Your Foreign Festival Fix: Sónar Music Festival

By Devin Healy

As someone who’s reserved a very special place in his heart for the love of live music, I can completely empathize with anyone out there that’s made the journey across the pond and is unsure of how they’ll fulfill that inherent need for audible goodness within them. I’m here to tell you – fret not my festival junky friends abroad. Barcelona Sónar Music Festival is here for you.


Sónar has been around for a while now, originally starting off back in ‘94 as a cultivator for a very collective, grassroots style of festival within Barcelona’s underground electronic community. It helped to champion emerging experimental artists to new and larger audiences that were calling out for something new. It wasn’t long before word spread beyond the city and to the masses, developing a following that would see it blossom to the level at which it is today.

At the turn of the new millennium Sónar really started to pick up speed with artists like The Beastie Boys, M.I.A., Björk, Justice, The Roots, LCD Soundsystem and The Sugarhill Gang all having graced the stage, amongst countless others. This year’s lineup boasts a nice hybrid of sorts that packs both recognizable heavy hitters of the industry alongside the kinds of artists that will make even the most diligent underground music hunters out there crack a smile.

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Some of the standouts for the upcoming show are Flume, A-Trak, James Blake, Fatboy Slim, Boys Noize, Kaytranada, Skepta and Santigold. As a personal recommendation of the slightly lesser-known, up and coming artists that are sure to impress over the 3-day weekend: Mura Masa, Stormzy, BadBadNotGood, Bob Moses, TroyBoi and I, personally, wouldn’t be able to pass up on the funk-injected juiciness that is the Ed Banger House party feat. Busy P, Para One and Boston Bun.

One of the more interesting facets about Sónar is that the music is only one facet of the the festival in its entirety. Some of the world’s most progressive thinkers and inventors also come to the venue to feature some of the most innovative projects within the audiovisual, art, and multimedia community.

The 2016 Sónar Music Festival takes place on the weekend of June 16th, 17th, and 18th this year in its origin city of Barcelona. Each day is broken into two phases, Sónar de Día and Sónar de Noche, and are available online to purchase right here.

Once you’ve gotten your ticket, you can book your travel package right here that includes transportation to and from the city, accommodation all weekend long (breakfast included), and trip leaders to show you all the ins and outs of the city along the way. Sónar is just one of many ways to get your musical fix while traveling abroad and definitely one worth keeping on your radar. Cheers my fellow music lovers of the world and happy festival season.

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