Chemical Brothers to headline Sonar 2015 shows

Sónar 2015 announces its first names for Sónar Barcelona. The first artist announcement includes classic and revered names of electronic music and benchmarks for a new generation, together with new producers and bands outlining the future direction of electronica.
The Chemical Brothers (UK)
Autechre (UK)
Kindness (UK)
Evian Christ (UK)
Fat Freddy's Drop (NZ)
Daniel Avery (UK)
Ten Walls (LT)
Lee Gamble (UK)
Sophie (UK)
Holly Herndon (US)
Kiasmos (IS)
Kate Tempest (UK)
Tourist (UK)
Vessel (UK)
Niño (ES)
Mans O (ES)
Helena Hauff (DE)
and many more to be confirmed…
Tom Rowlands of The Chemical Brothers, speaks for the first time exclusively for Sónar
Tom Rowlands of The Chemical Brothers, speaks for the first time exclusively for Sónar to provide the first details about the new show and new studio album in 2015:
We're very excited to return to Sónar, one of the best crowds, in one of the greatest cities. We are still imagining the gig, both music and visual. We are working on the staging of the live gig at the moment. Adam (Smith) has some amazing ideas. The show will be an intense ride, hold tight. (About the new album) I guess the most important feature of the album is that it connects with us emotionally in some way. We hope for finding a new way to make you feel. We dream of new sounds and different frames. We have worked with some guest singers but mostly the album is pure Chemical Brothers.”
Keystones of electronica
For the past twenty years, The Chemical Brothers have redefined the idea of live electronic music. In that time, their live show has evolved from humble beginnings in dank London nightclubs into one of the most in demand festival headline sets in the world. All the while, it has adhered to the same basic idea: that the gig should create its own transcendent audio/visual space where the audience can lose themselves for the duration of the set. The Chemical Brothers on going relationship with director and visual artist Adam Smith continues to produce hallucinogenic results across the globe (as seen in 2012’s collaborative concert film Don’t Think). The band are due to release their eighth studio album in 2015. 
Autechre are one of the most admired and respected duos in abstract and experimental electronica. The importance of the music and sound imagined by Rob Brown and Sean Booth cannot be underestimated. They have played an integral role in the development of abstract techno and IDM (intelligent dance music) over the past 25 years. One of their tracks "Flutter", is considered by critics as a historical zenith of IDM, and albums like "Incunabula", "Amber", "TriRepetae" or the more recent "Oversteps" and "EXAI" are all masterpieces of sonic deconstruction. Their live performances are rare and very exclusive, and in 2015 they will perform at Sónar by Day, nearly two decades after their first and only appearance at the festival in 1996.
New benchmarks
As always, the Sónar line-up is dominated by the huge presence of new producers and bands noted for their powerful artistic profile and sound that in many cases outline the future direction of electronica and cutting edge music.
This is certainly the case for Vessel and Evian Christ, two very young British producers with a distinct and identifiable sound based on techno, who are exploring more complex sonic territories in immersive shows with a potent sensorial impact; Lee Gamble, the respected and experienced aural adventurer will present his new live audiovisual concept in collaboration with the London designer Dave Gaskarth.
Sónar also recognises new dynamic female talent such as American songwriter Holly Herndon, creator of dystopian sound worlds with futuristic auditory aesthetics; and KateTempest, poet, performer and British playwright -winner of the Ted Hughes Award in 2013- who will present her first album "Everybody Down" on hip-hop label Big Dada; or German dj Helena Hauff, faithful disciple to the continuation of the most resonant techno and electro from her home base in Hamburg.
The festival will also host exciting dance music projects from:Kiasmos, whose emotive and dance friendly techno is produced by prodigious Icelandic pianist Ólafur Arnalds, together with Janus Rasmussen; electropop quartet Bloodgroup; and the luminescent and penetrating melodies of Lithuanians Ten Walls, whose career has just taken off. You will also be able to enjoy prestigious young DJs likeDaniel Avery, mentored by Erol Alkan and hailed by critics as the British Isles new master of tech-house; and producers like Sophie, creator of colourful melodies and contemporary rhythms, in keeping with the new PC Music trend, who recently collaborated with Madonna, Nicki Minaj and Diplo.
There will of course be room reserved for pop and other styles including celebrated New Zealand band Fat Freddy's Drop, who return to Sónar with their fantastic live show where they will intelligently mix dub, reggae and soul, with techno and house. Also appearing from the UK will be Tourist and Kindness, two key names in today’s synth pop sound, both of whom have newly released material. Tourist will present a tantalizing live audiovisual show where the piano takes centre stage, while Kindness will present a liberating and highly emotive concert experience.

