Discover San Sebastián Brooklyn
08 March, 2016
Donostia-San Sebastián is a city in constant change. Perhaps its effervescence can partly be accounted for by the prevailing impetuous climate changes and, above all, by the ceaseless wind there. Coinciding with the forthcoming change of season, we recommend you visit this charming coastal city to delight in the chromatic variations of its bay – La Concha – or the crashing waves at Chillida’s Peine del Viento.
San Sebastián is currently abuzz with creative activity, now more heated than usual. The fact is that this city in Guipúzcoa will be Europe’s culture capital for the whole year, a title it shares with the city of Wrocław in Poland. Throughout 2016 there will be concerts, stage plays, talks, book presentations and a long list of miscellaneous cultural activities.
The Year’s Major Cultural Event
This is Donostia 2016, an event that does not set out to dazzle with great names on the international scene, or exorbitant investments in infrastructure. Instead, it is pioneering a new model based on experimentation, learning and developing close-knit audiences, with a view to the legacy all this will leave behind in the city as of 2017. That accounts for the programme being grounded in local tradition, albeit with an international projection.
The fact is that Donostia is no newcomer to organising events. Let’s not forget that for years the city has been hosting such long-standing festivals as Zinemaldi, the Musical Fortnight and Jazzaldi.
Activities of all kinds will be held throughout the year in various areas of the city. Like those billed to be staged in Cristina Enea Park. This beautiful park is the city’s largest and is located hard by the Estación del Norte. August will see the independent music festival, Glad is the Day, a tribute to Gladys, a local heroine among social movements. The Dabadaba and Le Bukowski clubs, in collaboration with San Sebastián 2016 and Tabakalera, will be hosting this project with the aim of putting the Egia district onto the map of the city’s summer cultural festivals. The daytime event is admission-free and will feature eight performances at two venues – Anari, Los Tiki Phantoms, Chiquita y Chatarra and The Saurs at the main venue; and AWWZ, Telmo Trenor, Kino Internacional and Javi P3Z at the electronic venue.
Donostia Goes Hipster
Modernity and culture go hand in hand in the Egia quarter. We embark on a tour of the area through some of its most emblematic spots.
Unveiled last September after 10 years of renovation. Tabakalera, a new, spectacular centre of international contemporary culture is housed in a former tobacco factory covering an area of 37,000 square metres. It consists of two exhibition halls, a cinema, an art media library, creation labs, a hotel for resident artists, micro-theatre shows, concerts, two cafés, a restaurant and a roof terrace with superb views of the city.
The Egia Quarter
The renewal of two venues, namely the Victoria Eugenia Theatre and the Koldo Mitxelena Kulturenea, belonging to the Diputación Foral de Gipuzkoa (Guipúzcoa’s provincial administration), has helped shift the city’s hub to the other side of the Urumea. No wonder that this area is known as the Donostiarra Brooklyn, as it has become the city’s centre of modernity and culture.
Currently one of San Sebastián’s most active venues. Concerts, festivals, exhibitions, DJ sets, flea markets and screenings are hosted in Dabadaba, a multi-purpose centre. Apart from musical and cultural events, on weekday mornings it also offers breakfast, shakes and natural fruit juices. This venue is up with the latest trends, such as a revival of interest in beer – a varied and growing selection of commercial and craft beers are featured on its menu.
Le Bukowski is another major night-time meeting point in the Egia quarter. It might lack the sophistication of the Victoria Eugenia Theatre, or the modernity of Rafael Moneo’s Kursaal Auditorium. But, what does that matter if what you want is to listen to good rock or dance music? This is the yardstick club in Donostia, both for live and DJ music. It has been active for three decades and not for nothing is it as fresh as the day it first opened.
A space in the Egia quarter which has been operating as a multi-purpose venue since 1998. This year it will be hosting the Mojo Workin festival on 18 and 19 March, an event dedicated to rhythm and blues and soul which will be featuring international artists and DJs.
Donostia is always on duty for the traveller. Come and visit its trendiest quarter in a particularly exciting year. Check out our flights here.
Text by Los Viajes de ISABELYLUIS
08 March, 2016