Sonar 2013, Barcelona - Post Festival Report

08 July, 2013

By Andres Di Carlo, 


It was my first year at Sónar, although I already had my expectations that it was going to be a big event, I would have never imagined the size and the massive amount of party people all around the world!


My trip started on a friday afternoon at Sónar by day, where I expected no more than a stage with people dancing. On the contrary, I found myself inside the colossal Fira de Montjuïc, a venue that is right in the heart of Barcelona and that is always reserved for big events, which was going to host its first year of Sónar by day.





Already inside, I was surprised by the large amount of people that were partying during the day by the heavy spanish sunshine, but even more surprised by the whole exposition of new media, technology and art, sometimes one combining the other. Companies such as Pioneer, Novation, Deezer, between many many others, were exposing their new products and experiments to show people how technology can take part into not only creating music but also in many other art forms. There were curious apps to control Ableton live from your iPad, cool synthesizers to play with and even a machine that can carve a piece of plastic into a small Empire State figure.




Other Highlights:  

The situation was simply perfect: Temperature outside was very pleasing, not too hot, not too cold. The vibe was as cool as it could be, everyone dancing with each other, people from all over the world that didn't know each other that were enjoying the magic of the moment. The stage of Sonar by Night was HUGE. I can very clearly remember it is the exact same stage that is being used every year in the world famous Monegros Desert Festival for their Gobierno de Aragon stage (the biggest and most important one) with the craziest sound system you can possibly imagine. 


The SonarClub area was hosting people like Kraftwerk's 3D show, Major Lazer, Skrillex or Diplo, so you can already imagine the size of it. The stage was covered by screens in the middle and both sides and large line-array speakers. 


However, my attention went straight to SonarPub, probably even bigger area than SonarClub due to its outdoor situation. The master of them all, Richie Hawtin was presenting his world famous ENTER concept along with Spain's number one Paco Osuna and, for many many people, the queen of deep Maya Jane Coles.





  • Jamie Lidell: Playing with all different kinds of MIDI instruments AND his own voice to add samples and loops into a very happy and rhythmic set, Jamie Lidell had an amazing live show.
  • Paul Kalkbrenner: People travelled from all around the world only to see him play, you could tell that when you saw all those tears falling from "Sky and Sand".
  • Maya Jane Coles: Maya is one of those unique dj's that can work for different concepts of music and venue's. In the ENTER Sonar show, she showed us her darker side by launching heavy techno, always adding her own special groove that makes here so easy to recognize. Maya knew what people came for, so straight away, she started playing a Tech House track with all her famous deep house groove and dropped the bass to make Barcelona go NUTS! 




  • Paco Osuna: A man who has been working along with Riche Hawtin for a long period and that has been representing the Spanish scene around the world,  Paco Osuna is known for his powerful and kicking techno. He effortlessly maintained Maya's bumping energy and even RAISED it a little more, making his long-unique drops with delay's and other characteristic effects of his.

  • Richie Hawtin: Richie Hawtin turned his setup on to offer Barcelona a proper view of his ENTER concept by himself, playing a ridiculous amount of crazy tracks, one after the other. What can we say about one of the best dj's in history? His energy is simply unique and special, he can connect with the crowd with a surprising easiness, no matter the venue, country or public, Hawtin will ALWAYS make the crowd go completely insane, up to a point where he normally has to extend the closing time of his sets from 20 to 30/40 minutes. Around 7 am, the sun already lighted up the outdoor SonarPub and Richie started to give a slight message to the crowd that his set was finishing, playing his long time favorite "Another Earth" from the Minus newcomers Tale of Us and shooting thousands and thousands of ENTER dots in the air, covering the sky with a beautiful black pattern that gave the crowd the added boost of energy to continue dancing until 7:30 am.



    Richie Hawtin Set











Primary Genre: EDM


Secondary Genre: Experimental


Date: 13-16 June 2013


Location: Barceloma, Spain


Size: This edition brought together more than 121,000 visitors from 102 countries, a record in the festival's history. Sonar has a unique city wide format which includes Sonar by Day, showcasing emerging talent; and Sonar by Night, where leading names in the music scene preform. 


Organizer: Barcelona's International Festival of Advanced Music and New Media Art is an initiative of Advancedmusic and in collaboration with Generalitat de Catalunya and Ajuntament de Barcelona.



  • Jamie Lidell
  • Paul Kalkbrenner
  • Maya Jane Coles

  • Paco Osuna

  • Richie Hawtin






Kraftwerk Set