Barcelona Still Never Sleeps
Tuned In

MinkovitzSketchAfter five weeks in Spain, my last week in Barcelona has arrived. Although I am now studying for exams, the city continues to party around me, staying out until the early hours of the morning as the sun starts to rise over the Mediterranean. The normal weekly schedule of people in this city continues to astound me, as even the people who are working Monday through Friday don’t finish dinner until 11 or 12  at night. Whenever I message my family on the East Coast once or twice a week around 10 p.m. to let them know I am in fact still going to class or are doing well, they find it hard to imagine that I am just getting ready to cook dinner or go out to eat.

In my post following my first week in the city, I described the variety of options that the nightlife offers. Several weeks later, two venues in Spain have stood out in particular for their arguably unique approach to building a concert hall or club: Razzmatazz and Kapital. Razzmatazz, which I mentioned in an earlier post, is a five-floor club in downtown Barcelona. While Ultrabar in D.C. is also a five-floor venue, the Spanish venue is better compared to Echostage. With a capacity of a thousand more than the 4,000 person D.C. warehouse-turned-concert venue, Sala Razzmatazz offers two large dance floors as well as more relaxed bar and lounge spaces, an intimate stage area, and a rooftop. In Spain’s capital city, Madrid, Teatro Kapital is a seven-story club with a similar capacity of about 5,000. A large dance floor on the main level is surrounded by three terraces, and other floors offer a semi-enclosed rooftop lounge, a floor featuring solely Spanish music, a karaoke room, as well other bar and lounge areas.

These two venues offered not just a neat nightlife option, but truly an experience. On any given night at either place, you could hear three or four entirely different genres of music. When people tired of a style of music during the night, they simply moved up or downstairs. In Barcelona, we saw the popular artist Diplo in the main room while at the same time upstairs hip-hip and R&B music was playing on the floor below a well-known European house DJ.  On the club’s website, they advertise their wide interest in different styles of music, detailing how they have played host to world renowned artists such as the Artic Monkeys, Calvin Harris, Coldplay, The Strokes and Kanye West. In Madrid, our group befriended several similarly aged Madrileños, following them as they went from dancing to progressive house music downstairs to classic Spanish music upstairs to singing American classics on the karaoke machine.

These past five weeks have offered an incredible experience, with Barcelona having one of the most impressive music scenes I have seen. Although I am not sure where it would fall on a list of cities with strong music scenes, it is definitely a place I would love to come back to. There is still much I would love to do if I had more time. Three more exams currently separate me from an incredible end of the week. Here we go.

Andrew Minkovitz is a rising junior in the School of Foreign Service. Tuned In appears every other Monday at


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