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The Basque Fest Festival will fill Bilbao with Basque music, art, culture and food during Holy Week


Promotional poster for Basque Fest Festival 2016
Promotional poster for Basque Fest Festival 2016

For the fourth year in a row, the Basque Fest Festival will transform Bilbao into the scene of a great celebration of Basque culture, much like Jaialdi in Boise or NABO Conventions in the US, or Semana Vasca in Argentina, with a huge program of activities, more than 140.  The event is dedicated to visitors who come during Holy Week, as well as to the locals with concerts, exhibitions of Herri Kirolak (rural sports), theater, dances and expositions, as well as a txoko dedicated to Basque food and its quality products. 

Bilbao, Bizkaia. The Basque Fest festival returns for its fourth year in hopes of using culture as a unifying element, differentiation and prestige to attract tourism to Bilbao as well as Bizkaia and the Basque Country.  According to its organizers the festival will introduce Basque tourism, cultural and gastronomic offerings in the Atlantic axis as well as in the interior of the Basque Country.

Beginning today, through next Sunday, anyone coming to Bilbao will be able to enjoy more than 140 leisure and cultural proposals of every kind for free.  The center of the festival will be the Arenal where a large number of activities will take place, but the joy and the ambience will reach various points of the city.  For example, there will be kalejiras (street dances) that run the most bustling streets like Ledesma, Garcia Ribero, Pozas, Villarias, around the Guggenheim and the old part of Bilbao.

The main activities will take place at the Arenal where a huge plaza has been installed that will be the site of rural sports exhibitions and dance.  There will also be a Gourmet Txoko, a hectare, where Basque quality products will be introduced, and also where there will be a tasting of txakoli, Idiazabal cheese, Rioja wines, Ibarra and Gernika peppers, tuna and olives…

Music will also be featured at the festival with concerts all over the city.  Tomorrow, the singer Gontzal Mendibil will present his latest album at the Azkuna Zentroa, Ez dakit dakizun baina (I don't know if you know...).  In addition there will also be folk concerts by groups like Jaussi Meeting, Gose, Patxi Perez, Euskal Folk Malandro & Co and Aiko at the Plaza Nueva.  There will also be concerts at Bilborrock and Kafe Antzokia.

A new addition to this year’s festival is the “festival guest,” that will introduce a similar festival in the area.  This year the honor was presented to “Mundaka Music Fest and Cook Festival,” that will be present today at the official inauguration of Bilbao Fest with a concert by the group Travellin’ Brothers at the Azkuna Zentroa.

Finally, the Basque language will also be prominent with an original Euskera train that will take visitors to a dramatized visit to the House of Euskera.

Complete program here with places and times, here.

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