There aren’t anywhere near enough cities on this fine earth that can truly boast being home to a festival as inclusive as Sónar. The world-renowned Barcelona music and arts event offers that rarest of experiences – a veritable smorgasbord of talent that tends to the needs of not just the music lovers and clubbers, but of every tech junkie, globetrotter, art lover and even foodie in search for the ultimate Instagram #FoodPorn.
Touching down on the city’s Centre for Contemporary Culture (CCCB) from the 15th-17th June, the attractive line-up is a satisfying mix of up-and-comers as well as bona fide living, walking legends (we’re looking at you, Björk), spanning the art and music world’s most experimental acts. Satiating those hunger pangs isn’t an afterthought either – the astronomical gastronomic area includes menus served by three Michelin-star chefs. Ultimately, with more than 140 performers entertaining the masses across nine stages, ‘Sónar by Day’ and ‘Sónar by Night’ really do cover all bases (including, of course, actual bass drops).
So as Barcellona gets ready to once again open its arms wide to herald its annual touchdown for three days of non-stop action, make sure you carry out your own prep as we delve into the depths of the most encompassing festival in Europe. Here are just five of the juiciest reasons that you should be seen there…
Sounds of Sonar Mix Series
What better way to get yourself suitably warmed up than with the Sounds of Sonar mix series? Put together by some of our favourite artists at this year’s proceedings, you’ll be taken on your merry way with a little help from Nick Cook, Heidi, Jubilee, Daniel Brandt and co. as they fill up your playlist with fiery beats worthy of a listen at any time of day, whether you’re desk-bound and dreaming, or on-route to Barcelona. Just hit play.
Sonar XS Stage
The brand new ‘Sonar by Day’ stage addition is set to bring the most radical sounds and cutting-edge trends thanks to its diverse range of artists stepping to its fore. Sink into dark future soul and hip hop from Yves Tumor, become enlightened by experimental dance from Toxe and strip things back with pop and electronic minimalist soul from Juan Ingaramo. Don’t get stage fright – make sure to check this one out early.
Masters at Work Lay Down a Six-hour DJ Set
The clue’s in the name when it comes to this eponymous duo, so dust off your marathon shoes (that’s those dancing marathon shoes, by the by) and prepare to not stop moving until long after they’ve packed up and gone home. With a whopping 27 years of material to choose from, you can bet your bottom dollar that New Yorkers Kenny Dope and Louie Vega will drop hour after hour of house-garage classics and a whole lotta feel-good vibes.
Behold techno icon Carl Craig in all his glory as he presents the glorious Versus Synthesizer Ensemble. Having been evolving the Versus project since 2008 – which adapts his traditional techno compositions to symphonic language – the project has finally led to an album with the help of composer Francesco Tristano, just in time for the festival. Join in with the celebrations as they, and four other musicians, perform the release on a variety of keyboards and synthesizers that are sure to melt minds and souls alike.
It’s Oh So Björk
The not so quiet Björk completes the Sonar 2017 programme with her immersive virtual reality exhibition, a talk at the Sonar+D Congress AND an exclusive four-hour DJ set to open the festival. And we’re not surprised that we’re once again surprised by one of the world’s best-loved mavericks.
‘Björk Digital’ will take place at the CCCB from the 13th June-24th September, showcasing an extraordinary immersive exhibition that incorporates virtual reality and video works from the Icelandic artist’s recent collaborations with some of the best visual artists and programmers in the world. The exhibition combines a wonderful mélange of performance, cinema, installation, video and interaction with VR playing a key role throughout. Undoubtedly not to be missed.
Ready? Thought so. Tickets are up for grabs now. Bag your pass for Sónar 2017.