Barcelona: what's on in May

by Sally.Davies

A pick of May’s events, which span design, cinematography, red roses, video art and a whole lot of music.

Until 5 June
Loop Festival
Various galleries (
Experimental video art festival, with participants from all over Europe.

Until 13 June
Federico Fellini: The Circus of Illusion
(CaixaForum, Avda Ferrer i Guàrdia 6-8; +34 93 476 86 00;
A voyage through the creative processes of one of the world’s greatest filmmakers, with over 400 photos, film extracts and drawings.

Until 27 June.
Fortuny - the Magician from Venice
(La Pedrera, Passeig de Gràcia 92, Eixample; +34 93 484 59 00;
Spanish designer Mariano Fortuny, son of the painter of the same name, was a multidisciplinary artist ahead of his time. This exhibition displays examples of his painting, etching, stage design, lighting, photography, textile design and fashion.

22 May
Santa Rita
(Plaça Sant Agustí, Raval)
The patron saint of lost causes is celebrated with armfuls of red roses, which are blessed by a priest in the 18th-century church of Sant Agustí. Stalls in the square outside sell them to victims of unrequited love and other troubles, who then queue up for benediction. Stick around until the end when the roses are sold off for céntimos.

21-30 May
Festa Major de Nou Barris
(Nou Barris;
One of Barcelona’s liveliest festes major (neighbourhood parties), with human castles, fire-running and concerts of every stripe.

19-22 May
Flamenco Ciutat Vella
(CCCB, C/Montalegre 5, Raval; 93 306 41 00;
The Old City’s flamenco festival, with singers, guitarists and dancers from across the spectrum.

24 May
La Cursa del Corte Inglés
(All over Barcelona;
A free-entry, seven-mile fun run.

27-29 May
Primavera Sound
(Fòrum area;
An electronica and indie festival, which runs over three days and this year includes the Pet Shop Boys, Florence & the Machine, the Fall and Gary Numan.

30 May
La Tamborinada
(Parc de la Ciutadella, Born;
A colourful one-day festival for kids, with circus acts, concerts and workshops.