The Basque Country is known for its rich musical tradition and vibrant cultural scene. Throughout the year, the region hosts a variety of music festivals that attract visitors from around the world. If you are a lover of live music, here are some of the best festivals that you cannot miss:
Bilbao BBK Live
This is one of Spain’s hottest pop and rock music festivals. Bilbao BBK Live will return to Kobetamendi on July 11, 12 and 13, 2024. The recent 17th edition has been a resounding success, standing out for its focus on sustainability, gastronomy and diversity, and has left an indelible mark on the more than 120,000 attendees from 75 countries. Bands like Arctic Monkeys, The Chemical Brothers, Pavement and Florence + The Machine have made this musical event an unforgettable experience full of communication and fun. The organization is proud to have achieved a “green and record-breaking” event that marked a milestone in the history of the festival.
Azkena Rock Festival
Azkena Rock Festival (ARF) is intrinsically linked to Vitoria-Gasteiz, where it has been held for 21 years.It is usually held in late June or early July. Stars like Iggi Pop, Rancid or Lucinda Williams have stepped onto the stage in this latest edition of a festival that will bring together thousands of people again next year.
From July 21 to 25, Donostia/San Sebastián will be filled with music with the celebration of Jazzaldia 2023, an event that will feature the participation of numerous renowned artists. With 16 stages in different emblematic places such as Trinitate Plaza, Keler Gunea (Zurriola beach), Kursaal Auditorioa, FCC Victoria Eugenia Antzokia, Škoda San Telmo Museoa, Frigo Gunea, Fnac Gunea, Chillida Leku, Kutxa Fundazioa (Tabakalera), Sala Club, Nauticool, Garbera, San Martin Merkatua, Irún, Fnac Foruma and the Hotel María Cristina, a total of 90 concerts will be held, of which 60 will be free.
In addition, there will be space for local groups, families with the eleventh edition of Txikijazz, and JazzEñe, a sample of Spanish jazz within the San Sebastián Jazz Festival. The lineup includes huge stars and established artists such as Norah Jones, Ben Harper, Joss Stone, Pat Metheny, Village People, Abdullah Ibrahim, Kenny Barron, Enrico Rava, Bill Frisell, Tiken Jah Fakoly, Yosuke Yamashita, Fred Wesley & The New J.B.’ s, Jerry Bergonzi, Eri Yamamoto, Bamba Wassoulou Groove, Michele Hendricks & Ronald Baker Project, among others. Don’t miss this exciting musical event full of talent and passion at Jazzaldia 2023.
Festival de Jazz de Vitoria-Gasteiz
The Vitoria-Gasteiz jazz festival creates a unique atmosphere in which the sounds of established artists and emerging promises are intertwined. It is an opportunity to discover new musical proposals and enjoy the performances of renowned exponents of this musical genre.
Bilbao, Architecture & Culture
Festival MAZ Basauri:
This is a festival of contemporary music that takes place in Basauri. It features a variety of musical styles, including rock, pop, and electronic music. The festival has been held annually since 2005 and has featured artists such as The Gift, Lori Meyers, and La Casa Azul.
Festival Euskal Herria Zuzenean
This festival is dedicated to live music and takes place in various locations throughout the Basque Country. It features a variety of musical styles, including rock, pop, and folk music. The festival has been held annually since 2007 and has featured artists such as Mikel Erentxun, Rulo y la Contrabanda, and Berri Txarrak.
Festival Getxo Folk
This is a folk music festival that takes place in Getxo. It has been held annually since 1979 and features performances by traditional and contemporary folk musicians from the Basque Country and around the world. The festival also includes workshops, exhibitions, and other cultural activities.
Festival Donosti Kluba
This is a festival of electronic music that takes place in San Sebastian. It has been held annually since 2010 and features performances by DJs and electronic music producers from the Basque Country and beyond. The festival also includes workshops, talks, and other activities related to electronic music.
MEM – Festival Internacional de Arte Experimental de Bilbao
This is a festival of experimental art that takes place in Bilbao. It features a variety of art forms, including performance art, video art, and sound art. The festival has been held annually since 2008 and has featured artists from around the world.
These are just a few examples of the exciting music festivals that take place in the Basque Country. Each one of them offers a unique experience and the opportunity to enjoy renowned artists in a festive atmosphere. Whichever you choose, you will be surrounded by good music, a festive atmosphere and warm Basque hospitality.