San Isidro 2016

The festivities in honour of Madrid’s patron saint will be held from 12 to 16 May, with music, shows and an endless variety of activities for the whole family. A comprehensive cultural and leisure programme that combines tradition and modernity.

The festivities commemorate the patron saint of Madrid, San Isidro, and are the highlight of the spring. Five days in which to enjoy over 50 concerts of very different musical styles that will be perfectly complemented by music, theatre and dancing performed in the streets, children’s activities, street processions with a band… and lots more!

From Thursday 12th to Monday 16th the spotlight will be on the Pradera de San Isidro Park, in the district of Carabanchel. At dusk, the air will fill with music from dance orchestras, as well as with the rhythms of rock, hip hop, etc. On the Thursday (10.00pm), there will be a dance orchestra on the main stage, followed by a session of DJs playing all the hits. On the Friday (8.30pm) it will be the turn of the authentic cabaret queen, Esperanza Argüelles, and then an hour later (9.30pm) the stage will be taken by Variedades Azafrán, these classic figures of the underground scene in Madrid who have been mixing poetry, avant-garde, neo-realism and humour for many years. On the Saturday (10.30pm) the great protagonist will be the very popular Carabanchel-born artist, El Langui, who will present one of his most ambitious works, Hola. On the 15th and 16th there will be a new edition of the Rock Villa de Madrid Awards, which everyone always looks forward to.

The majority of activities will be held in the Pradera de San Isidro, from storytelling, circuses and magic shows for the youngest members of the audience, to chotis and cuplé sessions, and free paella and cocido chick-pea stew for everyone. At midnight on Monday 16th, a fireworks display will bring the festival to a spectacular end, though a lot of other things will be taking place in the city before then. The Plaza Mayor will welcome acclaimed artists such as Santiago Auserón, who will give a concert with the Madrid Municipal Symphonic Band, and the non-conformist singer-songwriter Nacho Vegas.

Another place where different activities will be held during the festival is Las Vistillas Gardens, with its wonderful views of Manzanares River and Casa de Campo. It will specifically host a programme of mini-festivals with artists like Cora Novoa  or three really authentic names: Mari Pepa de ChamberíOlga María Ramos and the contemporary cuplé group,  De la Puríssima, which will appear on the 16th.

Firework displays over the Retiro Park lake, dancing to the beat of swing music, Latin American sounds, tangoes and tap dancing in the Plaza del Museo Reina Sofía as well as classical music at nightfall in the Temple of Debod and Plaza de Oriente all form part of a clearly multi-disciplinary artistic programme. No wonder that from 14 to 16 May, Plaza del Conde de Barajas will be filled with poetry. Throughout the entire San Isidro festival the traditional pottery fair, the Feria de la Cacharrería, will be held in Plaza de las Comendadoras.