Words: Nika Bogdanić
The 26th edition of Sónar festival in Barcelona once again demonstrated why it’s considered the most innovative festival in the world. Musicians, producers and performers from 36 countries, who move the limits of technology, sound and music genres performed for 105,000 attendees from more than 120 countries. Find out what Sónar 2019 taught us about the future of music, creativity and technology.
The future is underground
Whether with established artists or emerging stars, the underground electronic music genre has always been the most represented genre at the Sónar festival. This year the audience danced with the underground sounds by DJ Koze, Four Tet, DJ Tennis, Red Axes, Paul Kalkbrenner, Amelie Lens, Dixon, Peggy Gou b2b Palms Trax and many more.
The future is experimental and intergalactic
Some of the underground electronic music artists, such as Daniel Avery and Max Cooper took the audience on an intergalactic, stellar voyage with their somewhat dark, yet beautiful and experimental out of this world sets.
The future introduces new performers
Sónar 2019 presented more than 80 absolute premieres and experiences created especially for Sónar, such as the shows by Arca, Holly Herndon, Bad Gyal, Hauschka or Cecilio G. The artists got an opportunity to perform in front of 46,000 people at Sónar by Day and 59,000 at Sónar by Night.
The future is global & intercultural
For the first time, Sónar hosted artists from five different continents and 36 countries, with a special emphasis on globalization and interculturalism. Just like the performers, the audience was diverse with 52% of locals and 48% of foreigners from more than 120 countries.
The future is feminine
This year’s edition was led by women, with excellent performances by Amelie Lens, Peggy Gou, Holly Herndon, Jlin, Arca, K Á R Y N, Sevdaliza, Kelly Moran, Ylia, Virgen Maria and many others. The ladies took the lead with a commitment to experimentation and expressive power.
The future is supportive of the local scene
Even though there was an emphasis on globalization and interculturalism, one of the most important traits of Sónar is supporting the local scene, which was 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.
The future is all about technology
A total of 12 shows used the latest technological innovations such as Artificial Intelligence, data visualization or live scientific experimentation.
Sónar+D, the international congress on creativity and technology, was attended by 4,600 professionals from nearly 2,000 organisations and companies. The inaugural talk of Sónar+D was given by Robert Del Naja from Massive Attack, one of the most sophisticated and respected artists of our time. This year Sónar+D has stood out by proposing a high level of debate around one concern, in particular, that of the impact of artificial intelligence on creation as an area that we thought exclusively human.
The future is all about creativity
Projects such as Laurie Anderson’s virtual reality and the quality of the pieces presented in the Sonar360º dome by MEDIAPRO confirm the festival’s role as a launcher for new cultural paradigms such as immersive culture.
If you can’t wait to sneak peek into the future with Sónar in 2020, the first, early-bird full festival tickets are already on sale at the special price of 115€. See you in 2020!