Fifty new artists added to Sonar Barcelona 2014 lineup!

The world renown Barcelona International Festival of Advanced Music and New Media Art otherwise known as Sonar add fifty new artists to its already amazing lineup.

These are the artists joining the Sónar 2014 line-up: CHIC feat. Nile Rodgers, Röyksopp & Robyn, DESPACIO (James Murphy + 2manydjs), Lykke Li, Neneh Cherry, James Murphy, 2manydjs, Boys Noize, Trentemøller, Loco Dice, Todd Terje, Kid Koala's Vinyl Vaudeville, Audion, Spoek Mathambo, DJ Snake, Four Tet DJ set, BFlecha, Dâm-Funk, Future Brown, Brodinski, Forest Swords, WhoMadeWho, 2020Vision presents Debukas, Paul Woolford and Ralph Lawson, FM Belfast, Kaytranada, Matthew Dear, Camo & Krooked, Machine Variation, Daniel Miller, Henry Saiz, Daito Manabe, Unsound presents Robert Piotrowicz and Oren Ambarchi with Sinfonietta Cracovia, Chris Madak aka Bee Mask, Hucci, Tarek Atoui, Roll The Dice, Sibot, Professor Angel Sound, Sinjin Hawke, Astroboyz, Koreless, T.Williams, Throwing Snow, Emufucka, Louis Baker, Trancemicsoul, Suzanne Kraft, De La Montagne, Leo Aldrey, Harald Björk, Rudi Zygadlo, Jolly Mare, and Love Cult. 

Check here the complete list of artists confirmed so far 

Sónar 2014 has finalised its main line-up with 50 new artists, headed by the legendary Chic, with Nile Rodgers at the helm. The festival will also present performances by several Nordic artists with their finger very much on the pulse, including Neneh CherryLykke Li (both presenting new albums at Sónar), the Röyksopp + Robyn duoTodd Terje and Trentemøller, as well as immersive digital experiences byAudion and Daito Manabe and visionary artists such as Dâm-FunkKid KoalaForest SwordsHenry Saiz and Oren Ambarchi, who will be performing with Sinfonietta Cracovia in a joint collaboration between Sónar and Unsound Festival in Poland. 

An unprecedented music listening experience: six hours playing vinyl, all three days of Sónar by Day 

One of this year’s highlights is DESPACIO powered by McIntosh, a new concept of a listening experience that brings together James Murphy (LCD Soundsystem / DFA) and 2manydjs to focus their finely honed skills on partygoers’ experience through a meticulously chosen selection of music and spectacular-quality high-fidelity sound. On all three days of Sónar by Day, James Murphy and 2manydjs will be playing vinyl records from their own collections for six hours (from 3.30 pm to 9.30 pm) in a specially designed space featuring a circle of seven speaker stacks as part of a one-of-a-kind 50,000 W sound system. Since space is limited, admission will be on a first-come, first-served basis. 

A live history of dance music 

Chic and Nile Rogers need no introduction. Universally acclaimed as one of the greatest dance bands of all time, with such immortal hits as “Le Freak” and “Good Times”, their popularity recently went through the roof when their leader, Nile Rodgers, worked on Daft Punk’s new album—not to mention their interplanetary success with “Get Lucky” and collaborations with Disclosure and Tensnake. Their legendary Sonar 2006 concert was one of that year’s highlights and this year’s performance has all the signs of being equally stunning. 

Nordic excellence 

After the huge success of Sonar Reykjavik and Sonar Stockholm in February, the Nordic scene will continue its onward roll in Barcelona with the likes of Swedish Neneh Cherry (who’s back with a new show and new album, produced by Four Tet, in collaboration with RocketNumberNine), Lykke Li (also presenting a new album) and Robyn, who’s teamed up with Norwegian duo Röyksopp and also appears on a track on Neneh Cherry’s album. Sonar will also be rolling out the red carpet for the Norwegian king of space disco Todd Terje (with a new LP coming out in April) and popular Danish musician Trentemøller, who’ll be performing songs from his recent album “Lost” with a complete band of musicians on stage. 

Immersive experiences and avant-garde sound 

Always eager to keep up with the latest technological innovations in audiovisual creation and performance, Sonar will be presenting shows that are total immersive experiences, fashioned out of complex languages embracing art, sound and technology. One striking example will be Audion’s performance, and highly acclaimed Japanese creative technologist Daito Manabe will give a live interactive concert combining video mapping and contemporary dance. In addition, US artist Matthew Dear will present his techno project with a powerful show designed by the creators of ISAM (Amon Tobin) in which an A-shaped mechanism responds to live audio impulses created by the artist. 

