Popularly known as the "Grec Festival", Barcelona's summer arts extravaganza is the most important cultural event of the season. Events take place at venues across the city including the Teatre Grec, Fundació Joan Miró and Plaça del Rei.
Following hot on the heels of the Sant Joan (St John's Day) Festival, the event injects theatre, dance and music into Barcelona life, with a strong focus on contemporary culture.
Highlights in 2007 included concerts by Omara Portuondo, Laurie Anderson, Jorge Drezler and others, dance performances by the Cloud Gate Dance Theatre of Taiwan and Conpanyia Membros and theatrical shows from international companies.
Grec started way back in 1976, when a group of actors, directors and writers staged shows at the Greek amphitheatre on Mount Montjuic. Their initiative triggered the birth of a new theatre festival, which was independently run until 1979, when the newly-formed democratic city authorities took over. Now the event is as inherent to Barcelona's summers as the scorching heat.