Carnival in Madrid, much like in dozens of cities all over the world, is a time of dressing up and getting ready for a good Fiesta! For one week in February, Carnival time gets people out of their homes and onto the streets of Madrid as well as in bars and clubs. The annual Carnival event opens with a Grand Carnival Parade at Plaza Mayor after which people parade and dance around Madrid’s old town. There is plenty to watch including traditional dances plus plenty to participate in such as a costume contest so don’t forget to pack your own and get in on the fun too! Carnival ends on Ash Wednesday with a somewhat strange ceremonial tradition during which sardines are carted around to the beat of a marching band, before being buried.
If you love flamenco or have never seen a flamenco dance being performed in front of your very eyes then the Caja Madrid Flamenco Festival is a must! The one-week festival invites leading names, male and female, of the flamenco world to perform in a series of sessions that guarantee plenty of foot-stomping, sorrowful singing and, of course, intense guitar playing. Venues include La Casa Encendida, the Teatro Circo Price and the Teatro Canal de la Comunidad de Madrid. Tickets, altough a little pricey, should be bought early. You will fall in love with the sensational flamenco dance-style after this festival. It’s almost guaranteed! The serious and angry faces of the performers, the passion in each one of their movements, even the sexy and flowy skirt of the female dancers which whirls this way and that way will leave you with chills and wanting more or at least with the desire to be able to dance the flamenco too. The Caja Madrid Flamenco Festival is a prestigious and classy event that should not be missed if you’re in Madrid in the month of February (dates vary). Note that Caja Madrid Flamenco Festival is the name mostly used when referring to this magnificent event, however, in 2012 the name was replaced by its now official name Bankia Flamenco Festival.
The International Fashion Week is one of the most talked about spring events in Madrid - a capital renowned for its importance in the fashion industry much like Paris and Rome. The event is a biannual showcase for the best of the best in terms of Spanish and International clothes designers to present their latest collections. Apart from designers, the event attracts some big celebrity names in addition to having top-tier models walk up and down vibrant catwalks wearing the latest fashion trends. Although the event is normally for professionals only, it is possible for you to get in on the fun too.
The Madrid Science Fair is a super family annual event. The Science Fair is a project created in 2000 to raise public awareness of science and hopefully inspire more interest in the area. The four-day Science Fair in Madrid, held in the month of April, invites schools, universities, museums and scientific institutions to represent themselves. Using funny and motivating methods along with teaching the importance of observation, experimentation and analysis, the Madrid Science Fair is an ideal event for families to attend. Not only is it an educational event, it features plenty of hands on exhibits for you and your children which will most certainly awaken your senses and interest in the world of science.
Festimad Sur is Madrid’s most important rock festival and biggest music event. Lasting two days only, the Festimad event is held during the last week of May. It invites up and coming musicians as well as European and internationally known bands and solo artists to perform their best and newest hits. Some a-list bands and artists which have already graced the Festimad stage include Metallica, Rammstein, Marilyn Manson, Muse, Alice in Chains, The Prodigy, Pearl Jam, Linkin Park, System of a Down, Public Enemy and the Lost Prophets. The venue, which is subject to changes, is normally situated close to the city centre meaning getting to the event is particularly easy. The Festimad Sur festival includes various genres of rock such as alternative, hard rock, metal and soft rock but also features other musical genres, for example, hip hop and DJs during the course of the festival. This annual event also makes sure to provide plenty of food and drink stalls so that you don’t miss one second of the festival! The Festimad Sur event attracts thousands of spectators from all over the world and promises plenty of headbanging moments. We hope you have a rockin’ time!
The Festival de Otoño en Primavera or Autumn Festival in Spring showcases a series of spectacles ranging from theatre, visual arts, circus, dance and music performances. The festival is regarded as being Madrid’s most major cultural and performing arts event. In previous years this event was held during the months of October and November until it broke with tradition in 2010 passing to May and June, spring time. You can catch this event not only in the capital of Madrid but also in surrounding towns. Within Madrid, however, fantastic shows are put on in various venues including the Teatros Albéniz and Zarzuela, the Círculo e Bellas Artes, Teatro Pradillo and Sala Cuarta Pared. The Festival de Otoño en Primavera hosts an impressive range of acts, musical groups and performances from leading theatre companies from all parts over the world such as the United States, Argentina, France, Tunisia, Italy, Germany, Switzerland, United Kingdom, Belgium, Russia, the Netherlands and Australia making it one of Madrid's most significant events.
The MetroRock is an urban festival in Madrid and an annual event that started small, growing progressively over the years into a full-on event. The MetroRock festival began its existence as a series of free concerts which took place in Madrid’s underground stations. Today, however, it is held in an ideal location, Parque Juan Carlos I, a huge open-space. The line-up includes a pleasing mix of Spanish as well as international bands and solo artists of a variety of genres. The MetroRock festival which promises spectators plenty of memorable moments is a two-day event and takes places during the month of June.
La Noche en Blanco, translated as 'the sleepless night' but known in English as White Night when famous buildings and locations are lit up, is a highly anticipated one night only annual event in Madrid. This special evening which takes place on a chosen date in September, sees people wandering in and out of the majority of Madrid’s exhibition centres, art galleries, museums, fashion shows and concerts without paying a dime! This free event will have you up all night-long but with so much excitement in the air and so much to see, you won’t even think about wanting to go to sleep. The White Night event is a complimentary ending to a full programme of art events all over the city and follows in the footsteps of other countries which also have similar events such as Nuit Blanche in Paris, Nuit Blanche in Brussels, Light Night in the United Kingdom, Lit Night in Malta and Notte Bianca in Rome.
Madrid en Danza
One thing that Madrid is much associated with is dance and the Madrid en Danza event is the capital’s most popular international dance festival which annually runs through the month of November. Leading dance companies from Spain as well as other countries participate in this festival, thus being a wonderful opportunity for dance lovers to come together and watch some of the best professional dancers perform on stage. The Madrid en Danza festival encompasses the full range of dance-styles from classical to avant-garde but places great emphasis on the contemporary dance-style. Being in Spain, the event could not pass without some special Spanish and flamenco dancing sessions too. It also features numerous activities for you to participate in: symposium, exhibitions, video showings and workshops. You can attend the various shows of the Madrid en Danza festival in various theatres throughout the city of Madrid.