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Your essential guide to Sónar 2013

Everything you need to know to make the most of the advanced music festival of the year

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Keep the party going at Barcelona's best clubs

  • Clubs

Temporarily closed

The Lapsus festival is a guarantee in Poble-sec, and this electronic music club forms an important part of that. They also host avant-garde electronic music sessions from national and international artists. Located near Hiroshima and behind Apolo, Laut – which means 'loud' in German – offers a balanced programme between music from the local scene and from further afield in a 245 m² space with the latest-generation sound and a capacity for 200 revellers.

  • Music
  • Music venues
  • El Gòtic

Even though it's been around since before the Beatles broke up, Jamboree is still the place in Barcelona where you can see the best jazz concerts in the city, as well as dance to the best of hip hop and R&B. Don't miss Thursday nights to educate your ears with the most current hits of the scene thanks to the BCN Or Die sessions with Flavio Rodríguez. Weekends mean obligatory visits to services with DJ Yoda, one of the biggest there are when it comes to urban sounds. Oh, and sneakers and caps are not only allowed but they're practically mandatory.

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  • Music
  • Sant Pere, Santa Caterina i la Ribera

Best friend of those about to rock, the always-sticky Magic Club is a rock 'n' roll club the likes of which Keith would approve. It's a break from the hipster aroma in the air throughout the Born, bringing attitude to a neighbourhood that's increasingly fickle. The tattooed and the leather-jacketed have been welcomed into Magic's embrace since the first Ice Age, and the club specializes in satisfying the clan of the anti-techno. Sure, you can listen to an Iggy Pop song anywhere, but nowhere else will it have such a sweetly bitter aftertaste of beer, bourbon, sweat and sex.

Sidecar Factory Club
  • Music
  • Music venues
  • Ciutat Vella

Also in Plaça Reial, Sidecar hosts rock concerts with bands that are more underground than the metro in its bare-bricked, barrel-vaulted basement. Plus, every day of the week you can drop in for some of the best DJs in the city playing rock and all its offshoots. Sidecar is that great spot to end up after a night roaming the town that ends in search of a party. You go out on a Tuesday. You drink seven G&Ts and smoked oregano in Plaça Reial. You need a place to dance with good music and a strong personality: Sidecar it is. The night ends with a stranger full of piercings and a tattoo in a place not many will see that reads, 'The best night of my life'.

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  • Clubs
  • Eixample

Temporarily closed

Red58 first opened its doors in 2017 with dreams of becoming a temple of techno in Barcelona. The likes of Moritz von Oswald, Sammy Dee, Nicolas Lutz and Ion Ludwig have taken control of their Martin Audio equipment. They also host the monthly Maricas party, which happily mixes techno and queer culture. Whatever night you go, you can expect a respectful, no-holds-barred atmosphere complete with a darkroom and a clubber ambience like few others around.

  • Music
  • Music venues
  • El Poble-sec

At Apolo, you get exquisite electronica with DJ Fra and Kosmos as your gurus. Downstairs in La [2] it's Astin, where you'll hear the best house and disco with DJ Coco, Arnau Obiols and Morgan Hammer. Nitsa is a place where some of the best DJs have got the dance floor pounding, and the heavy-hitters just keep coming. Apolo's three spaces also feature label-free gigs. Note that buying tickets for the band doesn't include admission to the club night: you'll need to re-enter for that and pay an extra charge. Emerging acts and veterans of pop, rock, folk and electronica from around the world take to the stage every day of the week.

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Loft (Sala Razzmatazz)
  • Music
  • Music venues
  • El Parc i la Llacuna del Poblenou

The Loft, like Nitsa, gives Barcelona's nightlife the gift of the most current electronic music from around the globe. We're talking about a temple of techno visited by more pilgrims than the Camino de Santiago. Razzmatazz barely calls for an introduction: if you've ever been clubbing in Barcelona, odds are you've walked right in and had to be dragged out. The danceable pop-rock hits are irresistible. There's usually quite a young crowd, which depending on which generation you fall into, might have you excited or heading for a depression. Just know that if you're over a certain age, you might feel like you've been let out of the old folks' home in order to babysit for the night.

  • Clubs
  • El Gòtic

Temporarily closed

Garage, Afrobeat, jazz, funk, soul, disco, boogaloo, and whatever the groove muses send their way, that's what you'll get at Marula Café, a place so real it hurts. There's no other club in Barcelona that plays with old-school music like this elegant space located in the deepest bowels of the Gothic Quarter. Marula's concert programme is the stuff of dreams for vinyl connoisseurs. And nothing's held back when it comes to their DJ sessions: at the weekend you'll move to backbeats with a seal of quality and a vintage flair, the likes of Coltrane, Hayes, Bridge, Mayfield and more.

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City Hall
  • Music
  • Dreta de l'Eixample

Temporarily closed

City Hall may have already had its heyday, a splendid time that's in the recent past, but it's still one of our favourites thanks to their weeknight sessions, their weekend Happy Techno party, and their live music programme in the Music Hall, with a capacity for 500 concert-goers. The focus is on quality electronic music by national and international artists. The average age of the clientele can be rather low but rises on certain club nights. Keep your eyes peeled for City Hall flyers – they're easy to find in bars and shops around town and will get you in free.

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