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And they're off! La Mercè 2022, Barcelona's festa major or major city street festival is underway, filling city streets, squares and venues from Friday September 23rd to Monday 26th with all kinds of activities. Here's our guide to all the details so you don't miss anything: La Mercè 2022 programme and app, this year's poster, the traditional Catalan culture, all the concerts in the BAM 2022 and La Mercè music series, the annual Piromusical and its magnificent fireworks, the Cursa de la Mercè 10km roadrace, the "open doors" sessions offering free entry to some museums...

Mercè 2022 programme

The official Mercè 2022 program is now available in PDF (in Catalan). It includes all the activities such as concerts, cultural events, cabaret, "open doors", Piromusical, and so on... the city council also provides most of the festival information in English, starting at this homepage. You can also download the official Mercè app from Google Play or the Apple Store.

Mercè 2022 poster

The annual poster for the La Mercè festivities this year is the work of David de las Heras, a Basque illustrator and artist who lives in Barcelona. With his proposal for this year, he wanted to pay tribute to Barcelona's Festa Major as a transversal and intergenerational celebration that "throughout time has united symbols, tradition, culture and citizenship".

If you like the poster, featuring three generations of the same family, you can pick up a copy (while stocks last) both at Sala Ciutat (Carrer Ciutat, 2) and at Palau de la Virreina (the Rambla 99).

Cartell de la Merce 2022
Poster for La Mercè 2022 / Design: David de las Heras

Proclamation speech 2022

The "Pregó" or proclamation speech for La Mercè 2022 is being given by Barcelona film director Carla Simón, who recently achieved international fame with the film Alcarràswinner of the Berlin Festival's Golden Bear for best film, and now chosen as Spain's nomination for the Best International Film at the Oscars 2023. As you'd expect, the proclamation speech marks the opening of the festival, held on the evening of Friday 23rd September.

The concerts: a brief introduction 

La Mercè fills squares and venues all over Barcelona with free concerts. There are the Barcelona Acció Musical (BAM) concerts, the Mercè Música gigs and the Cultura Viva section, music of all flavours and from all over the world. The concerts are distributed in a multitude of settings such as Avinguda Maria Cristina, the Teatre Grec, the Jardins del Doctor Pla i Armengol, the Bogatell beach, the Ronda de Sant Antoni...

As the Mercè 2022 festivities have Rome as a guest city, there will be a lot of Italian music: the women's choir led by Rachele Andrioli, the luthier and musician specializing in contemporary folk Paolo Angeli, the Neapolitan and at the same time Barcelonin Alessio Arena...

Els Catarres Mercè
Els Catarres in a previous edition of La Mercè

If you prefer something more symphonic, you have a mandatory appointment on Friday 23th September, when the Barcelona Municipal Band will perform, at Plaça Major de Nou Barris, with a inspired by popular festivals and dances. On Saturday 24th there is a performance by the Symphony Orchestra of the Gran Teatre del Liceu and the following day, Sunday 25th, the Barcelona and National Symphony Orchestra of Catalonia (OBC) plays.

Sounds of Latin America, experimental music, Mediterranean artists, new voices that you have to discover... In the musical field, Barcelona's festa major has always been multicultural, and Mercè 2022 is no exception. You have more information in this complementary guide:

🎶 Concerts for La Mercè 2022 in Barcelona: hours, venues and details (in Catalan) 

🎤 BAM 2022: Who's playing and when (in Catalan) 

Pyromusical 2022: Barcelona's fireworks show 'par excellence'

You can't miss the Pyromusical, with its magnificent fireworks set to music, as the grand finale of the Mercè 2022 festivities. In addition, this year the usual format returns after two anomalous editions due to the pandemic. The show will take place on Monday, September 26th, 2022, the last day of the celebrations, around 10pm. The fireworks will be launched from Montjuïc and can be watched live from nearby Avenida Reina Maria Cristina.

As with previous editions of La Mercè, this year there will be other pyrotechnic shows over the previous days. Specifically, you can enjoy a display of Italian pyrotechnics at the Espigó del Gas on Barceloneta beach.

  • Friday, September 23th at 10 pm: Iannota Fireworks (Naples, Italy)
  • Saturday, September 24th at 10 p.m.: Morsani Fireworks (Rome, Italy)
PIROMUSICALS Photo Jordi de Temple aj bcn
The Pyromusical from a previous edition of La Mercè. / Photo: Jordi de Temple

Weather for Mercè 2022 in Barcelona

Usually it rains a bit! It's just that time of year! And that is indeed the forecast for 2022 as well. So take jackets and brollies. In fact, from Friday 23rd, showers and heavy storms are expected, as well as unstable weather and a fall in temperatures. Oh well. Singing in the rain... 

Catalan popular culture: from 'gegants' to the 'correfoc' 

The grand procession, the Cavalcada de la Mercè, takes place on Saturday, September 24th, 2022. The parade starts at 6pm on Carrer Pelai (corner with Gravina) and the route goes to Plaça Catalunya, then down the Rambla and into Carrer Ferran, to Plaça Sant Jaume. The central axis of the Cavalcade are the iconic gegants or giants. These, for approximately 2 hours, tour and dance through the emblematic streets and squares of the centre of Barcelona, ​​inviting any spectator to participate in the festive atmosphere.

But this is only one of many opportunities you will have to encounter Catalan popular culture in the streets of central Barcelona: from Friday to Monday there are exhibitions, parades, Sardana dances - check out times and venues in English here - and of course, the Correfoc or Fire run, on Sunday afternoon (for kids) and evening (for grown-ups)in Passeig de Gràcia. And then there are the castellers...

Castellers de la Mercè 2022

As every year, the Mercè 2022 contests in the dramatic Catalan sport of human castle building take place over 2 days in Plaça Sant Jaume:

  • Saturday 24th September at 12 noon: Seven groups from the city compete in Plaça de Sant Jaume.
  • Sunday 25 September at 12 noon: The main Castellers day in Plaça Sant Jaume with invited groups including Castellers de Barcelona, Minyons de Terrassa and Joves Xiquets de Valls.
Castellers Barcelona Mercè 2021 - Castellers de Barcelona
The Castellers de Barcelona at La Mercè 2021 

Cursa de la Mercè in 2022

The annual 10 kilometre run, the Cursa de la Mercè 2022 took place, as usual, just before the rest of the festival on Sunday, September 18th, in a year when all the proceeds went to the Catalan ALS Foundation (Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis) Miquel Valls.

cursa merce1
The Mercè 10k race

"Open doors" at La Mercè 2022

If you are attracted to the more cultural side of the Mercè 2022 festivities, remember this great tradition: on the occasion of this great Festa Major, several museums in Barcelona, along with other cultural spaces and monuments such as the Sagrada Família, will offer admission completely free. Here are some of them: Monastery of Pedralbes, the Cosmocaixa, the Museum of Natural Sciences, the Botanical Garden, the National Museum of Catalonia (MNAC), the Museum of Contemporary Art of Barcelona (MACBA), the Museum of History of Catalonia, the Maritime Museum of Barcelona, the Picasso Museum, the Born Center for Culture and Memory, the Montjuïc Castle.