Thursday, 05 December 2013

Barcelona to hold a New Year’s Eve celebration in Montjuïc


Barcelona (ACN).- As many other cities around the globe, the Catalan capital will end the year with a big street party. It will be the first time such a celebration is organised. The tradition will start in 2013 and it is aiming to become a significant tourist attraction. “Barcelona deserves, along with the numerous events it hosts each year, to hold something special for the last day of the year, just like many other cities in the world”, stated the President of Barcelona’s Tourism Board, ​​Joan Gaspart, during the presentation of the event. This year, the Catalan capital will start celebrating New Year’s Eve with a huge street party which is to be held at Maria Cristina Avenue, in front of the Magic Fountain of Montjuïc Mountain, from 23:30 to 00:15 at night. Famous and innovative Catalan theatre group ‘La Fura dels Baus’ and artistic production company ‘Focus’ will be in charge of the event. They wish to celebrate 2014 by staging a 15-meter-tall human-shaped figure, called ‘Ésser del Mil·lenni’ (Millenium Being). In the presentation of the event, Mayor of Barcelona ​​Xavier Trias stressed that the celebration will be a “big family party” and “not a verbena”, a typically Spanish all-night-long party.

The proposal is to organise the New Year’s Eve celebrations at the end of the Avinguda Maria Cristina (Maria Cristina Avenue), in front of the magic fountain of Montjuïc. This famous light and colour fountain is lit in the evening, from Thursdays to Sundays. This year’s celebrations will be centred on the Mediterranean and will include a show as well as fireworks. Catalan theatre group ‘La Fura dels Baus’, who is famous for their provocative staging of operas or Barcelona Olympics’ Opening Ceremony, is in charge of the staging, along with the artistic production company ‘Focus’.

Carles Padrissa, the Artistic Director of ‘La Fura dels Baus’, underlined the significance of the ‘Ésser del Mil•lenni’, stating that 100 actors would form this huge figure. Padrissa stated it was one of the most beautiful things ever achieved and that it embodied the spirit of Barcelona: “A city of many people, with a strong community feeling that has been there from the start”.

Padrissa explained the different stages of the show which will open with a big castle surrounded by water and the construction of 15-meter-tall ‘Ésser del Mil•lenni’, “made ​​of men and women, children and elderly people, which will all be lifted together”. Padrissa added that once all of them had embraced the New Year, the fireworks would start.

Barcelona aims at becoming a top city for New Year’s Eve celebrations

The Mayor of Barcelona explained that the party “would not be a verbena”, a typical all-night-long party, but that it would have more of a family feel than anything else. He also stated that it was not merely “a project for a year” and that it would favour creativity and promote the Barcelona brand around the world. In fact, during the press conference, it was said that Barcelona aimed at becoming a city of reference for celebrating New Year’s Eve around the globe.

In his speech, Joan Gaspart stressed that Barcelona “deserved” to hold such celebrations and that they had been organised thanks to a successful collaboration between the public and private sector. The President of Fira de Barcelona (Barcelona Trade Fair), ​​Josep Lluís Bonet, stated that the event would be “iconic” and that it would promote Barcelona around the world.

No or minimal cost for Barcelona City Council

Gaspart explained that the celebrations should not cost the City Council anything and that they had been looking for sponsors. “If, in the end, it turns out to be more costly than initially planned, it will be the best money ever spent” said Gaspart, who expects the event to cost around € 400,000.

The New Year's Eve party is sponsored by ‘Turisme de Barcelona’ (the city’s Tourism Board), Fira de Barcelona, Barcelona’s Chamber of Commerce, ‘Movistar’ mobile phone compan, and Barcelona’s Hotel Guild. Hide Keyboard

  • maria_cristina_avenue_montjuic

  • Maria Cristina Avenue in Montjuic, with the Magic Fountain and Catalonia's National Museum of Art at the background (by P. Francesch)