Sónar is probably the most popular electronic music festival in the world, and it's celebrating its 25th anniversary in Barcelona this year on June 14, 15 and 16 at the Fira de Barcelona Montjuïc (Sónar by Day) and the Fira Gran Via (Sónar by Night). It's your chance to see some of the biggest DJs, groups and shows in the world of dance music, because 25 is something to celebrate.
The line-up features more than 130 performances, and it's looking to be a party to go down in history, with the return of Gorillaz, the British band created by musician Damon Albarn and artist Jamie Hewlett, with members Murdoc Niccals, Russel Hobbs, 2D and Noodle. It's the Spanish debut of their much-anticipated show, including special guests, after more than five years since their last time here. Expect tracks from their latest album, 'Humanz' (2017) among their biggest hits.
New Yorkers LCD Soundsystem, led by James Murphy, are also in town with an exclusive show that has them performing tracks from their album, 'American Dream' and more. Plus, Murphy joins Despacio, the definitive clubbing experience, with six hands along with 2manydjs, back to the festival after its big success in 2014: high-fi sound and vinyl only in three six-hour sessions every day of Sónar by Day. And 2manydjs will also close out Sónar by Day on Saturday.
Radiohead frontman Thome Yorke reviews his whole catalog alongside Nigel Godrich; one the most multitalented artists in the world of today's electronic music, Diplo, is also back at Sónar, in the same showcase as Distruction Boyz (South Africa), Mr EAZI (Nigeria) and Kampire (Uganda); there's a four-hour session from Laurent Garnier; the world premiere of the legendary Tony Allen, drummer for Fela Kuti, along with Amp Fiddler's funk; and the audiovisual show CLOSE from Richie Hawtin.
Closing out the 25th edition of Sónar are Alva Noto and Ryuichi Sakamoto, debuting a show that features piano, electronica and visuals on Sunday 17 at the Teatre Grec, betting on the same formula that worked so well for them on the same stage in 2011.
It's also worth highlighting Catalan artist Rosalia, who's had hits like 'Los Angeles' along with Refree (also at the festival with a live electronic show with Isaki Lacuesta), and presents her new album and new sound; plus a new project by Niño de Elche in a concert along with dancer Israel Galván.
Rounding out the line-up is urban music from Yung Lean and GoldLink; DJ sets from Modeselektor, A-Trak, Benjamin Damage, up-and-comers Charlotte de Witte and Bonobo, and a special dance DJ set in the wee hours; concerts by today's avant-garde artists at Sónar by Day, like the impressive Cornelius and Alva Noto with new albums, Laurel Halo, Agoria with a new live show; live shows from Bícep and George FitzGerald with their rave-ish house; and not to forget Ólafur Arnalds, Tony Humphries, Kode9, Lorenzo Senni, Demdike Stare, Yaeji, Tokimonsta, IAMDDB, Jenny Hval, Liberato, Sophie, Miss Kittin, Kim Ann Foxman, and from more local lands, Rels B, Mueveloreina, Steve Lean, Alizzz, Olde Gods and Lory Money, among others.