets, on September 24.
This year’s festival will bring us back into contact with our best-loved traditions and will provide us with plenty of good excuses to reconquer the city, enjoying a thousand and one cultural events and experiences. The festival’s classic settings will once again feature in this festive date par excellence on Barcelona’s cultural calendar, but, as you will see, new venues have been added, some right on your doorstep, helping to bring the festivities to all corners of the city and make it as diverse and widespread as possible. – Barcelona.cat
The Festival Program for La Mercè 2021
CAMPO DE FÚTBOL DEL COMPLEJO DEPORTIVO MUNICIPAL TEIXONERA – VALL D’HEBRON
Thursday 23: 31 FAM (20.20 h), Queralt Lahoz (21.40 h), La Dame Blanche (23 h)
Friday 24: Cristian de Moret (20.20 h), Senior i el Cor Brutal (21.40 h), Los Enemigos (23 h)
Saturday 25: Alison Darwin (20.20 h) Power Burkas (21.40 h) Nueva Vulcano (23 h)
JARDINS DEL DOCTOR PLA I ARMENGOL
Thursday 23: Maria Hein (20.20 h), Carlota Flâneur (21.40 h), Núria Graham (23 h)
Friday 24: Lles (Sona 9) (12 h), Reïna (Sona 9) (21.45 h), Les Buch (Sona 9) (13.30 h), Iris Deco (20.20 h), Gessamí Boada (21.40 h), Gemma Huguet (23 h)
Saturday 25: Samuel Nagati (Festival Brot) (12 h), Quiròfan (Festival Brot) (13.15 h), Renaldo & Clara (20.20 h), Caïm Riba (21.40 h), Pau Vallvé (23 h)
MOLL DE LA FUSTA
Saturday 25: Las Karamba (19.30 h) Roberto Fonseca Trio (21.30 h) Interactivo (23.30 h)
Thursday 23: Ayom (20.20 h), Bandé Gamboa (21.40 h), Les Amazone d’Afrique (23 h)
Friday 24: The Crab Apples (20.20 h), Sofia Gabanna (21.40 h), Stay Homas (23 h)
Saturday 25: Joana Serrat & The Great Canyoners (20.25 h), Buhos (21.35 h), Oques Grasses (23.10 h)
MOLL DE LA FUSTA – BESÒS
Thursday 23: Sandra Monfort (18.30 h), Ed Maverick (20.30 h), Cariño (22.30 h)
Friday 24: Cabiria (18.30 h), Centauros (20.30 h), Hidrogenesse (22.30 h)
Saturday 25: La Húngara (18.30 h), Bea Pelea (20.30 h), Samantha Hudson (22.30 h)
MOLL DE LA FUSTA – LLOBREGAT
Thursday 23: Le Diouck (19.30 h), Issam (21.30 h), Crystal Murray (23.30 h)
Friday 24: Free Sis Mafia (19.30 h), Juicy Bae (21.30 h), Santa Salut (23.30 h)
PLAÇA JOAN COROMINES
Thursday 23: Bikôkô (20.50 h), Wind Atlas (22.10 h), Fulu Miziki (23.30 h)
Friday 24: Rata Negra (20.50 h), Una Bèstia Incontrolable (22.10 h), Viva Belgrado (23.30 h)
Saturday 25: Ulldeter (20.50 h), Kai Landre (22.10 h), Planningtorock (23.30 h)
ANTIGA FÀBRICA ESTRELLA DAMM
Saturday 25: Eterna Juventut (12 h), Estruç (13.30 h), Tronco (17.30 h), Lidia Damunt (19 h), Rusowsky (20.30 h)
Sunday 26: Antonia Jiménez (17 h), Yndi Da Silva (18.30 h)
Thursday 23: Orquestra Àrab de Barcelona (20.20 h), Canzionere Grecanico Salentino (21.40 h), Barcelona Gipsy Balkan Orchestra (23 h)
Friday 24: Aziza Brahim (20.20 h), Mariola Membrives (21.40 h), Carmen Linares (23 h)
Saturday 25: Toti Soler (20.20 h), Judit Nedderman (21.40 h), Clara Peya (23 h)
FABRA I COATS
Thursday 23: Raquel Lúa (19 h), Marta Gómez (20 h), Marçal Calvet i Clara Poch (21 h), Alavedra (22 h), White Solar Dog (23 h)
Friday 24: Flamenco Queer (20 h), Fera y Las Disidentes (21 h), Las Marikarmen (22 h)
Saturday 25: La Prenda Roja (12 h), Anna Colom (13 h), Tilde (19 h), Kenya (20 h), Prince Osito & The Cleftones (21 h), Mechero (22 h), Lil Russia (23 h)
Friday 24: Alba Morena (12 h), Cor Jove de l’Orfeó Atlàntida (18.30 h), Barcelona Rainbow Singers (20 h)
Saturday 25: Ana Brenes (12 h)
Sunday 26: Liceu Blam Collective (Fundació Conservatori Liceu) (12 h)
PLAÇA MAJOR DE NOU BARRIS
Thursday 23: Banda Municipal de Barcelona (20.45 h)
Friday 24: Orquestra Simfònica de Barcelona i Nacional de Catalunya (OBC) (20.45 h)
Saturday 25: Orquestra Simfònica del Gran Teatre del Liceu (20.45 h)
Sunday 26: Big Bang de l’Escola de Música Jam Session (12 h), Vozes (19.30 h)
Starting from September 14 you can reserve your tickets but for each stage, you can reserve only two tickets and the reservation can be cancelled if you cannot attend eventually. The ticket (free) can be reserved at lamerce.barcelona. Responsibility is requested from the public so that these reservations can be reused and there are no empty seats during the celebrations. In total, it is estimated that some 50,000 people will be able to enjoy the twelve stages.
Do you want to learn more about how to book La Mercè festivities in 2021? Here is the information you are looking for.
Enjoy your time at La Mercè 2021!