Spain is on the world stage when it comes to hosting major events. On a weekly basis the country’s football league, La Liga, is recognised as one of the best in Europe with FC Barcelona and Real Madrid amongst the world’s greatest club sides of all time. Motorsport is also big on the country’s annual sporting calendar with enormous support locally and internationally for Formula One Motor Racing and MotoGP events. Tennis and golf tournaments are very popular thanks to the success of home grown talent such as Rafa Nadal and Sergio Garcia. La Vuelta a Espana cycle race is another major event on the annual calendar.
Whilst Spain is a mecca for event tourism of many kinds it is football that brings in the most visitors over the course of a year. The league season begins in late August and usually ends in early June. The biggest demand for match tickets is of course in Barcelona and Madrid but there are also plenty tourists going to games in Valencia, Seville, Malaga and Bilbao. For matches outside Barcelona and Madrid you can usually pick up tickets on the gate but for the ‘big two’ it’s worth ordering tickets before travelling.
Festivals in Spain
Every town and village in Spain has its own ‘fiesta’ which usually involves mass partying of the whole population. Whilst many such festivals are local in nature, others attract visitors from all over the world such as the Pamplona bullrun, the Fallas in Valencia and ‘Carnaval’ celebrations in the Canary Islands. More cultural affairs include the Granada International Festival of Music and Dance, Cordoba’s Guitar Festival and the San Sebastian Film Festival. The busiest time for festivals is from Easter through to September when the grape harvest sends many communities wild. Flamenco dancing and bullfighting are very common at many 0f Spain’s traditional fiestas.
Music & Artistic Events in Spain
As far as popular music events are concerned it is the Sonar Festival in Barcelona and the Benicassim International Festival which attract most overseas visitors. Meanwhile the Gran Teatre del Liceu in Barcelona attracts major operatic productions to the city. Both Madrid and Barcelona are frequently on the list of venues selected by major artists when announcing their European concert tour itineraries. These cities also host major international corporate events whilst their museums are home to a multitude of temporary art events over the course of the year.
Motor Sport Events
In recent years Spain has had the privilege of staging six major motor sport events in a year. The Circuit de Catalunya at Montmeló near Barcelona is home to the Spanish Formula One Grand Prix and the MotoGP of Catalonia whilst Valencia has had the European F1 Grand Prix and the Valencia MotoGP. The biggest national event on the motorbike calendar in Spain is the Jerez MotoGP which attracts in the region of 200,000 spectators whilst the AragonGP is the newest on the calendar.