Avant-garde languages are always at the fore at Sonar and this year is no exception. Forest Swords will be revealing their perfect fusion of atavistic dub, ancestral folk and filmic guitar lines in the spirit of Ennio Morricone. Taking risks and searching for new concepts are the aims of the new partnership between Sonar and Unsound Festival in Poland, which will take the shape of two concerts for music connoisseurs: Oren Ambarchi and Sinfonietta Cracovia’s clash between synthetic and classic; and intense, microscopic electronica by Robert Piotrowicz, who regularly works with Kevin Drumm and Ambarchi himself. 

Groove in their DNA 

Funk and hip hop are in the DNA of three iconoclastic artists who will be at Sonar by Day: Kid Koala returns with a new show, Vinyl Vaudeville 2.0, which features turntable mischief and revamps classic genres of black music (funk, blues, jazz) in a contemporary cabaret format; Dâm-Funk will be bringing vintage synthesisers and drum machines to thrill partygoers with their sizzling retro-futurist boogie-funk; and Spoek Mathambo will be at the helm of Fantasma, a supergroup of South African musicians who fuse the country’s house and psychedelic traditions into a powerful, vibrant sound. 

Names from the Spanish scene 

Sonar by Day welcomes two of the leading lights on the current Spanish scene. Madrid-based Henry Saizwill premiere a new live show in which he will play songs from his latest album on the Natura Sonoris label with a wide range of acoustic instruments. And Galician Belén Vidal, aka BFlecha, will do the same with some of the many gems on “Beta”, an album that forges a new path for synth pop and electronic R&B sung in Spanish. 

Rudimental, Tiga and more added to Sonar Barcelona 2014 lineup

A masssive new release of artists have been added to Spains Sonar Barcelona.  Pretty Lights, Flux Pavilion, Rudimental, DJ Harvey, The Martinez Brothers, Machinedrum, Tiga, Laurel Halo, Ben Frost, Yelle and showcase from New York label L.I.E.S. are among the new additions to Sonar Barcelona 2014.

Known as Pretty Lights, Derek Vincent Smith will present a lush visual show at Sonar performing "A Color Map Of The Sun" his fourth album, nominated for best dance / electronica album at the Grammy Awards.  Pretty Lights samples and combines hip-hop, glitch and also revives funk and soul samples, all of which make him the most organic artist within the explosion of electronica in the US.

Rudimental and Flux Pavilion are two of the UK’s most popular champions in today’s commercial dance music.  Rudimental, are a London quartet focused primarily on fusing pop and drum'n'bass.  They are comprised of composers, DJ 's and producers Piers Agget, Kesi Dryden Amir Amor and DJ Locksmith.  To add to their long list of UK and European chart successes is their new, 2014 Brits Awards, triple nomination for: Best Group, Best Album and Best Single (for "Waiting All Night"), the spearhead of their meteoric rise, achieved in less than three years. Their powerful live show at Sonar will feature 12 musicians, MC's, organs, synthesizers, guitars, percussion and MPC 's.


Meanwhile, Flux Pavilion, aka Joshua Steele, one of the most in demand dubstep producers and DJ’s in Britain, will present live, his sonic palette of sweeping hyperbolic bass lines.  As well as remixing the likes of M.I.A. and Skrillex, the 24-year-old Flux Pavillion also sings and plays a variety of instruments.  Over the last five years this versatility has seen him perform around the world, earning him the respect from both the industry and public alike.

With a completely new show the awe-inspiring Yelle aka singer -songwriter Julie Budet (a genuine star of electro-synth pop and one of the most internationally successful modern French artists) will present her charismatic personality during the live performance of her much-anticipated third album.  She will do so in the company of her band composed of DJs Grand Marnier (Jean François Perrier) and Tepr (Tanguy Destable).

Exemplary careers in the history of electronica
There will be no shortage of DJ heavyweights: Tiga, (one of the most important figures of electronica to come out of Canada) has been given the responsibility of closing this year’s festival on Saturday night.  DJ Harvey wizard in the realm of disco, house, garage, electro and cosmic rock will present his usual master class, and The Martinez Brothers, the new ambassadors of New York house music, who are responsible for revitalising the genre.

Also from the Big Apple the raw and minimalist electronica labelL.I.E.S. will present their showcase.  In just three years L.I.E.S. has built an impressive catalogue, already an international benchmark for low-fi house and techno. Label chief Ron Morelli will perform his first album live. Meanwhile, Svengalisghost, (alias of Marquis Cooper) will present its dystopian, paranoiac and noir sound that includes flawless hooks of acid, house, techno and EBM.  Cooper manipulates cassette tapes and uses old editing techniques and methods to distort the sound from a turntable.

