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Record attendance at 2012 Sónar electronic music festival

Lana del Rey, New Order and The Roots star at the three day advanced music festival attended by almost 100,000 people. Visitors from 80 different countries filled the festival with a thousand different colours as Sónar Barcelona was the culmination of the Festival's travels for this year, which have taken it to Sao Paulo, Tokyo and Cape Town.

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18 June 2012 05:44 PM

by

Aitor Álvarez

Barcelona (CNA).- Another Sónar Festival has bid goodbye with a record-breaking success. 98,000 people attended Barcelona\u2019s electronic and advance music festival from Thursday to Saturday. It is a record that confirms that Sónar is a strong festival despite the crisis that is hitting Spain. The organisers justify this by saying that people still \u201Cwant to have fun\u201D, and nothing better than a trip to the oasis of entertainment electronics and synthetic fun to escape from the ghosts of recession.


Ever since 2002, when Sónar had 90,000 assistants, attendance had been slowly decreasing. This year headline bands like New Order, the Roots and singers like Lana del Rey assured a sell-out. Visitors from 80 different countries filled the festival with a thousand different colours as Sónar Barcelona was the culmination of the Festival's travels for this year, which have taken it to Sao Paulo, Tokyo and Cape Town.

SónarPro, the festival area for electronic music culture professionals also received a good reception in a year in which its activities, spaces and objectives have increased, and in which it played host to 2,500 professionals from 900 companies in 40 countries.

Thursday: New Order opens Sónar 2012

New Order, the legendary band from Manchester, opened the festival this year. In a mix between electronic music and rock, the band offered powerful songs such as \u2018Love will tear us apart\u2019 or \u2018Bizarre love triangle\u2019 during at a two-hour concert at the main stage. There was more on Thursday than New Order. Sonar by day started at 12 noon and offered a curious performance from Japanese artist Masaki Batoh, who showed how he can play music based on brain waves. Daedalus, in a surprising show with mirrors that moved at the rhythm of the music, was also a follow-up hit at Sónar 2012.

Friday: Lana del Rey makes the difference

In her first performance in Europe, American singer Lana del Rey showed that not everything is electronic music at Sónar. Accompanied by violins, piano and guitar, she offered a slow concert, with popular songs like \u2018Video games\u2019, which the entire crowd sang with her at the same time. To the surprise of everybody, in the middle of the concert, she came down from the stage and started kissing the assistants.

The British band Friendly Fires also offered a great concert at the SónarPub stage, at midnight. The harmonic power of their songs, the physical delivery of the whole group, the exuberance of the horn section, the performance of the singer and the general joy they gave out made them the highlight of the second night.

Saturday: The Roots, Metronomy and New Order finale

The closing day of Sonar was the best one. The American band The Roots reviewed their musical career in a master class of how to mix rock, blues and hip hop in a concert. They offered their own songs as well as covers of Guns\u2019n\u2019roses or Curtis Mayfield. Metronomy, from Totnes, in England, organised a party after the second concert by New Order. The band formed by three men and a woman offered a great concert at the SónarLab stage, full of small lights that made it a magic place. Metronomy play a pop packed with Seventies funk and sensuality that fills the dance floor.

121 concerts and 257 artists on 7 stages

The Sónar festival says \u2018goodbye\u2019 for another year having been the most successful ever. 90% of hotel rooms in Barcelona filled, 900 journalists from 40 media outlets and 98,000 visitors from 80 different countries. As always Sónar is the curtain raiser to the summer in Barcelona and this year was no different.

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  • One of the Sónar Dia spaces (by N. Julià)

  • Austra played at the 2012 Sónar (by P. Cortina)

  • Lana del Rey performed at the 2012 Sónar (by P. Cortina)

  • New Order played at the 2012 Sónar (by P. Cortina)

  • One of the Sónar Dia spaces (by N. Julià)
  • Austra played at the 2012 Sónar (by P. Cortina)
  • Lana del Rey performed at the 2012 Sónar (by P. Cortina)
  • New Order played at the 2012 Sónar (by P. Cortina)