Sonar Festival is a music and media festival held over three days in Barcelona, Spain. The festival is primarily electronic music (of various genres) but also has some live band performances. Many of the performers, especially for Sonar by Day, are from Spain, but the lineup is very international overall. 2013 marks the 20th anniversary of this festival.
The festival program is broken down into Sonar by Day and Sonar by Night. Sonar by Day is held Thursday through Saturday, June 13-15, with dozens of acts scheduled across multiple stages/rooms from noon into the night. The afternoon/early events also include music-related films shown in the same venue. This year, Sonar by Day is moving to Fira Montjuic at Placa d'Espanya. It is very accessible by public transit, and there will be a shuttle to connect this venue to the night time venue.
Sonar by Night is held Friday & Saturday nights, June 14-15, at Fira Gran Via L'Hospitalet, which a large expo center located about 5 miles outside of Barcelona. There is decent lodging immediately next to the venue, there is some limited parking in the area, and there are multiple public transit options (trains, buses, and a reasonably efficient shuttle system to/from central Barcelona that is run by the festival). Despite being an expo center, I thought they did a great job of transforming it into a music venue. There are four stages, including one open air stage and one DJ set only stage adjacent to SonarCar (amusement park style bumper cars). The Sonar by Night sets begin around 10PM and the last sets start around 5AM or 6AM (I think it runs until 8AM but am not sure).
In addition to all of these "official" events, many promoters, labels, and venues come together to throw parties in the city before, during and after the festival. These "off Sonar" events are often better than the official festival programming. They generally begin a day or two and end a day or two after the festival, for about 6-7 days of events. On the busiest days, Friday and Saturday, there were around 40 different parties to choose from, with a wide variety of music, in an assortment of venues, such as in traditional dance clubs, small venues, rooftops of businesses/hotels, beach clubs, and even some novelty venues like castles, monasteries, and so on.
After attending last year, I'm planning to go back with some friends. Here is 2012's thread: http://www.coachella.com/forum/showt...f-Sonar-events
I'm starting a new thread in order to be able to update the first page with lineup and off-Sonar party announcements as they are made.