Already underway, Barcelona’s Pedralbes Festival is reminiscent of similar events held in the Empordà area that feature musical artists of high renown performing in privileged surroundings to fans who generally have some purchasing power. In particular, it is the setting that sets the festival apart, held as it is in the landscaped gardens of the Royal Palace of Pedralbes.
Featuring music stars both past and present, the line-up is eminently eclectic and postmodern, and this year’s edition has a little of everything. The billing goes from a major star of bossa nova in the form of Gilberto Gil to artists whose careers span half a century, such as the legendary Beach Boys, while regular visitor to the Catalan capital, film director Woody Allen and his New Orleans Jazz Band led by the group’s musical director, Eddy Davis, sold out on June 18.
Also early on, the festival featured an established favourite, Diego El Cigala, who was followed by Joan Dausà, Los Planetas, and the Nigerian Jacob Banks with Corinne Bailey Rae.
It is now already too late this year to see Izal, or The Gipsy Kings led by their founders Nicolas Reyes and Tonino Baliardo, while Ana Belén, Ramon Mirabet, the unique Giorgio Moroder, guitarist and singer Christopher Cross, bluesman Gary Clark Jr, and De Broadway à Hollywood have also moved on.
But July begins with the elegant soul of Joss Stone and her amazing African band, followed by the Celtic remeet between Galician Carlos Núñez and Irish band The Chieftains on July 4. Also featuring in the second half of the festival is the three dimensional concert by legends Kraftwerk, Juanes, Il Divo and, the one and only Roger Hodgson, who will replay the timeless classics of Supertramp in his characteristic falsetto.
Carla Bruni kicked the festival off on June 5, and she was followed by another top international diva, Mariah Carey, while the Étoiles i Solistes de l’Ópera de París provided classical ballet from the best talents the world-class company could muster. But whatever the show, at the Festival Jardins de Pedralbes the spectator is always assured a pleasant evening watching the highest quality talent in a relaxing and peaceful oasis amid the bustle of a major city.