Sonar 2017

By Audio Pervert - 6/24/2017

Sónar / edition 24th
Sónar Festival, in it's 24th year running, is Spain's most coveted gathering and celebration of electronic music, digital arts and emerging communicaion technology. Barcelona city witnessed 3 days of Sónar on 15/16/17 June with over 123,000 attendees from over 50 nations, which was the highest in the history of this mega-festival. Sonar D+ witnessed 400 presentations and talks hosting roughly 5500 professionals, attending the various discussions, initiatives and showcases over 3 days. The festival hosted 140 concerts at 9 different stages by day and by night, featuring a milieu of commercially acclaimed acts as well emerging indie talent. The 30-programmed conferences at 'Sonar by Day' saw attendance figures of 80% to 100%. Networking sessions and workshops witness more than 1,000 people interacting during the three days. Several ancillary events & initiatives like the Maker Faire and CCCB was attended by thousands of people interested in emerging technology & ideas by start-ups, emerging brands, professionals from various nations and disciplines. Sónar Festival is an 'affair' of immense cultural, social and financial importance for the thousands of people attending as well as those involved in it's making and execution.

Some of the best moments at Sónar we witnessed 

SonarPLANTA - An ambitious immersive installation by Daito Manabe, a key figure in japanese digital art. The "phosphere" (sphere of light) installation. Read/See More Here

Music education software from Mimi Hearing Technologies(GR) : the Internet of Things by Protopixel (BCN) lighting projects : Melodics (NZ), the technology to optimize listening frequencies and protection of hearing. These three groups won the Best Start-up Awards for 2017.

Soul Wax, Matmos, Nosaj Thing, Nonotak, Fira Fem, Suzanne Ciani and Arca performances were cited as the most enthralling experiences by many in the visiting audience.

Brian Eno : "Lightforms & Soundforms" Read/See here.

Entropy : A project driven to develop new tools for visualizing data - helping science explain its stories and open new avenues of research. Read/See Here.

The 'not-so-cool' at Sónar this year included a much hyped interview and DJ-set by Bjork which came across as 'cult' of celebrity - something seen at many big budget festivals. Performances by Justice, Nina Kraviz, Eric Prydz & Moderat surely drew big audiences yet the sound has become very predictable and sometimes on the verge of boring. Given Sonar festival's curation has always sought the best talent in electronic music, a lot more new artists could find their rightful space. These 'demi-gods and divas' of mainstream electronic music culture are increasingly seen [if not heard] as 'safe entertainment' for general audiences. The 25th edition of Sonar, is something we are really looking forward to !

Sónar Festival is a symbol of success for Catalunya and the people of Barcelona, traversing a long way from it's wee beginnings and fledgling underground status in the last century. Though opinions vary about the current 'scope and spirit' of Sónar especially amongst Spanish people : after two decades of rapid expansion, the size and importance of this mega-festival on the global map is indelible. Many draw the usual criticism that Sónar as a brand, lost it's niche or origins : is now an international business branching out to Iceland, Turkey, Argentina, Honk Kong and Columbia. Thousands of hopeful emerging artists, professionals, start-ups and cartels que up every year, to try and win a coveted 'chance' to participate at Sónar Festival. The Sonar weekend has bolstered scores of free post-parties and underground spaces to come alive as they 'cash-in' on the energy and hype within the city of Barcelona. Example - Ricardo Villalobos performing at Off Party, 4 A.M. in El Monasterio Poble Espana. Sónar Festival is a manifold experience that has reached epic proportions, and is a 'must see and hear' for audiences seeking new forms of music, entertainment and technology.

⬇View Sonar Concerts here
The 25th anniversary of Sónar Festival is slated for June 13 till 16th 2018.
[ photo-credits:Sonar Press - ]

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