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Barcelona’s Sónar music festival goes to Montjuic and abandons the city centre

The 20th event of the most important electronic music festival in Southern Europe has been announced, unveiling new names in its line-up and announcing a change in location. For the first time, the morning and afternoon sessions of Sónar Barcelona will not be held in the CCCB and MACBA art centres – located in the Raval neighbourhood – but they will be moved to the Fira de Barcelona pavilions next to the Montjuic hill. Besides the already-confirmed Pet Shop Boys and Kraftwerk, other names have been added to the festival’s line-up: Justice, Jamie Lidell, Laurent Garnier, Soulwax, Seth Troxler, Diplo, Major Lazer, Skrillex, TNGHT, bRUNA, Liars and Francesco Tristano. The next event will take place in the Catalan capital between the 13th and 15th of June.

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12 February 2013 11:24 PM

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ACN / Pau Cortina

Barcelona (ACN).- For the first time in its 20 years, the Sónar Music Festival will not be held in Barcelona\u2019s Raval neighbourhood, but it will be moved to another part of the Catalan capital: Fira de Barcelona\u2019s Montjuic venue. On Tuesday, the organisers of the 2013 Sónar festival announced the change of location affecting the morning and afternoon sessions \u2013 called Sónar de Dia, abandoning the CCCB and MACBA art centres and its adjacent squares. The night shows had already changed their location two years ago and moved to Fira de Barcelona\u2019s Gran Via venue, which is to be continued. Furthermore, the Sónar\u2019s professional fair (Sónar+D) will also move to Montjuic. It will be hosted in the Montjuic congress centre and will have links with the Mobile World Festival, the permanent festival in Barcelona based around mobile technology since the city plays host every year to the world\u2019s most important event in this industry, the Mobile World Congress. The Sónar\u2019s location change coincides with the festival\u2019s 20th anniversary and aims to find new ideas and more room, since the historical location in downtown Barcelona had started to become too small for the festival\u2019s proportions. In addition, the organisers also unveiled more names in the next festival\u2019s line-up, to be added to the already-confirmed Pet Shop Boys and Kraftwerk. Some of the artists confirmed are Justice, Jamie Lidell, Laurent Garnier, Soulwax, Seth Troxler, Diplo, Major Lazer, Skrillex, TNGHT, bRUNA, Liars and Francesco Tristano. The next event will take place in the Catalan capital between the 13th and 15th of June.


Coinciding with the festival\u2019s 20th anniversary, the organisers decided to undertake a \u201Cchange of skin\u201D enabling the festival to \u201Copen a new chapter\u201D so that it \u201Cdoes not stagnate\u201D. The new space, which will also be \u201Curban\u201D will give \u201Cnew ideas and inputs\u201D, stated two of the three festival\u2019s directors, Ricard Robles and Enric Palau. The change of location is not focused on increasing the number of attendees, they stated, but is part of \u201Ca reflection\u201D linked to the 20th anniversary.

The CCCB: the Sónar\u2019s home since 1994

Since the Sónar was born in 1994, the festival\u2019s epicentre had been Barcelona\u2019s Contemporary Culture Centre (CCCB), located in the Raval neighbourhood. The adjacent Barcelona Contemporary Art Museum (MACBA) also hosted some of the Sónar\u2019s activities for a few years. However, in 2010, the organisers decided to move the evening and night sessions (Sónar de Nit) to another location, in order to have more room, to be able to open until early morning and affect the life of neighbours less with noise disturbance. Back then, the Sónar de Nit moved to Fira de Barcelona\u2019s Gran Via venue, located near the Zona Franca industrial district. Bus shuttles linking both venues were organised. The trade fair pavilions allowed the Sónar festival to host big crowds and larger scenarios. Now, the morning and afternoon sessions, as well as the parallel activities, will also abandon the CCCB and the MACBA and move to another location of Fira de Barcelona, closer to the city centre: Montjuic, well connected by public transport and near the Espanya Square and some important museums such as the CaixaForum and the MNAC. It will also be closer to the Sónar de Nit venue and both spaces will be linked by a shuttle service.

Keeping 4 stages, but with greater room

With the new location, the day and night sessions will be closer to each other, emphasised the organisers. In addition, the Fira de Barcelona pavilions will enable the Sónar de Dia to keep the 4 stages it had at the CCCB and MACBA, but it will be able to fit in larger audiences and have more and better circulation spaces for the festival-goers. Besides, the organisers wanted to emphasise that the decision of changing location is not because of an argument with the CCCB and MACBA managers, on the contrary. The Sónar organisers are very grateful to both institutions and, particularly, to the CCCB, since it has been with the festival for 19 years, since it was born. Besides, the festival does not rule out the possibility of keeping some of its activities in the Raval neighbourhood this year or next, although this possibility is not \u201Cdefined\u201D yet.

Cooperation with the Mobile World Congress

The professional and new media areas of the Sónar, called \u2018Sónar+D\u2019 will also move to Montjuic and all its activities \u2013 product presentations, workshops, performances, conferences, etc. \u2013 will be organised at the \u2018Palau de Congressos\u2019 (Fira de Barcelona\u2019s conference centre in Montjuic). This new approach by the festival is based on the cooperation with the Mobile World Capital Barcelona. The Sónar festival will be part of the activities that the city will help to organise within the next five years which will be framed within the Mobile World Festival, with the aim of showing and promoting mobile technology among citizens and professionals,

More artists added to the line-up

The line-up of the 20th edition of the Sónar festival has been made with the aim of celebration, \u201Ccombining a selection of great classics, the new proposals of dance music and the festival\u2019s regular tendency to experimentation\u201D, as the organisers explained. The Pet Shop Boys and Kraftwerk, with a 3D show, were the main names which have already been confirmed. On Tuesday, more names were announced, totalling 60% of the artists that will play in the next event. Some of the new artists confirmed are Justice, Jamie Lidell, Laurent Garnier, Soulwax, Seth Troxler, Diplo, Major Lazer, Skrillex, TNGHT, bRUNA, Liars and Francesco Tristano.

Sónar Reykjavik

The Sónar\u2019s 20th anniversary will kick off in Reykjavik, in February 2013. Then the festival will go to Cape Town, Tokyo and Sao Paulo, and will end in June in Barcelona, on the 13th, 14th and 15th of June. In total, 300 shows split into 21 different stages, in five different cities. The Icelandic capital is the main novelty this year, as the festival has already taken place in the other cities.

Single day tickets already available

Single day tickets for Barcelona\u2019s Sónar festival have been on sale since Tuesday. However, the combined tickets and special offers were already on sale weeks ago. Enric Palau told the press that the festival did not include the VAT increase (approved by the Spanish Government in September for cultural products) in the price of combined tickets and offers sold so far, as the festival has been \u201Cassuming\u201D the difference. It will also do the same for the Sónar de Dia tickets to be sold from today. However, for the single day Sónar de Nit tickets and the combined tickets to be sold from now on, the festival-goers will be charged the VAT increase.

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  • The space for the Sónar Village at Fira de Barcelona's Montjuic venue (by Sónar)

  • The space for the Sónar Village at Fira de Barcelona's Montjuic venue (by Sónar)