Film, theatre, music, horror...
San Sebastián hosts festivals to suit all tastes.
Choose the one that suits you best!
The summer culture season opens with dFERIA. Theatres and other public spaces in San Sebastián raise their curtains to present the Theatre Fair, a not-to-be-missed nationally renowned rendezvous for performing arts enthusiasts and professionals.
Every April, San Sebastián repeats its commitment to society and doubles its efforts to foster solidarity with the Human Rights Film Festival. Taking cinema as its backdrop, with exhibitions and talks, the event helps to raise citizen awareness of the serious problems and realities that abound in our society.
Rompeolas is one of the initiatives in the cultural project that landed San Sebastián the title of European Capital of Culture. Being part of the initiative, it strives to spread news of the contents and values that guide the DSS2016EU project.
Just like the DSS2016EU project, Olatu Talka is a festival born from a process of collective work. At the end of the day, it’s the people who shape Olatu Talka-Rompeolas, the festival that has the city overflowing with the energy of it citizens, to impregnate it with the things we love and care about most. The point is that what matters to the locals is also important to life in the city.
San Sebastián’s close relationship with the world of surf has its greatest exponent in the Surfilm Festibal. Surf pounds into the city’s cinemas and culture centres to bring the audiences cool films, music and exhibitions related to the sport.
In the second fortnight in July, San Sebastián taps its feet to the rhythm of the finest jazz. Great musicians like James Brown, Liza Minnelli, Bobby McFerrin, Diana Krall, Cassandra Wilson and B.B. King have all taken to the city’s beaches, theatres, squares and auditoriums at one time or another to delight audiences at this world-famous event.
THE CLASSICAL MUSIC FEST
In August and September San Sebastián hosts a hugely traditional classical music event: the Classical Music Fortnight. The Kursaal Centre, Santa María and San Vicente churches, the Victoria Eugenia Theatre and other stages throughout the city open their doors to fantastic international symphony orchestras and soloists. Despite its name, the ‘Quincena’ actually brings five weeks of excellent music; it is the oldest festival of its kind in Spain (on-going since 1939) and one of the longest running in Europe.
KKF is the city's youngest bash. That said, its short life has shown it to be different to other festivals thanks to the independent music it brings to the city, the stage (in the Parque de Atracciones Monte Igeldo) with its spectacular views of the city, and the transport provided (more than 12,000 people used the public bus service laid on for the event).
These features make the KKF a unique musical experience, with two stages and big international bands to enjoy while having fun... from mid-afternoon onwards. This is an experience money can’t buy.
Big stars and young directors. The entire national and international film panoply flocks to San Sebastián every September to attend the most cosmopolitan event of the year: Zinemaldia, or the International Film Festival, one of the biggest of its kind in Europe alongside the Festival de Cannes and the Venice Mostra.
In late October and early November, the theatres and streets of San Sebastián turn into an improvised horror film set to host the Horror and Fantasy Film Festival. Concerts and exhibitions accompany the movies on the programme.