The Grec was born in 1976, driven initially by the Assembly of Directors and Actors from Theatre of Catalonia, in 1979 Barcelona City Council took over. Since then the festival has been characterized by its support for the local theatre scene, without leaving aside theatre proposals from other countries, which are hosted since 1980.
The Festival of Barcelona takes its name from its main venue, the Teatre Grec (Greek Theatre), an outdoors amphitheatre which was built for the 1929 International Exhibition on Montjuïc hill, inspired by the theatre at Epidaurus, famous for the harmony of its proportions.
At first, the Greek Theatre was the only venue of the festival. However, at present the Grec has expanded to other scenic areas in the city, public and private, as the Teatre Lliure, the Mercat de les Flors, the Auditori, the Teatre Romea or La Villarroel; alternative such as the Sala Beckett or La Caldera; as well as museums - the Museum of Contemporary Art of Barcelona (MACBA), the Picassso Museum, the Centre of Contemporary Culture of Barcelona (CCCB) or the Joan Miró Foundation -; and even to public libraries as the Biblioteca de Catalunya.
In recent years, the Grec has increased its will to be a gateway to the world of theater, characterized by more innovative and emerging proposals, and supporting dance and circus. Since 2009, the organizers work with other European theater festivals, organizing projects as co-producers and promoting artists and shows.