Ben Frost, the renowned Australian experimental electronic artist living in Iceland has directed operas, composed music for the theatre, dance, visual arts and cinema.  At Sonar he will present his new album supported by his on stage band, providing guitars, several large amplifiers and various electronic devices in order to share his post- classical, noise, post-rock, drone and dark metal music.

Sonar 's commitment to new talent
Emerging artists like Machinedrum, UZ, Recondite and Alizzz will also represent new talent. 

American Travis Stewart, better known as Machinedrum (who has reinvented drum'n'bass and is one of the main advocates for the revival of jungle and it’s hybridization process with the Chicago footwork sound) will come to Sonar to present his "Vapor City Live Show" the live version of his new album. A visual concept album released on Ninja Tune, each track represents an imaginary city district.  "Vapour City" transports itself to the stage with Machinedrum’s own vocals and guitar, with percussion by Lane Barrington and visuals from the Weirdcore collective.

In recent years, American Laurel Halo has created her own unique sound: lush, avant-garde, electronic and experimental, inspired by the minimalist music of Steve Reich, Detroit techno, science fiction and experiences from 6 months spent in Thailand.  Halo experiments and shifts between techno, ambient, synth pop, drum machines, samplers, her voice, pianos, guitars and violins, among many other elements.  "Quarantine", released on Hyperdub in 2012, was selected as ‘album of the year’ by the prestigious magazine, Wire. In 2013 there followed EP "Behind The Green Door" and the album "Chance of Rain". It was material in which she abandoned her more experimental vocal treatments to concentrate in more depth, on the techno roots of her music.

The mysterious UZ is a true icon of trap, not only for his incredible talent but also for the mystery surrounding him.  Never showing his face, his identity is unknown.  His tracks are raw and minimalist, powerful and magnetic and his dexterity with bass lines sets him apart from other same genre artists.

Visionist, also known as Louis Carnell, has for some time been earmarked by the specialised press, as one of the most promising and intriguing artist’s in today’s British electronica. At Sonar he will present his unique take on the grime sound, including the ethereal elements, which place him at the forefront of the genre.

Recondite, aka German Lorenz Brunner is a staple artist of the current Berlin scene and a producer noted for his sensitivity to the deeper, melancholic and intimate side of electronica.   At Sonar he will present "Hinterland", his second album, inspired by the ecosystem of Bavaria and released on Ghostly International.  It is an album of slow techno and house, with frozen and bleak textures.

From the global sound arena, the Angolan DJ Nigga Fox is an artist exploring contemporary electronic music produced in the suburbs of Lisbon. It is dance music that draws ancient influences from Portuguese – African Diaspora like Funaná (a rapid accordion driven rhythm), Kizomba or Tarrachinha (slow and sensual) as well as the more contemporary sound of Kuduro, a type of tribal house with MC’s rapping vocal parts.

On a local level, Barcelonan Alizzz (alias of Cristian Quirante) is already one of 2014’s rising stars.  With an EP release on none other than Diplo’s Mad Decent label, he is one of the most talked about names of the year.  Counting influences as diverse as techno and 90’s hard rock, his music adds vitality and excitement by merging hip-hop and r&b, to produce an entirely contemporary, epic and danceable sound.


Trentemøller, Diplo and more added to Sonar Reykjavík 2014

Trentemøller, Diplo and FM Belfast added to the Sónar Reykjavík line-up

We’re proud to announce the latest additions of artists to perform at Sónar Reykjavík 2014, February 13-15.

Since his storming DJ set Sónar Reykjavík earlier this year Trentemøller has released his third full length album, the critically acclaimed Lost, and a Live in Copenhagen compilation of some of his best works. The Danish electronic icon will be making a return to the festival in February, this time bringing his band and full live show experience to Reykjavik!

The line-up to Sónar Reykjavík car park stage, the underground dancefloor we’ll set-up beneath the Harpa, is also getting bigger and better. Latest add-on of DJs to its programme being no other than worldwide star producer, DJ virtuoso, Mad Decent label boss and Major Lazer forerunner; Diplo.

Diplo Sonar 2014

Iceland’s friendliest band, FM Belfast, which among others includes Örvar Smáreyjarson Þóreyjarsonof Múm and has earned a reputation to be one of Iceland’s most energetic live acts, will be performing at one of Harpa’s main stages. So will President Bongo of GusGus and DJ Margeir, who, along with guests, come back to the festival with their arsenal of rotating musical mass as Gluteus Maximus.

