Ja! Festival 2023


Welcome, ladies and gentlemen, necromancers, fairies, elves and sorceresses, to this magical edition of Ja! Festival, that is celebrating its fourteenth birthday. We have reached our teenage years without the folly that comes with it as it was already ingrained by default.

Magic, the main theme of the fourteenth festival, revealed in the arts and culture. The magic of the imagination, of the inexplicable, of the unearthly, of seduction, of what is faster than the senses, of the artificial that pretends to be authentic and of what brings back the innocent gaze of childhood. Magic plays a significant role in many of the acts featured in the program and is often intertwined with humour.

We are thrilled with the 2023 program. You are right in what you think; these flying rug peddlers always seem to repeat themselves, but we speak the truth. Year after year, we approach the task with the same level of excitement as the gods of the underworld create new mischiefs.


The information about each event can be found here, in the printed programme, and in the graffiti created by a group of gnomes and goblins commissioned to paint on the walls. We are excited to welcome the amazing authors Olga Tokarczuk and John Banville to our community. They’re both incredibly talented; we feel lucky to have them here. Olga is a Nobel Prize winner in literature, and John is a true literary genius. Enrique Vila-Matas, the creator of the metaliterary game, will be also joining us at last. Pilar Adón, an exceptional interviewer at Ja!, is the interviewee about her prodigious work this time.

We have also produced an exhibition called ‘El enigma Pertierra’, which combines graphics and literature with mystery, an achievement that is a testament to the magical power of imagination, conjured up by Javier Olivares and Fernando Marías. It has turned out prettier than a freshly varnished witch’s broom; don’t miss it. Our dear friend Fernando would have been delighted and said that this is a fitting tribute to his memory.

Take a moment to admire the mesmerizing trompe l’oeil poster by Javier Jaén featuring moon-like eyes. Let us enchant you with this limited edition’s mystical aura, blending white magic and dark allure. Abracadabra. 

Juan Bas & Carolina Ontivero
Ja! Directors

Ja Festival Programa 2023


The 14th edition’s programme will be held in different venues between 27 September and 8 October.

Click on the link to find out about all the events and detailed information: participants, venues, schedules, etc.


Olga Tokarczuk, John Banville, Enrique Vila-Matas, Jorge Blass, Ernesto Sevilla, Pilar Adón, Javier Olivares, Manuel Jabois, Milena Busquets, Aixa de la Cruz, Raquel Sastre, Pablo d´Ors, Marta Sanz… Check here for the complete list of guests.

Ja Festival Protagonistas 2023

© Stéphane Dabrowski

Ja Festival Exposiciones 2023

© Stéphane Dabrowski


The exhibition ‘The Pertierra Enigma’ will be on display from 20 September to 22 October at Sala Axular and annexes of Bizkaia Aretoa – UPV/EHU (Abandoibarra, 3 – Bilbao).

It is presented together with ten large-format illustrations that can be seen in some Metro Bilbao stations. Click on the link for more information.


This festival could not take place without the support of its sponsors and supporters.

Find out about the institutions and organisations that are behind the 2023 edition of Ja!


You can follow the conferences by streaming if you can’t attend them. All events, except for the magic show ‘Argi eta garbi’ performed by Tor Magoa and ‘Ernesto Sevilla’s 10 favourite humour sequences’, can be watched live at the following link.