The Araia Comic Theatre Festival is held annually in mid-August and offers both free and pay-in street and theatre performances from morning to night.
One of the buildings where the main shows take place is the Arrazpi Berri sports centre, the only sports centre in the world designed to accommodate a theatre catwalk.
This cultural event started in 1994 on the initiative of the Porpol Theatre Group in collaboration, from the outset, with the Araia Theatre Group and the support of the Provincial Council of Álava, the Basque Government and, crucially, the Asparrena Town Council. Other public and private entities subsequently joined the list of collaborators.
Since its beginnings it has been involved in theatrical performances, both indoor and outdoor, for children and adults, in Basque, Spanish and in the universal language of expression, Basque productions alongside others from the rest of Spain and internationally. Over the years the Festival has grown qualitatively and quantitatively to become a benchmark of summer entertainment.
This has helped create a balance between the ongoing search for ambitious, high-quality theatrical programmes, a mix of innovative and popular offerings, and the professionalism and enthusiasm of the organisers, the local people and outsiders who, through all of their efforts, have turned this into an indispensable theatrical event.
Some of the street performances are given in other locations in Álava outside of Araia.
The Araia Theatre Festival is held around 15th August and lasts for four or five days. The dates and duration depends on what day the 15th August public holiday falls. It always coincides with the Day of the Shepherd which includes crafts and agriculture fairs and the Idiazabal cheese competition.
Tickets can be purchased at points in Vitoria-Gasteiz and Salvatierra, as well as in Araia.
Araia is very easy to find, being located next to the A-1 (exit 385 Araia/San Román). After turning off the A-1 take the A-3020 to Araia
It can also be reached by public transport. There is a regular coach service from Vitoria-Gasteiz and a train to the town of Albéniz, which is about 3 kilometres from Araia.
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