Others from the vibrant local music scene now added to the bill include; Iceland’s techno wizard Exos, the minimalistic yet intricate Tonik, local hip hop pioneer CELL7 and the debut the unique approach to composition of multi-instrumental musician Högni Egilsson making his live debut under his alias HE.

The final line-up will consist of more than 60 artist, bands and DJs, so there is more to come!

Sónar Reykjavík 2014 takes place at one of Europe's most unique concert venues; Harpa – with five different stages; Silfuberg, Norðurljós, Kaldalón, Flói and the underground car-park, which will quickly become a classic.

James Holden, Jon Hopkins and more for Sónar Reykjavík and Sónar Stockholm

James Holden, Jon Hopkins, Paul Kalkbrenner, Bonobo, Daphni and Evian Christ have been announced for both Sónar Reykjavík and Sónar Stockholm 2014 in February.

In Sónar Reykjavík, they all join Major Lazer, who is headlining, together with the When Saints Go Machine and the première of Starwalker, the new collaboration of France's Jean-Benoit Dunckel (half of Air) and Icelandic composer Bardi Johannsson. More than 90 artists will be playing in Sweden and Iceland for this year’s Sónar Nordic trip.

Sónar Nordic weekend James Holden, the cosmic and trance-like creative head of Border Community, will take “The Inheritors”, his last epic production, out his studio out into the world via his live show which promises to expand the grounds for folk modern electronic music. UK's own digital bits crafter Jon Hopkins and Evian Christ, the rising star wizardly mixing R&B and hip-hop also will be joining him on this journey to both Sónar Reykjavík and Sónar Stockholm.

Germany's dance music iconic star Paul Kalkbrenner as well asBonobo, the downtempo experimental live by UK producer Simon Green, and the dj set of Daphni, aka Caribou's loved electronic dance project, are also confirmed on top of the bills for both Sónar Stockholm and Sónar Reykjavik.

Only in Sónar Reykjavík, they all join Major Lazer, together with the When Saints Go Machine and the première of Starwalker, the new collaboration of France's Jean-Benoit Dunckel (half of Air) and Icelandic composer Bardi Johannsson. Sónar lands in Stockholm for the first time Sónar Stockholm takes place at Munchenbryggeriet in the Södermalm district in the city centre, the 14th and 15th of February 2014 and it will encompass 30 artists and Dj's overthree stages: SonarClub, SonarDôme presented by RBMA and SonarLab. The doors will open at 7PM until 3AM on both days.

Among the local acts, the festival hosts two of Sweden's finest DJ's, the Berlin-Stockholm bound Johanna Knutsson and P3 radio turn into clubbing and producing DJ Sandra Mosh

As the epilogue of the successful Red Bull Music Academy Weekender which took place in Stockholm this November, Red Bull Music Academy will partner with Sónar Stockholm. 
The Red Bull Music Academy will program the second largest stage of the festival portraying some of the most interesting local and international acts around together with the academy's favourite
up-and-coming talent.

Second edition of Sónar Reykjavík Sónar Reykjavík 2014 takes place at Harpa – Reykjavik Music Hall, situated right by the harbor in the downtown area of the city, with five different stages over three days, the 13, 14 and 15th of February. Sónar Reykjavik will be turning Harpa's underground car park again into a nightclub and will provide a line-up of more than60 artist, bands and DJs for its second edition.

Major Lazer, world-famous Diplo's production which continues to spearhead the current dancehall revival movement, headlines one of the five stages on the Saturday night. Another highlight will be the première of Starwalker, the new collaboration of France's Jean-Benoit Dunckel (half of Air) and Icelandic composer Bardi Johannsson.

Major Lazer

Among the local acts the award winning blue-eyed soul sensationMoses Hightower; Möller Records founders Futuregrapher &Skurken; the most exciting new act to emerge from Iceland's vibrant music scene in the past months, electric pop trio Vök;Kiasmos, the brainchild of Icelandic modern classical composer Ólafur Arnalds and Bloodgroup mastermind Janus Rasmussen from the Faroe Islands, and the adventurous Reykjavik based American-Icelandic electro-pop duo Low Roar. The Danish bandWhen Saints Go Machine will also be a highlight together with our good German-Danish friend Rune Reilly Kölsch aka Kölsch,HjaltalínSykurSometime and Kent Slash Demo.

Sónar Stockholm 2014 announces the first confirmed artists

Next year Sónar lands in Stockholm for the first time between the 14 and 15 February, 2014.

