Festival Guide: Sonar Festival Barcelona 2019

Sónar 2019 presents more than 80 premieres and unique experiences among 140 performances by artists from 36 countries.

The 26th edition of Barcelona’s Festival of Music, Creativity and Technology Sónar 2019, taking place on 18, 19 and 20 July, combines the global stars of dance music and urban beats with artistic exploration on the geographical and sonic fringes of electronica.

Sónar 2019 will present 89 concerts and 51 DJ sets of global stars and emerging artists, many of which will be premieres or exclusive shows with an extensive audiovisual component. A total of 12 shows will use the latest technological innovations such as Artificial Intelligence, data visualization or live scientific experimentation.

Sonar by Day © Ariel Martini

Sonar 2019 premieres

Among dozens of premieres (exclusive worldwide or in Spain) and unique experiences are the new shows by Arca, Holly Herndon, Four Tet, Floating Points, BERLINIST presents GRIS Game Live, Bad Gyal, Hauschka & Francesco Donadello, Cecilio G and three back to back DJ sets conceived exclusively for Sónar: Louie Vega & Honey Dijon, Peggy Gou & Palms Trax and Blawan & Dax J.

After its 25th anniversary, this year the festival reaffirms its vocation for diversity, with an important presence of creators who elaborate their artistic discourses from a radical point of view or on geographical, political, sonorous or gender fringes. K Á R Y Y Y N, Lotic, Jlin, Muqata’a, Hibotep or Sevdaliza stand out in this line.

This edition listens to the sounds from all the different corners of the world, with artists from 36 countries, and a special focus on the new sound of Africa such as Petite Noir, Deena Abdelwahed, Sho Madjozi, DJ Lag, Obongjayar, Faka, Slikback, and voices from Latin America, with Bad Bunny, Nicola Cruz, Dengue Dengue Dengue, LAO & Wasted Fates (N.A.A.F.I.), Jesse Baez, ha$lopablito, or La Diabla.

The present and future of the Spanish National scene

The national scene is also strongly represented by talents such as Bad Gyal, Dellafuente, Cecilio G, Territoire, Ylia, Virgen Maria, Tutu, Desert+Desilence, Hamill Industries, Mans O, Aleesha, La Diabla, Phran, $kyhook, Rrucculla or Alba G. Corral, among many others.

The main shows of Sonar 2019

Sónar 2019 will feature some of the most important players in hip hop and contemporary urban music such as A$AP Rocky, Skepta, Bad Bunny as well as Kaytranada and Vince Staples, relevant names in the new music that brings hip hop closer to electronica.

In dance music, the kings of the British house, Disclosure; the live show of Paul Kalkbrenner’s new album; the long-awaited emotional session of Four Tet playing in total darkness, with the SonarPub stage solely focused on sound; or Underworld, classics in the history of dance music, presenting their new project “Drift” of expansive and epic techno.

The legacy and the future of clubbing

SonarCar is the circular stage at Sonar by Night that best represents clubbing’s contribution to the history of electronic music. the stage will host the exclusive 6-hour DJ set on Friday night by British producer and musician Floating Points in what will be his only date in Spain this year; and Body & Soul, on Saturday night, the iconic New York collective of spiritual house (with a luxury trio made up of NYC pioneers François Kevorkian, Danny Krivit and Joe Claussell).

SonarCar / Sonar by Night

The spirit of clubbing is spread across all the stages day and night with names that best define its legacy and future, such as the set of Belgian techno DJ Amelie Lens; the special closing of the Germans DJ Koze -with his contemporary house and disco for Friday night, and Dixon, considered one of the best DJs in the world and leader of the label Innervisions, for Saturday night. In addition, there will be three unprecedented collaborations exclusively for Sónar: Honey Dijon & Louie Vega, Peggy Gou & Palms Trax and Blawan & Dax J.

Sónar by Day features the live shows of the Israelis Red Axes, heavily influenced by their trips to Africa and Vietnam; the dance sets of Ross From Friends, Leon Vynehall and Maya Janes Coles; the new SonarHall show by French label Ed Banger’s SebastiAn; the textured sounds of Daphni, Artwork and Erol Alkan, who will respectively close the three daytime sets at SonarVillage, and the 3-hour set by Detroit legend Theo Parrish at SonarDôme.

SonarDome presented by Red Bull

The SonarDôme stage, curated by Red Bull, will feature a total of 22 performances, including several shows co-produced by Red Bull that can be seen for the first time in Spain, such as that of Petite Noir, Lorenzo Senni & Stargate, Sevdaliza, MC Dellafuente and Theo Parrish.

SONAR+D 2019, 7th Congress of Creative Technologies

OnionLab / SONAR+D

Faithful to its commitment to technological advances and with the will to connect Sónar’s programming with that of Sónar+D, the festival presents several shows that explore the relationship between music and the brain, the dialogue between light and sound and Artificial Intelligence; which for the first time in history makes the leap to the stage with Holly Herndon’s PROTO, Daito Manabe+Kamitani Lab: dissonant imaginary, Ouchhh+Za!: Superstrings, plus Actress+Young Paint Live AI/AV.

Sustainability and social responsibility

Once again Sónar is working to improve sustainability and community awarebess at the festival site. Sónar joins, for the second consecutive year, the protocol of action against sexual aggressions “No Callem”. The initiative, promoted by Barcelona City Council, aims to eliminate the risk of sexual assaults in nightlife venues. The festival sets up two information stands, one at Sónar by Day and the other at Sónar by Night, with staff trained to assist and guide the victim in the event of harassment or aggression. Moreover, after 23 consecutive editions, Sónar continues to work with Energy Control for the prevention and reduction of risks in drug consumption.

As part of Sónar’s commitment to reduce plastic waste, this year all drinks, including water, will be served in reusable and renewable 50 cl. glasses. With the first drink, users will have to pay a deposit of €2, which they can reclaim by returning the glass to one of the return points located at the SonarCashless counters.

Sonar by Night © Ariel Martini

Food at Sonar: local chefs, seasonal produce of ecological proximity

The food area of Sónar 2019 is committed to offering produce of ecological proximity prepared by local chefs. Three chefs working away from the hustle and bustle of the city and awarded with a Michelin star, will create two exclusive menus with local and seasonal products designed to be tasted in the VIP Area of Sónar by Day.


All the ticket types, SonarPass, SonarPass VIP, 2-Night Ticket, 2-Night Ticket VIP, 1-Night Ticket VIP, Sónar by Day, Sónar by Night at www.sonar.es

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