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The Concurs

The Concurs de Castells de Tarragona, which is held on the first weekend of October, every two years, at the local Tarraco Arena Plaça (TAP), is a unique 'castells' (human towers) performance from many points of view. 

First, it is the only 'castells' day that has an explicitly competitive format; that is, it is governed by a written regulation with a score, a jury that decides doubtful cases and a final classification. Participating 'colles' have up to five rounds to try to raise their structures; the three best 'castells' achieved determine each 'colla’s' (teams) score and, therefore, their place in the final standings. 

In addition, the Concurs also stands out for the volume of participating 'colles': a total of 30 colles perform at the TAP between Saturday afternoon (eighteen colles) and Sunday morning (the best twelve). Bear also in mind the competition day that takes place the previous Sunday in Torredembarra, with a dozen other 'colles' also participating. Therefore, in total, there are 42 colles taking part in the competition, invited based on a classification sysyem (known as Rànquing Estrella), which considers all the achievements of the previous year. 

Finally, the Concurs de Castells is also an extraordinary performance in terms of the anticipation it arouses among fans (tickets to witness it live at the TAP are sold out shortly after going on sale) and the media repercussion, with growing interest from international media, attracted by the spectacularity of the event. 

At the same time though, the Concurs de Castells is already one of the most traditional events in the 'castells' calendar. The first Concurs held in the old bullring of Tarragona (the current TAP) was held in 1932 and the biennial event in this location has been held uninterruptedly since 1970 (although for years, it did not follow a competition format). 

This is why the Concurs de Castells is said to be the most important 'castells' show in the world. In this sense, the will of the Tarragona City Council, organizer of the Concurs de Castells, is for it to become a great celebration for the entire 'castells' community and, at the same time, for it to become a showcase and revitalizing factor for a tradition that was included by UNESCO in the List of Intangible Cultural Heritage.