A Veranos de la Villa 2018 official poster


by Adriana Diaz

From June 29 to September 2 the Madrid City Council is hosting the 33rd annual cultural festival, Veranos de la Villa. The festival, which boasts many different types of events including circus, theater, dance, poetry, gastronomy, all types of music, and urban sports, is celebrated throughout Madrid’s 21 districts during 44 days in 75 different venues. Most of the events are free; the few that are ticketed are priced no higher than 15 euros each. The festival brings people together from all over the city to celebrate and enjoy Madrid’s rich culture in all its forms.

Enrique Tierno Galvan, left, shown with communist Vice Mayor Ramon Tamames (he would later turn conservative), at a demonstration in May 1979

Veranos is honoring the late Enrique Tierno Galván, Madrid’s first democratically elected mayor; he would have been 100 years old this year. Tierno Galván was mayor — a most beloved one — at the time of the Movida madrileña, the cultural movement during the Spanish transition to democracy after the death of dictator Francisco Franco. It was in the course of the Movida that Tierno Galván hosted the first Veranos de la Villa. Incumbent Mayor Manuela Carmena dedicated Veranos 2018 to Tierno Galván, mayor from 1979 to 1986, “because it was he who created Veranos de la Villa, a festival which shows that when culture is spread around it becomes fruitful, it multiplies and creates constant surprises which is what we want to happen with the [Veranos] program.”

French dancer and acrobat Yoann Bourgeois will do “Fugue”, a contemporary dance, at the park of the ancient Egyptian Temple of Debod, the district of Moncloa-Aravaca, 21 – 22 July

The City Council has “decentralized” the festivities which are now celebrated throughout the villa in order to encourage locals and tourists alike to explore Madrid’s many enchanting neighborhoods. The Madrid City Council hopes that Veranos will inspire people to “move around and discover places, thereby fostering encounters and new ways of inhabiting Madrid.” The Council wishes people to discover new places or see familiar places from a new perspective. 

Madrid has become a diverse city bursting with beauty and creativity since the Movida. The Madrid City Council wants to honor Madrid, “a city filled with people of different ages, tastes, sensibilities, interests, and origins. The cultural festival celebrates Madrid as the welcoming and open city that the Movida has transformed it to be.”

Presentation of Veranos by Mayor Carmena, second from left in the background, and her team

The festival opened last June 29 in the Plaza Colón with a special concert by English musician and producer Matthew Herbert and his Brexit Big Band. Herbert and his band shared the stage with local musicians and the Choir of the Universidad Politécnica de Madrid. The concert was played by 50 musicians; it is part of a two-year project (the amount of time the Brexit process will take) that began as a result of the Brexit vote. The Veranos de la Villa explains that against the backdrop of the prevailing “climate of political division, and the feeling that ‘we are better off alone,’ Herbert celebrates multiculturalism, mutual understanding, exchange and friendship between citizens and countries beyond national borders.”

The Veranos de la Villa promises to be an eclectic celebration of Madrid with all its new trends and old favorites.

For comprehensive info, including the complete programming, see here


Featured image, Veranos de la Villa official poster, PD
Tierno Galvan/Pedro M. Martinez Corada, CC BY-SA3.0
Temple of Debod/Contando Estrelas, CC BY-SA 2.0
Presentation of Veranos by Mayor Carmena/PD


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