06 July, 2021
WILL COVID-19 AFFECT OUR DESIRED SUMMER 2021?
We are all well aware of Covid-19 and the difficult and weird times we’re living in. Since March 2020, social distancing, masks and avoiding gatherings have become part of our daily lives, influencing our priorities and the way we schedule our days. Gigs and social events now seem something to be scared of, instead of something to look forward to. The pandemic has without any doubt changed our lives and had a negative impact on the generally packed event calendar of Barcelona. But this year, with more overseas visitors and many cultural activities taking place, albeit under different circumstances with added safety measures and precautions, we should see a partial return to normality.
BARCELONA AND A GLIMMER OF HOPE
Benefiting from vaccines and rapid tests, Barcelona decided to carry out an experiment to see if they were able to bring normality back: the biggest concert in Europe since the beginning of the pandemic. The aim was to give people the hope to be able to attend live music events with no social distancing but prior test soon.
On the 27th of March 2021, five thousand people attended a Covid-19 free concert in Barcelona. All participants were given the permission of health authorities in Spain and tested ahead of the gig at three locations across the city: those who came back positive were denied the possibility to attend the show. The test results were reported back to the attendees within 10 minutes via an app on their phones: both the rapid test and the mask were included in the ticket price (around 20 Euro). The audience was not required to remain seated or be socially distanced, the only requirement was to wear the facial mask since they had all tested negative for Covid-19 prior to the event.
According to health authorities, after the concert, there was “no sign” of higher levels of infection among people who attended it: six people tested positive within 14 days, but the incidence was lower than that seen in the general population and more importantly researchers concluded that four of them were infected elsewhere and not at the concert. Festival director Jordi Herreruela stated that it was now possible to ‘see the light at the end of the tunnel’.
Following these results, authorities concluded that summer 2021 could be saved, giving people the possibility to enjoy the long, sunny days of Barcelona and attend festivals and feast with all measures required without jeopardizing their health due to Covid-19.
CURRENT COVID-19 MEASURES
Although since the 26th of June the use of facial masks is no longer compulsory outside, their use is still required inside bars or restaurants and when social distancing is not possible.
All monuments and sightseeing spots have reopened to the public, moreover many museums offer free entry once a month, generally on the first Sunday of the month.
PLANS FOR SUMMER 2021
Barcelona organized gigs, small and large, where it is possible to listen to live music for the whole summer and concerts by national and international stars. If we add this to the rising number of vaccinated people throughout Spain, we can project an increasing number of travelers coming to Barcelona from different European Countries and worldwide, renting a house and being ready to enjoy the sunny weather. But let’s have a look at the main events for this summer.
Música als Parcs (Music in the parks): open air concerts throughout various parks of the city, suitable both for families and young people. All events are free of charge and will take place during the months of July and August.
Festival Grec (the Greek Festival): The aim of this festival is to celebrate the performing arts, such as music, theatre, dance and circus. The events are organized in different locations throughout the city during the month of July, but the most characteristic one is the one held in the Greek theatre at Montjuic.
Open air cinema: nothing better than enjoying the beautiful summer weather, the long and sunny days while watching a movie under the stars. The huge screen is set up at Montjuic Castle and shows all sorts of films in their original language with Spanish subtitles. Before the film starts, you can have a picnic with your friends or family just in the area nearby or grab some snacks to eat while appreciating the movie. The cost of the ticket varies, depending on the film festival.
The huge screen is set up at Montjuic Castle and shows all sorts of films in their original language with Spanish subtitles
Festival Jardins de Pedralbes: June and July are busy months for the Jardins de Pedralbes (Garden of Pedralbes). The cost of the ticket can be cheap if purchased in advance, but can become very expensive once the concert approaches.
Brunch –in the Park: for those of you who are keen on electronic music, we highly recommend going to Montjuic Park on a Sunday in July. By purchasing the ticket (between 10 € and 13 €), you will be able to enjoy a rich brunch while listening to various DJ sessions as well as the different activities that are organized throughout the day.
Sopar amb Estrelles (Dinner with the stars): the event mixes gastronomy with astronomy by serving dinner outside the Fabra Observatory, which provides a stunning view of Barcelona. After dinner, a guided tour of the museum is held, giving you the chance to learn about the planets and stars thanks to the telescopes. This event is organized between June and October.
The Cap Roig Festival: this music festival takes place in a unique location, the Peralada Castle (el Castell de Peralada). Concerts are held throughout the whole summer and welcome national and international artists, which make the price of the tickets rather high.
Els Vespres de la UB: Every year, the gardens of the historical building of Barcelona University attract many young people, who enjoy attending the various free concerts that are held during the first two weeks of July.