Grec Festival in Barcelona is an international festival of theatre, dance, music and circus. The festival has been around for more than 40 years in Barcelona, it is one of the main cultural attractions in Barcelona in summer and a must in the European calendar for scenic arts.
The Festival is called "El Grec" because of its main location which is an open air amphitheatre called the Greek theatre that was built during the Universal Exhibition in 1929 in Montjuïc. Originally the Grec was held only in this theatre, but now it has grown so much that has other scenarios across the city.
The festival presents the best creations of Catalan artists and supports shows that are presented in the festival in Barcelona. Every year gathers the most interesting propositions that get to the stages of Spain and the rest of the world.
From 2009 the Greg organisation works hand in hand with other European festival in scenic arts to organize projects together and exchange working experiences to integrate them in their work. This combined effort is called Kadmos network and are part of it the Grec, The Avinyon festival, the Athens-Epidauro and the Internation theatre festival in Istanbul.
Some of the big names that have stepped into the Grec are: Dario Fo a Lindsay Kemp, Pina Bausch, la Merce Cunningham Dance Company, la Martha Graham Dance Company, Jan Fabre, Peter Brook, Sasha Waltz, Michel Piccoli, Krystian Lupa, Robert Lepage, Matthias Langhoff, la compañía Cheek by Jowl, Ko Murobushi, Romeo Castelucci, Ryoji Okeda, Virgilio Sieni, Pippo Delbono, Saburo Teshigawara o el Cloud Gate Dance Theatre de Taiwán, Lluís Pasqual, Mario Gas, Núria Espert, Els Comediants, Dagoll Dagom, La Fura dels Baus, Paco de Lucía, Cristina Hoyos, Carles Santos, Nacho Duato, Carme Portaceli, Àlex Rigola, Calixto Bieito or Cesc Gelabert among many others.
Not only actors and directors have been in the Grec but also groups and singers such as Miles Davis, Pat Metheny, Lou Reed, Manhattan Transfer, Joe Cocker, Celia Cruz, Maria Creuza, Caetano Veloso, UB40, Chuck Berry, Elvis Costello, B. B. King, Bob Dylan, Laurie Anderson, Santana, Youssou N’Dour, Lokua Kanza, Keith Jarrett, Concha Buika, Antony and the Johnsons or Ryuichi Sakamoto.
Grec performance spaces
Teatre Grec is the main performance stage, the amphitheatre that was built in 1929 in a quarry. The Theatre Lliure is one of the big epicentres of theatre in Barcelona and is of course one of the stages of Grec too.
Mercat de les Flors, is a market that was converted into a theatre and the building has a beautiful cupola of 12 metres and decorated by Miquel Barceló. The market has room for more than 1000 people in three different rooms.
National Catalonia theatre is one of the main theatre's in town located near Glòries square. The threate has capacity for more than 1.6k people in three different rooms.
L’Auditori. Another important building that is focused on music, is where the Sinfonic Orchestra of Barcelona and the Catalonia's National Orchestra is located as well as the Superior Music School in Catalonia and the Music Museum. With a capacity of more than 3000 people is one of the biggest locations.
The theatres in town also participate in the Grec, there is a theatre for every size and genre from Teatre Romea or Villaroel to other more alternative in what they perform as Sala Beckett.