Tourism

Electronic music brings Barcelona’s tourists and residents together

Brunch in the Park attracts 6,000 people in the Montjuïc park every Sunday

“We like to think that we’re a Sunday ritual,” says Loïc Le Joliff, director of Brunch-In the Park. Mysticism aside, this electronic music event – which was born in Barcelona and has since spread to Madrid, Lisbon and Paris – has managed to bring together more than 6,000 people at each event on the slopes of Monjuïc, the iconic hill overlooking the city’s port, for two consecutive years now.

Grooving on a Sunday afternoon in Barcelona.
Grooving on a Sunday afternoon in Barcelona.Joan Sánchez

The initiative is about families, food, art, and partying, and it makes certain not to identify itself as a typical music festival. Le Joliff is clear about its defining factor and formula for success: inclusivity.

From July to August, every Sunday at 5pm, a procession of young people flows in from the gardens of Joan Brossa. The earlier part of the day features Petit Brunch, an event dedicated entirely to children – with rock climbing, music workshops and other activities. “Economically, it’s not profitable, but it’s an interesting initiative,” Le Joliff says. Tickets to the event cost between €12 and €20.

Perhaps Brunch-In the Park is encouraging people to stay in the city over the summer Loïc Le Joliff, director

Brunch-In the Park occupies the space of Monjuïc’s old amusement park. “When we found the site a few years ago, there was nothing here,” explains the director. An agreement with City Hall to transfer the public space has allowed the organizer to use the existing wooden stage and artificial grass, while City Hall has allowed them to host up to 12 events there ayear.

As evening approaches, locals and foreigners intermingle to the beat of electronic music. At a time when Barcelona has seen a notable spike in resentment towards tourists among locals, the event manages to successfully bring the two groups together. It is a fragile balance, but it seems to be working. For Le Joliff, “it’s an example of how you can manage a large number of tourists without impacting the local community.”

The party begins to wind down at 10pm, with hardcore partiers continue at the city’s Sala Apollo nightclub.

The initiative is about families, food, art, and partying

Le Joliff remembers the first reaction from City Hall when he pitched the idea: “We were told that it would be impossible to end an event at 10pm and that nothing could be organized in August because there is no one in the city at that time.” Tickets for each of the inaugural summer’s three events ended up selling out.

“When the concept of Brunch was born, people were thinking eggs, bacon, orange juice and coffee,” Le Joliff recalls with a smile. The high turnout has put it at the forefront of Barcelona’s weekend activities. “Perhaps Brunch-In the Park is helping to encourage more people to stay in the city over the summer.”

English version by Henry Hahn.

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