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Merc'005: Tradition and diversity at the Mediterranean bay

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The Merc'estival marks the welcoming in of the autumn season with a climate which still allows the locals and those from outside Barcelona to celebrate the festival out on the streets. The celebration, which will take place from the 22nd to the 25th of September, in honour of the Mare de D'de la Merc'the Patron Saint of Barcelona) , is a chance to enjoy the street enchantment of the Mediterranean, the very cultural diversity of the great city itself and the participation of over 3,000 artists and musicians. There is always an ample and varied selection of activities. No matter who you are or where from, you'll be sure to find something that suits you in the programme.

Every year the BAM Festival brings together groups of musicians both national and international. The performances will take place at various locations in the city, amoungst of which will be the new Plaza del F', avenida de la Catedral, Rambla del Raval, el Moll de la Fusta and la Plaza Catalunya.

The likes of Lax n'Busto, Seguridad Social, Blues Picolats, El'rica Dharma, Jarabe de Palo, Gossos, El Sue'e Morfeo and Fran Perea will be filling the stages of the concerts, organized by Cadena 100 in the Plaza del F'.

As a novelty the big celebration will see the debut first meeting of the Festivales y M's del Mediterr'o , which is where musicians and artists from Maghreb get to delite and wow the public with their musical culture in the Centro de Cultura Contempor'a de Barcelona. Te jazz and the "Cuban flavour" will also have its own opening at the hands of Santiago Auser'nd Carlos Caro, and many more.

Art and Tradition

In line with the continuous cultural development what with the preservation of Barcelona's main traditions, its a common occurrence to come across the "Gegants" (Giants) and "Capgrossos" strolling around the centre. These fantastic figures, present in all the Catalan city halls, take the little ones into a whole new world of fantasy- although in many cases their titanical size as the most mischievous kids in tears. As its also the 2005 the A'el Libro y la Lectura ( Year of the Book and Reading ) the traditional "cabalgata" of the giants will be giving homage to Julio Verne and Quijote. Alongside them, the theatre and the traveling music will flood the street with laughter and surprise thanks to the acts performed by "the street artists". In this occasion the Parc de la Ciutadella y el mercado de Santa Caterina will hold most of the acts. Whatever the type of music or artist, all are welcome to perform.

The fire party

Fireworks have become to be an indispensable part of popular Catalonian festivities. The "correfocs", devilish figures spitting fire of all sorts of colours, will take up the streets of the city centre for a few days.

One of the most waited for spectacles used to see away the Merc'estival year after year is the Piromusical. Fireworks and quality music are thrown together in a unique show aimed at the entire public. This year its back, at Motju' with a special collaboration by the Catalonian singer and composer Pep Sala The sky celebration

The Barcelona skies will also be taken up, for the typical "encuentro de globos aerost'cos" - Aerostatic balloons that is- which will be followed by an acrobatic plane exhibition, the international congregation of comets and the popular fideu'a massive special dish of noodles served to the public! ) And what better place for the sky celebration, stating from the 23rd till the 25th, to take place than the beach!

Shake your bootie for the Merc'r>
The weekend of the 24th of September the city's public transport service will amplify so you wont miss a thing. During these days of celebration the metro and the buses will be available 24hr of the day!
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