First confirmed artists so far are Bonobo, an artist very much at the peak of his significant powers, who will bring his acclaimed live show to Sónar Stockholm, as well as DaphniCaribou's loved electronic dance project, UK's own digital bits crafter Jon Hopkins and the swedish electronic dance music pioneers Skudge and La Fleur.

Tickets are now available here (link a tickets) as well as a special offer for your stay (link accomodation) by our Hotel partner Nordic Light / Nordic Sea Hotel in Stockholm.

In Stockholm where Sónar will present more than 30 artists, live shows and DJs.The festival will take place at Münchenbryggeriet in the city centre. There will be more news to come soon.


Major Lazer set for Sonar Reykjavík 2014

We’re thrilled to announce the first names for Sónar Reykjavík 2014, with no other than Major Lazer, world-famous Diplo's production which continues to spearhead the current dancehall revival movement, headlining one of our five stages on the Saturday night! 

Daphni, Caribou's electronic dance project together with HjaltalínSykurSometime and our good German-Danish friend Rune Reilly Kolsch aka Kölsch have also been added to the line-up. 

As per last year and due to popular demand, Sónar Reykjavík will be turning Reykjavík’s Music Hall Harpa's underground car park into a nightclub, with a strong selection of international and local disc-jockeys. 

From February 13th to the 15th,  the second edition of Sónar Reykjavík will add a line-up of more than 60 artist, bands and DJs.

Sonar adds Stockholm in 2014

In 2014, the Swedish capital, one of the world's most powerful cities, joins the five destinations of 2014, together with Reykjavík, Tokyo, Mexico DF, Barcelona and Cape Town.  

For its second Nordic trip, in February Sonar will travel to two destinations simultaneously: for the first time Sonar will land in Sweden offering a unique experience at Münchenbryggeriet, located right in the middle of Stockholm and the second Sonar in Iceland will take place again in Reykjavík adding one more day to the festivities.

Sonar Stockholm 2014

Sonar Stockholm will take place the 14th and 15th of February and will fill a gap in the long cold winter of Stockholm with an indoor festival for two days, combining both international and local artists and DJs.

The event will be held at Münchenbryggeriet, in the beautiful district of Södermalm. The brewery is one of the most characteristic elements in the skyline of Stockholm and one of the architectural totems of the industrial era.

More information and tickets sale will be announced soon

Sonar Reykjavík 2014

Sonar Reykjavík will take place for the second time in Harpa Concert House from February 13th through February 15th, 2014. The festival set up will be similar to the one held last year along with the additions of two small stages inside Harpa and special concerts in the grand auditorium, Eldborg.

The unique 3-days pass is now available online at

Travel packages are also available from the following countries via Icelandair: Netherlands, US, Denmark, France, Canada, Germany, UK and Sweden.

Sonar Barcelona 2014

In Barcelona in 2014, Sonar by Day with its successfully premiered location in Fira Montjuïc, and Sonar+D, a concrete commitment to Sonar’s professional activity, will reaffirm the festival’s new format, born in 2013 for its 20th Anniversary.

Now in its 21st edition, the Barcelona event has been an international focal point for both the public and professionals with more than 124,000 visitors from around the world in 2013, which every year transforms Barcelona into the world capital of electronic music culture.

The dates for next year are 12th,13th and 14th of June. Tickets are already on sale at a special price of 150€ until the 30th of September here

The next five international events, as well as the festival in Barcelona in 2014, make a total of 50 Sonar events and festivals organized worldwide since 2002, in countries including the United States, Canada, Japan, Brazil, South Korea, Germany, Mexico, Switzerland, Portugal, the United Kingdom and Argentina, among others.

London (2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2009, 2010 and 2011) / Lisbon (2002) / Neuchatel (2002) / Hamburg (2002, 2003, 2004, 2005 and 2006) / Tokyo (2002, 2004, 2006, 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014) / Turin (2002) / Rome (2003) / Sao Paulo (2004, 2012) / Lyon (2004) / Guadalajara (2004) / Buenos Aires (2006) / Seoul (2006) / Frankfurt (2007) / Washington (2009) / New York (2009) / Chicago (2010 and 2012) / Galicia (2010-2012) / Cape Town (2012 and 2014) / Sonar on Tour: Chicago, Toronto, Montreal, Boston, Denver, Oakland and Los Angeles (2012) / Osaka (2013) / Reykjavik (2013 and 2014) / Stockholm (2014) / Mexico DF (2014)

Sónar Barcelona, or The Best Festival Yet

Sónar’s 20th anniversary reads like a who’s who of electronic music new and, well, more new. From Jurassic 5’s old school hip-hop and the eternally synth-pop Pet Shop Boys, to dance anthem pedlars like 2manydjs and the impossible grace of Natasha Khan aka Bat for Lashes, this was always going to be a big weekend.

