The Sonar Festival in Barcelona is one of the biggest music and arts events in Spain. Capturing the best aspects of a music festival and an art festival at the same time, Sonar prides itself on being at the cutting edge of popular culture.
Sonar Barcelona takes place every year in the middle of June right in the heart of the city. It is one of the most popular events in Spain, attracting more than 80,000 fans over the course of three action-packed days and nights in 2010.
Although primarily a music festival, the Sonar organisers promote it as a "Festival of Advanced Music and Multimedia Art" where you can experience "Three days and three nights in touch with the most up-to-date developments and featuring the most relevant national and international artists."
The Sonar Festival was created back in 1994 by trio Enric Palau, Ricard Robles and Sergi Caballero. Seventeen years later it has retained its initial success and even expanded. A Coruña in Galicia, at the opposite end of Spain to Barcelona, hosted its own branch of the music festival for the first time in 2010, at the same time as the Sonar Fesitval. SonarSound club nights have also taken place in major cities around the world since the first one in Tokyo, Japan in 2007.
As big music and art festivals go, Sonar is unusual in that it takes place right in the centre of the city, in Barcelona´s Barrio del Raval in the heart of the old town, just off the famous Las Ramblas street. This gives Sonar a unique atmosphere and makes it a great place to party. At Sonar By Day there are interactive exhibitions, film showings, concerts and DJ sets all taking place in the Centre de Cultura Contemporània de Barcelona (Centre for Contemporary Culture) as well as in the Museu d´Art Contemporani (Museum of Contemporary Art).
For Sonar By Night, festival goers are transported by coach to larger venues outside of the city centre where the big name headline acts from the world of electronic music play until the early hours of the morning in both covered and open air spaces.
In 2010 the music festival was headlined by world famous names such as The Chemical Brothers and LCD Soundsystem. This was the second time The Chemical Brothers headlined Sonar having appeared as the main act back in 2005 as well, showing the popularity of the music festival among electronic artists.
Sonar festival is definitely a highlight among Barcelona´s events throughout the year. It also offers a welcome change to festivals in the UK because the smaller venues create a more intimate atmosphere than in other festivals in Spain or the UK. Additionally, at Sonar Barcelona you are pretty much guaranteed blue skies, warmth and sunshine as a contrast to normal UK weather.
So if you fancy experiencing a festival with a difference and new sights and sounds underneath the warm Mediterranean sun, then the Sonar International Festival in Barcelona is for you.