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Sónar pulls 2021 flagship festival, plans new events

In lieu of Sónar Barcelona, the organisers are planning two new in-person festivals for the city, to take place in autumn 2021

By IQ on 25 Mar 2021

Sónar Barcelona

Sónar Barcelona

image © Sónar

Barcelona’s Sónar festival, scheduled to take place this June, has been called off for the second consecutive year due to force majeure.

“The case numbers, mobility restrictions, and the lack of applicable legislation for the organisation of large events have made the celebration of the festival in the conditions required unviable,” reads a statement from the organisers.

The festival, which is majority-owned by Superstruct parent Providence Equity Partners, is one of Barcelona’s three major international music festivals, along with Cruïlla (still scheduled to go ahead this year) and Primavera (set to return in 2022).

In lieu of Sónar’s flagship festival, the organisers are planning two new in-person festivals for Barcelona in autumn 2021.

One of the two new festivals is AI and Music Festival, which will be organised by Sónar alongside the Universitat Politécnica de Catalunya (UPC), béteve and the European Commission as part of the S+T+ARTS initiative.

“The case numbers, mobility restrictions, and lack of applicable legislation for large events make [Sónar 2021] unviable”

The festival, slated to take place in Barcelona on 27 and 28 October, will focus on the ‘application of and challenges surrounding the use of Artificial Intelligence in musical creation’.

Sónar’s second 2021 festival is SónarCCCB (Barcelona Center for Contemporary Culture), which takes place on 29 and 30 October and will include live performances, debates and demonstrations as part of the Sónar+D conference.

Both festivals will be in-person events but Sónar is also expanding its online content under the tag #ThisIsSonar, which will be produced in collaboration with local and international partners.

Sónar’s new events will feature over 60 activities and will be ‘presented in hybrid format, mainly live and in-situ, but with an important digital and online component’.

Within this frame, Sónar Istanbul will also celebrate its 5th edition on 2 October.


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