The three day festival kicks off Thursday, leaving you Sunday to recover – or carry on the party. We catch Oddisee under the SonarDôme, slick rap between brassy jazz, while outside SónarVillage has exploded with the cheesy 70s hit ‘Love is in the air’. Fun is the aim of the game.

Gold Panda is another of those non-DJ DJs. In black denim and t-shirt, I picture him nursing a book alone in a café somewhere. Today, though, he hits us with playful and animalistic beats, eyes fixed on his fingertips as he bops along to perfectly haphazard breaks. The sound is of a runaway music box, and oddly relaxing.

Beer vendors wind through the crowd under a heavy Spanish sun. I worry for all the hipsters getting hot beneath their beards – at least they have their Wayfarers on. One such beardy man holds a kaleidoscope to his mobile phone to film the set (not the Beardyman, though he plays on Saturday). Lindstroøm and Todd Terje get us to nightfall. It’s the first time I’ve heard Terje’s ‘Inspector Norse’ and I understand immediately why it’s so popular. Have a listen.


There’s action aplenty with ‘off Sónar’ events across the city, but we save our feet for the first Sónar de Noche, held in a series of warehouses at the edge of town. Of course Bat for Lashes is wonderful, but we knew she would be. Bristolian DJ Eats Everything plays ahead of Two Door Cinema Club, a sentimental favourite who move seamlessly through their repertoire. “Maybe someday, you’ll be somewhere, talking to me, as if you knew me.”

It’s worth the rush to the outdoor SónarLab to see French DJs C2C perform ’Down the Road‘. They do a Run-DMC cover and manage to hold a sound-off in the crowd, a winner-by-applause deal without spoiling the mood. The 3D Kraftwerk set is all hype and Skrillex becomes the night’s surprise win (although I’d like my ears back, badly). I’m distracted by someone so famous wearing a shirt with his name on the back, but he’s forgiven with Benny Benassi’s ‘Cinema’. I don’t like dubstep; I just love that he’s got us all dancing.

Three hours sleep gets us by, and we’re back at Sónar de Dia for some synth-disco courtesy of US act Chromatics. I warm to their 80s edge and a convincing take on the Kate Bush classic ‘Running up that hill’. We watch AlunaGeorge from faux-grass decking, and catch TNGHT open with a cinematic rendition of Billie Holiday’s ‘Strange Fruit’. The stop-start set isn’t my thing, and I leave early to give my eardrums a break.


The closing night of Sónar is marked with a three-hour Ed Banger tribute. Justice scores easy points with his Simian Mobile Disco mashup ‘We are your friends’, and it’s good-time fare ‘til Laurent Garnier heralds the Sunday dawn. Even with a huge turnout, the warehouses have space to sit and take stock when needed. Revellers don’t seem to overdo it as much as back on the British Isles, and the international crowd adds to Sónar’s world-class festival credentials.

In 2014 Sónar hits five cities, so the next question is Barcelona, Tokyo or Mexico? Life’s tough.


Check out the photos from Sónar 2013 here.

Sónar by Day add 30 more amazing acts

The American band Chromatics is undoubtedly one of today's most critically acclaimed and publicly adored groups.  They head the new additions to Sónar by Day, with their high-end, 80’s italo-disco influenced electronic pop sound.

Meanwhile, the charismatic Sebastien Tellier will appear with his most recent album under his arm for a luminescent, top-notch pop concert.  No less important, Atom TM (aka Atom Heart or Señor Coconut) will follow suit with their excellent new album "HD", recently published on prestigious German label Raster_Noton.

Sónar by Day adds three more European projects, all of whom have a powerful stage presence: the Dutch band Skip & Die, with the striking Cata Pirata fronting a sound between MIA and Die Antwoord, the French act Jackson and his Computer Band, Warp’s previous star signing return with their masterful technological galactic funk show and the Icelandic Sísý Ey, arriving from a triumphant Sónar Reykjavik performance with their organic style house and breathtaking voices.

