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The Municipal Band of Valencia – Free 2009 Concerts

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The Municipal Band of Valencia (Banda Municipal) has finalized its list of concerts for 2009, which take place in or around the Palau de la Música (location), and all of which you can attend for free.


The band, currently under the direction of Pablo Sánchez Torrella, has made up an important part of Valencia’s musical scene since 1903, the year of its founding. The band puts on up to 90 performances a year in and around Valencia.

As mentioned, the concerts in the Palau are for free — just show up about an hour early to collect an invitation. Here’s the schedule for 2009:

· Sunday, February 8th at 11:30am
· Sunday, March 8th at 11:30am
· Sunday, April 5th at 11:30am
· Sunday, May 24th at 11:30am
· Wednesday, October 7th at 20:15 — This is a special concert, celebrating the Day of the Valencian Community, and probably isn’t free… I’m not sure
· Sunday, October 25th at 11:30am
· Sunday, November 15th at 11:30am
· Sunday, November 29th at 11:30am
· Sunday, December 20th at 11:30am

Additionally, there are 4 outdoor concerts in the gardens of the Palau, every Thursday in June at 20:15 — I’m assuming these are also free.

If you’d like to get a quick taste of the band, here’s the only YouTube video I was able to unearth. Enjoy:

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January 29, 2009 at 5:38 pm Comments (0)

Ticket Information for Valencia’s 2009 F1 Race

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More infos: Michael Schumacher in Valencia

Tickets for the 2009 Formula 1 race at the Valencia Street Circuit are set to go on sale February 24th. Prices are exactly the same as last year, ranging from €195 to €480.

2008’s inaugural edition of the race was a drab affair, with Spanish favorite Fernando Alonso going out in the first minutes, and an almost complete lack of passing. Some have been blaming the track, so it will be interesting to see if the 2009 race offers more action. At any rate, it’s nice to have something going during August… Valencians usually hightail it out of the city during that sweltering month, and a huge number of shops simply close for the entirety of it.

Tickets go on sale at 10am on Feb 24th, in El Corte Inglés department stores and online at

January 28, 2009 at 6:50 pm Comments (0)

Sunday Soccer in the Turia

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Sunday afternoons, the dusty soccer fields near the Torres de Serrano come alive with fast-paced matches between Valencia’s club teams.

There’s a festival atmosphere to the whole thing. Often, up to 4 matches are being played simultaneously, and friends and family dot the sidelines with coolers of beer and food, usually paying more attention to their conversations than to their hardworking husbands or sons out on the field.


The skill on display is not bad, and I’ve found myself genuinely impressed a number of times. Certainly, these guys play at a higher level than the high school soccer team of my past (no offense, Coach Gaines!)

So if you’re a sports fan, and have been dragged away from the TV by your wife or partner for a Sunday stroll… suggest a walk through the Turia. This time, you win!

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January 27, 2009 at 12:05 pm Comments (3)

Mando Diao & Starsailor to join Franz Ferdinand at the MTV Fest

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Great news for lovers of rock! Two more awesome bands have been added to the lineup of the MTV Winter Festival, headlined by Franz Ferdinand, which will take place in the City of Arts & Sciences on February 24th. Mando Diao (Sweden) and Starsailor (Britain).

Mando Diao is a name that will be familiar to most alternative rock fans. They’ve been around since 2002, and have had a number of hits. They’re latest one is called “Dance With Somebody”, and is currently in rotation on European radio stations… great track.

Starsailor is another rock band that has had quite a bit of success, with ten top 40 singles in the UK. One of their best known is “Four to the Floor”:

Alright! Considering that entrance is free, and the number of famous rock bands that tour Valencia is farily small, I’m guessing that the City of Arts & Sciences is going to be jam packed on February 24th. Exciting.

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January 23, 2009 at 6:46 pm Comments (0)

San Vicente Mártir: Pics, Video & History

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Yesterday, we previewed the events which would be taking place on January 22nd, the day of San Vicente Mártir — Valencia’s patron saint. And today, we went out into the howling wind to attend the festivities.


First, a procession around the city cathedral got off to a very late start. It was a small, and sparsely attended event. Just a few hundred marchers — mostly religious leaders and older women, often dressed in mourning. The music was beautiful though.


The procession goes right by the Jail of San Vicente Mártir (location), and we took a peak inside. It’s a small room, as you might expect a jail to be, with just the column where the early Christian was bound and tortured, and a well that was discovered in 1777.


At 2pm, we went down to Plaza de España (location) for the scheduled mascletà. Mascletita would have been a more appropriate name — it was extremely small, and over in about a minute. But since we were able to stand so close, the explosions were just as violently loud as normal, if not more so. For the first time at a mascletà, I had to cover my ears.

Vicente Martir Festival Valencia from Valencia Blog on Vimeo.

San Vicente Martír was born in Huesca in the 4th century, and studied religion in Zaragoza. In those days, Christianity was more like a cult, and the Roman emperors still in charge looked upon it disfavorably. So disfavorably, in fact, that they issued edicts to wipe out any Christians they could round up. As such, Vicente was arrested and forced to walk in chains from Zaragoza to Valencia. Along the way, he astounded both his captors and peasants by performing miracles related to water. This is why the discovery of the well in his jail cell was such a big deal — well-finding was precisely the type of miracle he worked.

Upon arrival in Valencia, Vicente was jailed, reviled at, and tortured. But he never renounced his faith. And legend has that he died with a beatific smile upon his face, as his torturers were dressing his wounds, in preparation for another round.

Phew, fun to be a Christian in the 4th Century!

January 22, 2009 at 7:57 pm Comments (5)

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