At the end of March they had an Open Night in Granollers. Signs everywhere told you that you could eat, sleep and shop all for 14 euros. I still don’t understand exactly what this meant – there were lots of things in the shops priced both higher and lower than 14 euros and surely a glass of cava and a tapa would be cheaper on other days?
I walked into the town centre to see what was happening. Normally the shops close at 9pm but this night they were to remain open until midnight. There was a lot of music blaring out from loudspeakers, every square had a stage and something happening, or if not, then a lot of people standing around waiting for something to happen
In the Porxada there was a large stage and big white balloons announcing it was Open Night. Underneath people were having their photos taken on a red sofa
A group of women walked around in wedding dresses – I didn’t know if they were theatre people hired to perform around the town or perhaps just women from a bridal shop doing a bit of promotion
There were a lot of adults and children and dogs everywhere and many queues for the popular restaurants
Young people sat and chatted on the steps eating pizza
I had the feeling that most people were wandering aimlessly rather like me. This suddenly helped me understand why I so often find these events strangely empty. I was thinking about Golowan and how it feels in Penzance those special days in June during the mid summer festival. There is a wildness and joy about it. But here the people seemed exactly as usual while events happened around them. I think it is because so many of these festivals are organised by the city council. Or by the shopkeepers. The general population are not involved in creating, designing, organising, participating in them. They are mere spectators – or consumers. Granollers is a town of commerce. Everything is designed to help the businesses sell more stuff. Anything which is not going to result in selling more stuff is frowned on. Sometimes I feel I have walked into The Stepford Wives. To be fair I do know lots of people in Penzance and that livens it up for me while here I was amongst strangers. For local people it is a good chance to meet and chat. And everything looked very pretty.
This building in the Porxada for example
When the day of Sant Jordi arrives it is obvious that the stalls are just promoting the selling of more books and roses. There is very little space for individual creativity or originality. We’ll see that soon – on April 23rd. I still enjoy that day though.
This was my favourite street – it looked lovely but there were hardly any people down here
As I walked home I saw these posters written by one of the more lefty political parties
It was true – once you walked out of the centre of town there was no sign of Open Night. It was all designed to bring people into the commercial shopping centre and persuade them to spend money.