The Canary Islands offer a range of special events for music lovers each year. The nice weather that is typical of the Islands means that outdoor music venues are common, and visitors rarely have to worry about bad weather cancelling these events.
Classical music lovers will appreciate the annual festival that is called, simply, the Canary Islands Music Festival. This event takes place in January and February in various venues on all of the Islands. It is a very large and well known event, attracting top, prestigious orchestras (The London Philharmonic, for example) and soloists from around the world. Those who attend this festival can expect large crowds, due to its popularity. This musical event has been an important part of Island festivities for over two decades.
Jazz lovers have their own festival on the Canary Islands at the annual International Jazz festival. This music festival takes place in July and, like the Canary Islands Music festival, attracts big names in music to the stages. It’s held simultaneously in various venues, small and large, on La Palma, Lanzarote, Fuerteventura, Tenerife and Gran Canaria. Jazz lovers from across the world are attracted to this annual festival, so expect large crowds in some venues. Workshops and other activities are also featured in this festival.
An Opera festival, called Alfredo Krauss Opera festival, is held on Gran Canaria in February and March. This important music festival brings in top names from the Opera world and can be a powerfully enjoyable experience for anyone who loves Opera.
Colourful, free-spirits visiting the Islands will likely appreciate the Canary Islands WOMAD (World of Music, Arts and Dance) festival, which is held for a few days each year (the month changes). This laid-back event attracts contemporary, international artists with a variety of hip, musical styles. People of all ages can easily enjoy this festival. Workshops and other fun and interesting activities are also part of this festival. As with any event on the Canary Islands, good food and drink are in abundance.
Visitors whose musical interests lie more with world folk music will be interested in the International Folk Festival (Festival Internacional de Folclore) held in August on Grand Canaria. This festival celebrates music and dance from all over the world. Visitors are also treated to Canarian folk groups. Although it is a smaller festival than the classical music festival, there is still much to do and experience.
Although Carnival is much more than a music festival anyone interested in dance, music and colourful festivities may wish to schedule a Canary Island holiday during the 14-day Carnival period in February, right before the start of Lent. Lively music, fun parades, colourful dancers in brilliant costumes, and delicious food welcome all who attend.
This also means that visitors attending other events during this month need to plan ahead and book their hotel and flights well in advance as they fill up quickly.