June in Barcelona is my idea of festival heaven. The jewel in the crown is Sonar Festival: three days and two nights of the finest audiovisual talent from all corners of the globe. The 19th edition of the festival is no different; spend your days lolling at the Museum of Contemporary Art just a stone’s throw from La Rambla gearing up for serious dancefloor escapades that take place at Sonar by Night, outside the city center in a conference center that doubles up as a thrilling hub for astral hi jinx. The whole city descends headily into a flurry of great music and relentless partying, as typified by the wad of parties on beaches, bars, rooftops and hotels that bask loosely under the umbrella term Off Sonar.
Whether you plan on keeping close to the overflow of talent on the main lineup or venturing off piste, so to speak, delve right into this brief guide of highlights before you make a mad dash for the airport and join us on the beach.
Thursday 14th – Sonar by Day
- Flying Lotus plays the first of two shows at this year’s Sonar By Day, as feverish anticipation for his upcoming Warp long player, Until The Quiet Comes, drops later this year. Flanked by Brainfeeder homeboys in Thundercat, Lapalux and Kutmah; this emanates nothing but glory. Worth scoping out: Doc Daneeka & When Saints Go Machine.
Friday 15th – Sonar by Day
- Jacques Greene and John Talabot in quick succession is a one-two punch that threatens to blow everything out the water. Talabot’s live show is in its infancy, which makes it all the more exciting. The chance to see tracks from fin blossom is not to be passed up. Worth scoping out: Nightwave & Club Cheval feat. Canblaster, Myd, Panteros 666 & Sam Tiba.
Saturday 16th – Sonar by Day
- DJ Harvey will be perfect at this point to revitalize danced-out limbs and fragile heads as the festival reaches its finale. Worth scoping out: xxxy, Brenmar & Ital.
Stay tuned to Inverted Audio for an exclusive IA MIX from a Barcelona artist, plus more previews, reviews and live reporting from the festival: