25 years of Music in the ParksThe

The end of an event.

The summer concerts programme in Barcelona’s parks and gardens was created in 1995, to give these spaces a new and different use during the evenings of the summer months. The idea behind the cycle was to bring quality music – in reduced-format shows – to a plural and diverse public, while encouraging young performers to take part.

The shows were in an intimate format – the acoustics in a park are often limited – and relatively short. This made them very pleasant concerts that drew city residents to music and the city’s historical gardens. The initiative also boosted the possibilities of parks as community and leisure spaces during summer evenings and nights.

As the cycle gradually established itself, it aroused the interest of numerous musicians from a range of music styles, including classical, jazz and blues, enabling it to boast a good line-up of artists and selecting judges, who increased the quality of the shows year after year.

Having started off in 1995 as “Classical Music in the Parks”, the cycle originally featured only professional musicians on its programme, performing on Fridays and Saturdays in May and June. That same period saw the establishment of another cycle, “Jazz in the Parks”, which was held every Wednesday in July and August in the Ciutadella greenhouse.

As the years went by, admission fees were no longer charged and young musicians under the age of 35 were hired through a public competition, with a jury made up of teachers and musicians from municipal conservatories, the Liceu and other music schools. In 2012, districts were invited to collaborate in organising the event, to reach more city residents. There was an ongoing search for spaces throughout the city.  The cycle was renamed “Music in the Parks”.

Later, taking advantage of the large number of people attending the concerts, dramatised guided tours began to enter the programme, one for each district, where the history, biodiversity and even special features of these spaces were explained, so anyone interested could discover and gain better knowledge of the social and environmental benefits of the parks and gardens.

The Music in the Parks cycle came to an end in 2020, with its 25th edition.