With the stars shining above your head, a glass of sweet wine in your hand, and the sounds of a guitar and solo voice rising from the stage, flamenco festivals are a great way to connect with the Spanish spirit. Flamenco is seen as the national art which engulfs song, dance, and guitar. Yet flamenco is way more than that – its a feeling, its emotion. In the summer months, many cities, towns and villages, host fantastic festivals where people from all over the world gather in intimate venues or on grassy fields to hear the sweet sounds of the music. While many tourists and travellers flock to the Andalusian region of Spain to attend a flamenco festival, performances and shows are popping up all over the country, from major cities to tiny lesser-known villages. If you are a flamenco lover, or simply looking to join in on one of the most authentic and culturally rich experiences in Spain, you should consider heading to one of the best flamenco festivals in Spain. Let’s take a look at the main upcoming events this summer:
1. Festival de Jerez de la Frontera, Cádiz
When: February 24th – March 11th, 2017
Each year for two weeks, the colourful and vibrant city of Jerez de la Frontera hosts one of the most magical flamenco festivals in the entire world. The Festival de Jerez combines many performances over the two week span and even holds dance classes to teach visitors and locals alike how to move to the sounds of flamenco. The festival features events and plenty of shopping and marketplaces to purchase handmade local goods. What makes this festival unique to others is that the city of Jerez de la Frontera is home to some of the best sherries in the world. Served up at the festival, it is possible to enjoy not one unique experience in Spain, but two! Although this festival has passed this year, it is a must see in 2018.
2. Bienal Malaga en Flamenco, Malaga
When: March 3rd – September 9th, 2017
With over 300 flamenco artists and performers attending the Bienal Malaga en Flamenco festival, the festival in the beach city is always lively and provides a different experience than festivals in rural towns and cities. The flamenco festival in Malaga only takes place once every two years, and lucky for us, it will be happening in 2017. The unique thing about this festival is that it’s celebrated over the course of six months. Even though visitors wait for two years for its arrival, it lasts an incredibly long and provides many performances, intimate gatherings, marketplaces, dining options, and dance lessons. The Bienal de Flamenco de Malaga allows you to spend your days at the beach and your nights in a cosy bar listening to incredibly talented performers.
3. Suma Flamenca, Madrid
When: June 15th – July 3rd, 2017
Due to its location in the capital, Suma Flamenca is one of the busiest flamenco festivals in the country. Hosting live performances, activities, markets, and workshops over the course of two and a half weeks, Suma Flamenca draws in thousands of visitors. While this festival is one of the more popular ones, it provides visitors with a much different experience than those found in small towns and villages across Spain. With a less natural and rural location and thousands of people, the festival is more like a party and less peaceful than its rural counterparts. This festival is perfect for travellers who are looking to experience an authentic part of Spanish culture without going far from the major city of Madrid.
4. Flamenco on Fire, Pamplona
When: August 22nd – 27th, 2017
Taking place over the course of one week in the popular city of Pamplona, Flamenco on Fire is one of the most popular flamenco festivals due to its location. Pamplona draws in hundreds of tourists each year due to its many unique festivals and Flamenco on Fire is no different. With live performances, activities, workshops, and communal dance lessons, the flamenco festival in Pamplona is lively and unforgettable.
Other festivals to attend in Spain:
June: Festival Torre del Cante, Alhaurín de la Torre
June: Festival de Flamenco Juna Talega, Dos Heramanas
June: Potaje Gitano, Utrera
July: Festival de Cante Grande, Alora
July: Caracola Lebrijana, Lebrija
August: Noche Flamenca de Santa Maria, Antequera
August: Noche Flamenca de Albaicin, Granada
August: Gazpacho Andaluz, Moron de la Frontera
August: Festival de cante grande, Ronda
August: Festival Flamenco, Torremolinos
September: Festival de Cante Hondo A Mairena, Mairena del Alcor
September: Bienal de Arte Flamenco, Seville (Once every two years)