The most exciting artists from the national scene 

Since its very first edition, Sónar’s commitment to its local and national scene remains unchanged. The 20th Anniversary provides fresh impetus to this commitment with the inclusion of more than a dozen new names to Sónar by Day: the stratospheric Za!(considered one of the best live bands in the country), the Sevillian beatmaker Lost Twin, the wild and provocative Menja Tiger Zebra, the illustrated noise of Evol, the electronic and audiovisual perfectionist Wooky, the dialogue between the cello and laptop of Sara Galan & Edu Comelles, the audio poetry of Jansky, the unrestrained experimentation of Coagul, the IDM and aural sound-scapes of XTRNGR and Drömnu, the groove from the decks of Dj Tutu and the evocative digital processes of Tges

Red Bull Music Academy at SonarDôme 

The global roaming talent-developing academy adds new names to the SonarDôme stage. Notable live act highlights include American duo Metro Area, considered the masters of the revamped disco revival at the beginning 21st century, the iconoclastic pairings of Felix Kubin & James Pants and JESSE & Jimi Tenor, the machine-less techno of Austrians Elektro Guzzi, the freestyle rap of Oddise, the ghetto beats set of Branko (member of Buraka Som Sistema), and the high quality reflective hip-hop of Madrid’s C. Tangana. 

Completing the line up Kidsuke (the duo formed by Kidkanevil and Daisuke Tanabe), Cassegrain (deep techno from Greece and Germany), Palmbolen (psychedelica with touches of dub and krautrock), DZA (hip hop beats and rhymes from Russia), Satore(Mallorcan deep house straight from the heart) and We Like Turtles (the in demand dj duo from Tarragona).

Sonar+D puts forward its first offering Sonar+D, the evolution of the professional and new media areas at the festival (presented in collaboration with the Mobile World Capital), unveils its first offering. Sonar+D brings creativity, technology, mobility, innovation and business to public and professionals alike and serves as an open lab bringing together activities and projects that take a playful and experimental character, anticipating today's transforming languages and tools of an international level.

Sonar+D will occupy four floors of the Palau de Congresses in Barcelona, with the majority of activities open to the public and a series of closed networking sessions and discussions aimed at accredited professionals only. Sonar+D coexists at Sónar by Day, with SonarCinema and the SonarComplex stage in the grand auditorium.

Sonar+D Partnerships: Berklee College of Music, BBC Radiophonic Workshop, UPF / MTG …

Sonar+D has created partnerships with companies and iconic brands. One of these is Berklee College of Music, which will present a Master in musical innovation and also the Rethink workshop, aimed at analyzing new business models in the music industry. Also featured are the BBC Radiophonic Workshop(under the artistic direction of Matthew Herbert), a research laboratory for creating BBC sound effects and the Bridges For Music Project, developed in South Africa for the social integration through music of disadvantaged communities.

Sonar+D will pay special attention to the educational and research area, with the participation of organizations like the UPF, through to the Music Technology Group, which is organizing the fourth edition of the Music Hack Day, which this year focuses on neuroscience and will have 100 participant hackers working 24 hours straight.

Beardyman, Hermutt Lobby and the Barcelona Laptop Orchestra at Sonar+D shows.

Sonar+D of course, draws on the talent of the Sónar music line up and includes three concerts from BeardymanHermutt Lobby and the Barcelona Laptop Orchestra. Sonar+D highlights these concerts for their technological relevance and the use of mobile devices in their development and implementation.


The visual artists, presented in the Interactive Forum 

The "creative coding" and postdigital experimentation stage will have an Interactive forum and allow a space to discover the creators and programmers behind this visual culture. Passing through (among others) will be Berlin visual studio Pfadfinderai(regular accomplices of Modeselektor and Paul Kalkbrener) and Barcelona’s Mr Doob (collaborator of Google Data Arts Team).

Companies and entrepreneurs, Sonar+D’s protagonists

Companies and entrepreneurs from creative industries will be able to showcase products, services and projects in the new Market Place space. There will be practical demos at Hands On Area, an area which will have its own stage, Meet The Expert to schedule meetings with experts and the App Bar to discover apps and get to know his developers.

SonarCinema screenings  Each year at Sónar by Day, SonarCinema screens, movies, documentaries and audiovisual work in harmony with the festival, either for it’s interesting content or its high artistic value.

SónarCinema announce five first screenings which give shape to its programming: "Reincarnations" tells the story of the change in character of the great Snoop Dogg to Snoop Lion after his visit to Jamaica and his new love for reggae music; "We Are Modeselektor" delves into the world of one of the most important duos in today's electronica (also appearing in this years line up at Sónar by Day); the short film "Umshini Wam" stars Die Antwoord and is directed by Harmony Korine ("Gummo" and "Spring Breakers" among others); also, a compilation of the American director Max Albert’s work for Mad Decent (Diplo’s label) and six episodes of "HΔSHTAG$", a series about emerging music genres on the internet, produced by the Red Bull Music Academy.