Inclusive La Mercè

A Mercè for everyone

Barcelona's big annual festival is for all its citizens. If you have reduced mobility, check here, before you leave home, for full information on the accessibility of festival venues. And remember, in the La Mercè programme you’ll find events featuring artists who turn diversity into a big talent!

Let's start with tradition. As always, the opening speech will come with a sign-language interpretation service and screen transcription. But, in addition to that, this year’s festival will have a new giant called Normag who has a learning disability and reminds us all that the La Mercè celebrations are for everyone without exception. Come along on 15 September to the official opening of the Giants’ Display at the Pati Manning and watch the giant's christening, accompanied by his godfather, the Ocellaire de l'Eixample (Eixample Bird Fancier), the first small giant adapted so it could be carried by people with reduced mobility.

Shall we dance a while? If you come over to Parc de la Ciutadella during the celebrations in honour of the city’s patron saint, the La Mercè Street Arts festival programme will be offering you a show from the Mobile Dance Company entitled Sara y Manuel (a choreography with no title) on Saturday 21, Sunday 22 and Tuesday 24 (at 1.15 pm and 5.15 pm) and on Monday 23, at 5.15 pm. It will feature dances with some type of disability, given that this dance company from Andalucia grew out of an organisation working for the development of people with a disability through the arts.

Parc de la Ciutadella will also be featuring Avec le temps..., a dance-theatre show starring Claire Ducreux, who talks about how to tackle visual impairment, on Saturday 21 (8 pm) and Sunday 22, Monday 23 and Tuesday 24 (6.15 pm and 8 pm).

Don't forget that sport is a world full of possibilities for people with a disability. The La Mercè Fun Run includes an adapted course (2 km) for people with learning difficulties or reduced mobility, so there's no excuse for anyone not to get into shape and test out their abilities. What's more, the ACELL City of Barcelona International Indoor Football Trophy takes place from 20 to 22 September, at the Centre Esportiu Municipal Mundet, where you’ll see people with functional diversity and very keen to compete. The ACEE Federation is organising the championship, now in its tenth year, in collaboration with Barcelona City Council. 

You’ll find a whole host of inclusive activities and get to meet loads of friendly associations if you visit Plaça de Catalunya for “Associa't a la festa”, on Saturday 21 and Sunday 22 September. Waiting for you there, among other things, will be all the associations and foundations working with people with visual and hearing impairments, people with learning difficulties and people with reduced mobility. And they’ll be offering a big range of interesting activities ranging from a participatory concert to a rap workshop for preventing suicide, stories and workshops in sign-language, Braille workshops and plays that anyone can follow and understand, and can be followed by persons who have a hearing impairment.

Got nothing planned yet for 24 September, the day of Our Lady of Mercy (La Mercè)? Remember then that many of the city's museums will be open to the public for free during the day. We recommend you check each of these Barcelona institutions’ websites for the accessibility of the sites they occupy and the additional activities they are organising, some of which may not be free.

Besides the above, don't forget that many of the festival events and activities will be held on the city’s streets and other easy-access open spaces. We recommend you check out the accessibility of the performance venues before you go out, although you’ll see that a good many of the La Mercè event (from traditional ones to concerts of every kind and various shows) are accessible and open to everyone. Make the most of La Mercè, enjoy it and have a great festival experience. 

Before coming, however, here’s one last piece of advice: click on this link and you’ll find an adapted document in PDF format so people with visual impairment can listen to its content. It includes the shows and activities recommended by La Mercè’s artistic directors.

You can see the various events and activities here: