Learn about the Spanish Festivals and the San Sebastian Festivals: San Sebastian Film Festival, San Sebastian Jazz Festival, International Firework Festival
San Sebastian, Spain is a well known city famous for its many international events and festivals including the San Sebastian Film Festival and the San Sebastian International Jazz Festival among others. Donostia-San Sebastian, as it is officially called, is located in the north of Spain on the Bay of Biscay, only 20 kilometers (12.4 m) from the French border.
Ranked one of top tourist destinations in Spain, San Sebastian boasts a wide range of cultural activities and festivals, beautiful beaches and an impressive local gastronomy that have propelled the city into the international arena. In 2011, San Sebastian was named the European Capital of Culture of 2016, along with Wroclaw, Poland.
San Sebastian festivals and events include theatre, sports events, music, dance, literature, gastronomy, film and many more that take place throughout the year. With events taking place every month, visitors can easily discover why San Sebastian was elected the European Capital of Culture. Some of the most famous San Sebastian festivals are:
San Sebastian International Film Festival
Founded in 1953, the International San Sebastian Film Festival welcomes some of the top names in the film industry every September. Originally intended to honor only Spanish language films, today the San Sebastian Film Festival is considered an “A” category European film festival along with the Venetian Mostra and Cannes film Festivals.
San Sebastian International Jazz Festival
The world renowned San Sebastian International Jazz Festival, known as Jazzaldia in the Euskera language, started in 1966 making it the longest running jazz festival in Spain. The San Sebastian jazz festival takes place during the second half of July and features jazz musicians to the likes of James Brown, Liza Minnelli, Bobby McFerrin and B.B. King who perform throughout the city on the beaches, in theatres, public squares or concert halls. The most emblematic stage of this famous jazz festival is found in the Plaza de la Trinidad.
San Sebastian 'dFERIA' Theatre Fair
The dFERIA San Sebastian Theater Fair takes place in March and is a 5-day tribute to the performing arts. Since 1988, the dFeria theatre festival has been dedicated to promoting performing arts and international collaboration both in Spain and Latin America. The event essentially converts San Sebastian into a giant performing arts marketplace where one can enjoy a variety of excellent theatre and dance performances in both outdoor and indoor venues. The San Sebastian dFeria Theatre Festival brings important members of the performing arts community from around the world together to share ideas and present their latest productions.
Donastia-San Sebastian Musical Fortnight
The Musical Fortnight Festival in San Sebastian dates back to 1939. The revered European event was created to boost summer tourism and is now the longest running classical musical festival in Spain. The Musical Fortnight festival lasts for 5 weeks in August and September during which time the city fills with magnificent performances at a wide range of venues including the Kursaal Center, Santa Maria and San Vicente churches, the Victoria Eugenia Theatre, among others. Classical performances including opera, ballet, symphonic orchestras, chamber groups, contemporary composers, local musicians, internationally renowned musicians and more can be seen throughout San Sebastian and the whole region of Gipuzkoa.
San Sebastian Fantasy and Horror Film Festival
From late October to early November, San Sebastian hosts the International Fantasy and Horror Film Festival. Awards are given in various categories and all the newest and latest trends in special effects are revealed. In addition to film, many other events including street theatre, exhibitions, comedy courses and concerts fill the city.
El Sol Latin American Advertising Festival
The El Sol Advertising Festival in San Sebastian takes place in May every year and is organized by the Spanish Association of Advertising Agencies (AEAP). The goal is to promote creativity in advertising and marketers from Latin America, Portugal and the Hispanic community compete for Golden Sun awards.
San Sebastian Surfilm Festibal
The Surfilm Festival in San Sebastian is a short surfing film contest that takes place in the summer. The festival brings surfing to San Sebastian theaters, cultural centers and to the general public with their short surfing films, music and surf-related exhibitions.
Donostia - San Sebastian Human Rights Film Festival
Every year the Human Rights Film Festival takes place in San Sebastian. The festival helps to raise public awareness about a multitude of situations confronting humanity. The San Sebastian Human Rights Film Festival consists of 5 exhibitions, dance, theatre and music productions on different stages throughout the city and a film program.
Street Zinema - Urban Art Film Festival
A yearly San Sebastian audiovisual festival featuring contemporary art and urban culture such as breakdance, cycling, fashion, graffiti, music, parkour, skate and street-art.
Semana Grande - International Firework Festival
Every August in San Sebastian marks the Semana Grande (Big Week) festival during which an important international fireworks contest takes place. Other events and activities include brass bands, street performers, beach concerts and more.