When? 13, 14 and 15 June 2013
By day - Fira Montjuïc, Avinguda Reina Maria Cristina, s/n
By night - Fira Gran Via L’Hospitalet, Av. Botánica, 62 – Polígono Pedrosa
08908 L’Hospitalet de Llobregat
Price? Full ticket: €175, 2-night ticket: €115, Day ticket: €40, Night ticket: €66
Its full title might sound a bit of a mouthful, but the Sónar Barcelona International Festival of Advanced Music and New Media Art is one of the most raved about annual events in the city. If you’re in Barcelona on 13, 14 or 15 June, expect three days and nights of partying throughout the Catalan capital and an intriguing mix of events that blur the boundaries between music, technology and art.
Sónar by day
Taking place amid the dense summer heat, this festival has been on the go for 20 years. It’s divided into two distinct halves, Sónar Day and Sónar Night, which take place in different locations. After 19 years at the CCCB and the MACBA, Sónar by Day is moving to different landmark – Fira Montjuïc in Plaça d’Espanya.
The concerts themselves take place alongside workshops and exhibitions, with many weird and wonderful things to see. Try out some cutting-edge interactive exhibitions at Sónar Hall (a particular highlight of last year’s festival was Japanese artist Daito Manabe, who makes music by moving the muscles on his face).
Wandering around the SónarVillage, taking in its open-air in the Plaça de l’Univers, or browsing through the massive record fair is a great way to soak up the creative atmosphere.
Sónar by night
You won’t be surprised to hear that it’s the night-time festival where the party really gets going, often lasting till 8 o’clock the next morning. Out at the massive Fira Gran Via, the warehouse venue plays host to some of the biggest international acts as well as some up-and-coming acts in the world of electronica and pop.
The change of location means that the two venues are much closer together – they are now only eight minutes apart on the transport service put on especially by festival organisers. Bear in mind that this service is usually packed, so another option would be to drive or use public transport. Full details on potential routes can be found here.
Pet Shop Boys
This English duo was formed by Neil Tennant and Chris Lowe in the early ‘80s. They are the undisputed kings of electro pop, selling more than 50 million records around the world. They shrewdly navigate this genre with ease and intelligence, delighting audiences around the globe by also incorporating synth-pop, house and techno into the mix.
An international phenomenon, this 25-year-old has already remixed tracks by Lady Gaga, deadmau5 and La Roux, collaborated with A$AP Rocky and Boys Noize, and been on the soundtrack for the film ‘Spring Breakers’. He has taken the world of dub step by storm and will be on everyone’s list to see this year.
Kraftwerk (3D show)
After the spectacular presentation at Sónar São Paulo, the legendary German group are coming to Sónar Barcelona to showcase their new 3D extravaganza. The audio-visual performances have been popular since the 1970s and captivate festival-goers worldwide.
Ed Banger 10
To celebrate its 10th birthday, this Parisian label is touring 10 cities around the world, which of course includes Barcelona’s Sónar festival. Their set will include the DJ duo Justice, contemporary Breakbot and the boss, Busy P who will play some special birthday tunes.
Christened a “dance floor alchemist”, this German electronic music producer is set to take Sónar 2013 by storm. A raver himself, he understands how to get a crowd going and is set to showcase some of the tracks from his latest album ‘Guten Tag’ as well as potentially some new material.
Tickets are not as expensive as some other European festivals but you should try and book them well in advance via their website. You can opt to go for a single day or night, but as it happens, many visitors don’t attend the official festival and go instead to the various spin-off events around the city. Almost every club in Barcelona, as well as all bars and hotels, arrange parties throughout the week, with a mix of sounds from international DJs blaring out all over the city.
Sónar isn’t a camping festival, so make sure you book accommodation if you are going to be a part of this massive event. See you there!
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