One night of each September, Madrid once more becomes an open scene for numerous events, related to arts and culture. As a part of the European White Nights Festival, the city hosts free concerts, theatrical and contemporary art performances, circus shows, exhibitions, and movie projections. All of the events are entrance-free and open to the general public.
San Isidro is the male patron saint of the city, and this annual celebration is dedicated to him. Every May 15th Madrid organizes a number of free activities for all ages, including concerts, parades, and religious ceremonies.
Gastrofestival is not just an enormous feast, but also a beautiful tradition, promotion Spanish cuisine and exploring its connections to other parts of the local and European culture. A good example of how that happens is the fact that not only restaurants, bars and food markets participate in the fest programme, but also museums, galleries, and fashion stores.
DCODE is a significant annual open-air music festival held every September, which celebrates its 20th anniversary in 2020. The festival aims to engage the broader public, families included, by providing around 20 straight hours of music from the morning onwards. The genres vary every now and then, yet indie and alternative rock remain the all-time-favourites.
La Paloma Festival
La Paloma is an annual event, held every 11th of August in La Latina district and especially around the Church of La Paloma. It's basically a big street party that runs under the sounds of the traditional Spanish chotis and praises the Virgin of La Paloma, widely recognized in the area. This kind of street celebrations are traditional in Madrid and are therefore a genuine way to experience the local culture at it's finest.
Los Veranos de la Villa
Los Veranos de la Villa, or Madrid's summer arts festival doesn't play around - it lasts all summer long - from June to September. It, logically, includes art performances of every kind possible, such as music, dance, cinema, opera and theatre, zarzuela, circus, and God knows what else. The performances are held all around the city, and you should probably check out the programme to choose one.
Madrid Jazz Festival
After the hustle and bustle, the flamenco and the siesta of the summer season, November and December inevitably knock on the door. The good news is that they bring along the Madrid Jazz Festival, which embraces its visitors in the laidback atmosphere of jazz culture. An embrace so comfortable that you won't even miss the siesta anymore.
Madrid Pride Week
Oh, well. Every European capital has its Pride nowadays, but Madrid is undoubtedly one of the leading LGTBIQA+ destinations of the world, and therefore the absolute winner of the pride games. The end of June or beginning of July brings along a lot of "pride tourists" in the gay neighbourhood of Madrid - Chueca. An estimated 2 million people arrive there every year to participate in one of the biggest gay festivals in Europe - Madrid Pride Week. And yes, you've understood that one correctly - the programme lasts a week.
Nochevieja (New Year's Eve)
We are aware of the fact that New Year's Eve is celebrated all around the world, but Madrid actually has some pretty specific ways of celebrating it. The crowd gathers under the clock of Madrid's Regional Government. When the last twelve bells of the clock start ticking, each person tries to eat a grape every second. And once everyone humiliates themselves simultaneously, the party begins.
Trofeo Bernabéu is an annual friendly football tournament held in memory of the legendary Real Madrid president Santiago Bernabéu. The tournament originally consisted of four teams, but in the last years, it's just a friendly game between Real Madrid and another chosen football team. The event takes place somewhere between the end of August and the beginning of September.