What are the Festival Activities Centres?
Barcelona has an active network of Festival Activities Centres, which are centres devoted to popular culture and traditions that are distributed among various neighbourhoods. They are used by groups involved in a range of cultural pursuits such as Castells [human towers] and Falcons [acrobatic-sports human towers], Sardana dancers, Ball de Bastons [a sort of Catalan version of Morris dancing]; festive imagery, such as Gegants [giant figures], Cap-Grossos [big-headed papier-mâché figures], Bestiari [animal figures]; pyrotechnic activities such as the Bèsties [beasts], Diables (fireworks-wielding "devils")..., and music, such as Gralles [chanter players], kettledrums. A good number of these for festival performances and displays.
The city’s streets and squares are where popular culture and traditions are expressed. The groups that organise them, however, need a place for meeting, rehearsing forthcoming performances and taking stock of what they have already done; for talking, resting and putting away materials and archives; for showing photographs and, in some cases, festival imagery. These are the core functions of the Festival Activities Centres, which are tasked with promoting popular culture and traditions, besides fostering research and training. What's more, they are a creative and dynamic force in the realm of traditional and popular culture activities.
Barcelona’s Festival Activities Centres offer a meeting point for cultural entities with traditional roots, but they are also open to wider public.