The good weather is here again, bringing with it Spain's summer festivals. These are unique opportunities to enjoy music and theatre in the open air or in distinctive venues. A perfect option for a different way to spend the summer evenings.

Music or theatre? Dance or guitar concerts? A classical perfromance or a jazz session? Whatever you're looking for, you're sure to find it in Spain this summer. What's more, these festivals almost always take place in historic sites, in castles, palaces, gardens… below you'll find a few of the most important ones. Classical theatre festivals The great classics feature in many of these festivals. This is the case of the Mérida Theatre Festival in Extremadura, which is held in the spectacular Roman theatre, a part of Mérida's archaeological site which has been declared a World Heritage Site by the UNESCO. In Castile-La Mancha, the most famous festival is the Classical Theatre Festival in Almagro, which has been held since 1978 in the streets and historic buildings of the city. In Castile-León in Olmedo (Valladolid) the Olmedo Classical Festival is becoming an established fixture, and also includes acting classes and an international congress on classical theatre. Performing arts festivals Many of the summer festivals feature a range of different arts. For example, the programme of the International Festival in Santander (Cantabria) combines dance, music, and classical and modern theatre. This is also the case of the Festival Grec in Barcelona. The summer festival in Madrid known as Los Veranos de la Villa (Summers in the City) is also a very popular event. Its programme includes film and zarzuela.

Andalusia also offers a range of options. For example, the Granada Music and Dance Festival is held against the backdrop of the Alhambra, the Generalife and the Albaycín, venues declared World Heritage Sites by the UNESCO and an outstanding setting for dance music and flamenco. Music festivals In many cities in Spain, evenings in summer are accompanied by the sound of classical music. One of the most famous festivals is held in the Basque Country, with the San Sebastián Music Fortnight. This features a range of events and includes operas, classical ballet and symphony concerts. The region of Murcia hosts the famous International Cante de las Minas Festival: a high point of the year for flamenco enthusiasts. Murcia is also home to the La Mar de Músicas (Sea of Music) festival, mainly centred on folkloric music, and held every year in a different country. A similar idea underlies the International Festival in Torroella de Montgrí, in Girona (Catalonia). This event features classical and world music, as do other festivals like the Folklore Festival in the Pyrenees and Southern Pyrenees (both in Aragon), the Celtic World Festival (in Galicia) and Etnosur (in Andalusia). Andalusia is also home to one of the most exciting musical events of the summer: the Cordoba Guitar Festival. This festival has a distinctly Spanish atmosphere, with the guitar starring as the main protagonist in works of classical music, as well as flamenco, rock, blues… Jazz nights If you like jazz, you can be sure to find this musical genre in abundance up and down the country during July. These are just a few: The Pontevedra festival, in Galicia. In the Basque Country: the festivals in Getxo, Vitoria-Gasteiz and San Sebastián. In Catalonia: the Vijazz Penedés in Villafranca del Penedés. In Murcia, the San Javier festival. In the Canary Islands, the Jazz y Más festival. All the more reason to come and enjoy theatre and music this summer in Spain.

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