Las Minas International Singing Festival

Las Minas International Singing Festival
It celebrates: From 27th July to 6th August
Place: Unión, La (Murcia)
Category: Folklore
Popularity: (****) 4/5
Ideal for children
Organize: Cante de las Minas Foundation
Known start date: Since 1961
Figure of protection: Festival of National Tourist Interest (1984), Intangible Cultural Heritage of Cultural Interest (2010) and Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity (2010).
Regional DancesDanceFlamencoNational Tourist Interest
Reading time: 4 minutes

Flamenco lovers should not miss this very popular event that has been held in the Region of Murcia since 1961. It is the Festival Internacional del Cante de Las Minas. Join this great celebration!

What does the Festival Internacional del Cante de Las Minas consist of?

Performance with guitar
Performance with guitar

The Festival Internacional del Cante de Las Minas is a Spanish flamenco event held annually in La Unión, Region of Murcia. This festival commemorates the mining-levantine songs that were performed in the 19th century by Andalusian miners in the mining area of Cartagena-La Unión.

The aim of the festival is to convey, from a cultural point of view, the suffering and 'quejíos' of the daily activities in the mines.

Thanks to this festivity, the following distinctions have been obtained:

  • Festival of National Tourist Interest (1984).
  • The Cantes Mineros y de Levante were declared an Intangible Asset of Cultural Interest (2010).
  • Flamenco was declared by UNESCO as Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity (2010).
  • The Academy of Music awarded the Prize for the Dissemination of Music (2011).

How is this festival celebrated?

The celebration of this festival includes an extensive agenda of cultural activities, including the presentation of galas and competitions.

It brings together the greatest exponents of the world of flamenco as well as emerging artists, who aspire to win the award called "Lámpara Minera" (mining candle) and other prizes awarded in the categories of: singing, guitar, dance and flamenco instrumentalist.

Locations where the Festival will be held

In front of the market
In front of the market

The festival has several locations for the presentation of great local, national and international artists:

Antiguo Mercado Público de La Unión:

It is known as the "Palacio del Festival" or "Catedral del Cante". Since 1978 it has been the main stage of this great popular festival. It is located in the Plaza Joaquín Costa, in the centre of La Unión.

Joaquín Costa Square:

It is also known as "Avenida del Flamenco". In this open space, the activities scheduled in the cultural agenda of the festival take place: performances, conferences, tributes and award ceremonies.

Origins of the Cante de Las Minas Festival

The first edition was held in 1961
The first edition was held in 1961

The Cantes de las Minas arose from the crossbreeding between the songs brought by the Andalusian miners and the native songs of the Sierra Minera de Cartagena-La Unión. They symbolised the suffering of the people, due to the mining exploitation and the harsh working conditions.

These songs were popularised in the singing cafés of the time, which were frequented by the miners.

Nowadays, the programme of this artistic and musical festival has evolved over the last few decades. The first edition of the Festival was held on 13 October 1961. It initially started as a singing competition.

Later, in the 1980s, a guitar competition section was added. In the 1990s a dance section was added and nowadays it is planned to include a section for flamenco instrumentalists.

Curiosities of the Festival

Here are some curious and interesting facts about this International Festival:

  • The Old Public Market of La Unión, the venue of the Festival since 1978, was declared an Asset of Cultural Interest in 1975.
  • In the past, the songs were known as tarantas, cartageneras, mineras, levanticas and murcianas.

Recommendations for visitors

If you want to enjoy this great festival to the full, here are some recommendations and practical tips:

  • Wear comfortable clothes and shoes.
  • Buy your tickets in advance on the official website of the festival, to enjoy the various events and musical galas included in the annual programme of the event.

What else can you see or do in the town if you go to La Unión?

La Unión Mining Museum
La Unión Mining Museum

We invite you to visit these emblematic tourist sites in La Unión, in the Region of Murcia:

  • Mining Museum of La Unión: mining-mineralogical museum that exhibits original pieces from the mining period.
  • Lago Rojo (Red Lake): it is a very striking lake because of its red colour due to the sulphuric acid of Pyrite, a mineral that was extracted in the old mining quarry "Brunita". Ideal for hikers.
  • Cueva Virgen del Rosario: a curious and enigmatic cave with an image of the Virgen Madre del Amor Hermoso (Virgin Mother of Fair Love) inside.
  • La Unión Street Market: it is a street market that operates on Tuesdays and runs along the entire Main Street.
  • Parque Eólico (Wind Park): it is a natural space ideal for mountain biking and hiking.


Gastronomy of La Unión
Gastronomy of La Unión

We show you some typical dishes of the Region of Murcia that you will be able to taste:

  • Pastel de Carne Murciano: it is a meat pie stuffed with veal, chorizo, egg and spices.
  • Ensalada Huetana con huevo cocido: made with tomatoes, tuna, boiled eggs, black olives and onions.
  • Zarangollo: scrambled egg, courgette and onion.
  • Cocido de pelotas: typical Christmas stew made with pork or beef meatballs, turkey and chicken.

Share photos, videos and interesting information about the Festival Internacional del Cante de Las Minas on social networks. Use the hashtag #cantedelasminas

Upcoming festivals

Paso del Fuego and Móndidas

23rd June
San Pedro Manrique (Soria)
Paso del Fuego and Móndidas
On June 23 El Paso del Fuego and Móndidas, is celebrated in San Pedro in Soria, where a large crowd of people to carry out an ancestral event that consists of an initiatory ritual to achieve immortality.

The Compromise of Caspe

From 23rd June to 25th June
Caspe (Zaragoza)
For three days, a medieval town in Caspe is reenacted to exemplify the pact that resolved the lack of an heir to the crown in an exemplary manner. With a rich program of recreational and cultural activities.

Isil Bonfires Festival

From 23rd June to 25th June
Alt Àneu (Lérida)
Isil Bonfires Festival
Come and enjoy a magical celebration in Isil, to celebrate the summer solstice. The fallaires of the village bring down the fire from the mountains, light the bonfires, and start the 'pla' dance. Join us!

Bonfires of San Juan in La Coruña

23rd June
Coruña, A (Coruña)
Bonfires of San Juan in La Coruña
Come to know and enjoy a warm festival with bonfires, sardines and music, the best combination! This is the Bonfires of San Juan de La Coruña in Galicia, Spain.

Yeguas Round-up in Almonte

26th June
Almonte (Huelva)
Come to Almonte and experience this centuries-old tradition, enjoy the beauty of horses and mares in their natural habitat, in the Doñana marshes. A unique livestock event that you shouldn't miss.

Festivals this weekend

The weirdest and strangest popular festivals

Festivals categories


Most searched

Older festivals

The San Fermines

From 6th July to 14th July
Pamplona/Iruña (Navarra)
Since XII century

Most recent festivals