Not content with giving us amazing weather, great food and wonderful wine, Spain is also home to some of the most exhilarating music in the world. From traditional flamenco and folk to modern melodies, here’s a rundown of what to look out for on your Spain holidays.
The Palace of Catalan Music
This stunning venue is the only modernist concert hall to be declared a UNESCO World Heritage site. Many of the best singers and soloists have played here and it’s simply one of the best places to hear classical and traditional Catalan music in Spain, if not the world.
Getting there: The hall is a two minute walk from the Urquinaona Metro Station, just off Via Laietena.
If you want to combine a beach break with a fantastic music festival, you may want to try Primavera or Sonar. These trendy festivals have superb alternative music line-ups. If you fancy something a little more traditional then the Festival de Flamenco de Ciutat Vella held at Centro de Cultura Contemporànea de Barcelona (CCCB) is for you.
The home of flamenco music, Seville hosts the best shows of this traditional style in the world. After a warm day in the sun, try sitting down to relax with a delicious jug of Sangria and be thrilled by the pulsing rhythms and passionate dancers. You can find it at lots of different venues all year-round from tablaos to bars and peñas.
The cream of the crop: La Bienal is held every two years in September and 2012 will host the greatest flamenco musicians and dancers from all over the world.
And how could I mention Spanish music and forget the godfather of all European festivals, Beniccasim. This year Benicassim will be held between the 12th and 14th July and is one of the top music festivals in Europe. One minute you could be listening to a great band in a vibrant venue, the next cooling off in crystal-clear waters under bright blue skies. It certainly beats the mud of Glastonbury!
The amazing Spanish/British band Crystal Fighters were on the 2011 Benicassim line up, combining progressive electro with traditional Basque elements to create truly 21st century music. The 2012 line up features the reformed Stone Roses, Florence and the Machine and many other greats. Rumour has it that the festival organisers invited Noel Gallagher to headline at the same time as The Stone Roses, but opted in favour of an earlier slot, because who would dare compete?
Getting there: You can fly direct to Valencia with Cosmos and take a bus from there.