Sónar Barcelona: a festival of electronic music and digital art
Sónar festival takes place from the 18th-20th of June 2020, with a programme of parties, music, and high voltage digital art. Interested?
Since 1994, Sónar Festival has been one of the biggest music festivals in Europe, not to mention it’s the only one of its kind. Here the key words are art, experimentation, avant-garde, music and festival. The scene is set!
What is Sónar?
This festival is a meeting place for different creative communities and emerging and established artists.
See the video presentation of the festival to get an idea.
Electronic and experimental music
The best known aspect of Sónar is obviously the music. Check out all the artists at this year’s festival on the official Sónar website.
This Festival is divided into two parts: the day line-up and the night line-up. What’s the difference? The venue and the atmosphere at night are much wilder!
You can also participate in workshops or discover interactive and avant garde exhibitions of digital art.
As well as the exhibition areas dedicated to multimedia arts there is also a sort of festival within the festival: Sónar+D. Dedicated to original digital art it promotes the relationship between creativity, technology, mobility, innovation and business. It is particularly aimed at designers, to encourage the digital avant garde and creative industries.
Barcelona bubbling over
Throughout the Sónar festival, Barcelona is abuzz. Many evening events are organised all over the city and the party is in full swing! Last year the Mobilee party took place on the roof of Silken Diagonal, a festive and stylish 4 star hotel.
How much do tickets cost?
Depending on what you are looking for, your tastes and your budget, you can choose the best pass for you:
- Ticket for the entire Sónar festival: from 185 euros.
- Ticket for 2 nights: from 125 euros.
How to get to the Night Festival ?
The Sónar Night space is a little tricky to access as it’s located outside Barcelona at the Fira Gran Via de l’Hospitalet de Llobregat.
Sónar by night is a little further out, but don’t panic! The festival organisers have thought of everything. A special bus service is laid on during the entire festival, called SonarBus. The bus has 2 lines and the journey costs 2.50 euros.
- Line 1: links daytime Sónar and nighttime Sónar on Thursday and Friday nights at 9pm and 11pm.
- Line 2: links the Plaça de les Drassanes (towards the bottom of the Ramblas) and nighttime Sónar. This line operates Friday and Saturday from 8:30pm to 8am.
Many public buses also go by Fira Gran Vía l’Hospitalet. They are numbers 9, 37, 46, 65, 72, 79, 109, 125, H12, L70, L72, L80, L81, L86, L87, L94, LH1, LH2, N1, N15, N16 et N17.
The nighttime space is located just beside the Europa | Fira train station. It is served by the lines L8, S33, S4, S8, R5, R50, R6 and R60. The last train is at 2am, the first at 5:54 and you can use a metro ticket for this journey.
Find the nearest car park to Sónar at a reduced price with Parclick.
Eating and drinking
There are several bars within the festival area, serving beer, spirits, soft drinks and water. There are also mobile servers selling beer, meaning that you don’t necessarily need to go to the bar. A great idea, we’re sure you’ll agree!
- Hungry? There are food trucks set up behind one of the bars, surrounded by big tables. Main dishes are available for under €10.
The payment system
All payments within the Sónar festival use the “Sónar Cashless” wristband system:
- Visit one of theCashless points within the festival area
- Pay however much you expect to spend at Sónar
- You’ll be given a chip wristband credited with the selected amount
- Each time you buy something, simply swipe your wristband to pay. A screen will show how much credit you have left.
- Once you’ve finished spending, you can get any remaining money back at the Sónar Cashless terminals. There are special “refund” lanes, marked in red, for the purpose.
- Note that the Sónar Cashless terminals close 30 minutes before the end of the festival. If you still have money left on your wristband at that point, you’ll have to request a refund by internet.
Sónar by day
Sónar by Day takes place in Barcelona itself, at Fira Montjuïc. It’s very easy to get to, as it’s served by both bus and metro lines from Plaça Espanya.
This event has several stages:
- Sónar Village: this is the biggest stage. There are no seats, but the ground is covered with artificial grass and you can sit or lie down on the floor without any problem. There are several tented areas, so you can choose a place in the sun or a shadier spot, depending on your taste.
- Red Bull Dome Stage: this stage is indoors, and is fully covered. The pit is smaller, and you’ll need to stand.
- Sónar Hall and Sónar Complex: indoor stages which play host to audio-visual shows. A break from the ordinary!
- Sónar XS: it is an indoor stage that hosts more urban concerts. Here you can listen to trap and dancehall.
To make the most of the festival, don’t forget to take:
- Sun cream
- A hat
- A blanket or a towel – the artificial grass is a bit scratchy for bare skin!
Consider wearing your swimsuit under your clothes: there’s no water involved, but you can still top up your tan!
Sónar + D
Sónar+D is an international congress which relates to the digital transformation of cultural industries. Its innovative concept combines business with leisure for the creative professional community.
The goal is to present initiatives and tools which will help to form future creative experiences in the domains of music, image, interactive content and trans-media platforms.
It is an intrinsically interdisciplinary and multi-sector event.
Sónar+D: a space for meeting and exchange
The congress brings together a broad community of professionals concerned with innovation and technology and open to working in partnership with other industries. There’s an emphasis on knowledge-sharing, debate, discussion, and the presentation of emerging talents or new services, products and businesses.
It’s an ideal place to discover new projects, do business, find inspiration or even invest in promising initiatives. You’ll also get the chance to learn a lot about digital culture through organised activities:
- Masterclasses: in-depth analysis of new trends, industry by industry
- Round table discussions, led by industry leaders, on subjects relevant to the digital era
- Debates and discussions
- This accreditation gives you access to all Sónar+D activities, to the daytime and nightime Sónar concerts, and to the VIP/ professional zones of both events.
- It also gets you queue-jump entry, access to dedicated professional areas, and use of a wifi connection.
- It includes free services such as a cloakroom and mobile phone charging.
Once you’ve paid for accreditation, you won’t be able to get a refund or exchange your ticket if your plans change.
- Warning: if you already have tickets for Sónar, you won’t be able to turn them into Sónar+D accreditation or vice-versa. Think carefully before you choose!
You can also buy accreditation on-site during the Sónar festival, but only the daytime option is available.
Who’s eligible for Sónar+D accreditation?
- The accreditation system is intended for a broad public, including digital artists, agencies, promoters, graphic artists, advertising artists, marketing professionals, developers and distributors of software and hardware in connection with the creative sector, hackers, investors, start-ups and more.
- It isn’t reserved to these sectors, either: anyone is entitled to buy accreditation, even students on the hunt for new knowledge and opportunities.
Now you know everything there’s nothing to do but plan your party holiday in Barcelona!
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About the author
Pauline loves books, food and new discoveries. For her articles, she loves finding original and authentic places which are a treat for both the eyes and the tastebuds. Her favourite thing to do in Barcelona? Getting lost in the Old Town and soaking up its unique atmosphere... whilst enjoying the appetising smells emerging from restaurant kitchens! Is there anything better than that?