fbpx

PROFILE

MY SUBSCRIPTION

LOGOUT

x

The latest industry news to your inbox.

    

I'd like to hear about marketing opportunities

    

I accept IQ Magazine's Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy

Catalonia welcomes back three major festivals

Catalonia has hosted a triple whammy of festivals in the past fortnight, which will help determine the blueprint for how major events could take place in Spain going forward.

Cruïlla, Vida and Canet Rock took inspiration from 27 March’s Love of Lesbian test concert at the Palau Sant Jordi arena which they helped to organise, along with Primavera Sound (which organised the Primacov test), Sónar and Festival de Jazz de Barcelona.

In line with the recommendations from the test concert, all three festivals took place without social distancing and with attendees wearing mandatory FFP2 masks. Entry to the festivals was dependent on a negative result from a Covid-19 rapid test.

The festivals worked with the same medical partners behind the Love of Lesbian concert – the Germans Trias Hospital and Fight Aids and Infectious Diseases Foundation – and gained the approval of Catalonia’s Ministries of Health, Culture and Home Affairs.

Vida festival kicked off the week’s festivities with a three-day event in Vilanova de la Geltrú between 1–3 July that attracted a total of 27,200 attendees.

Typically, 30–40% of Vida’s line-up is international artists but this year the festival opted for an entirely domestic bill, with headline performances from Vetusta Morla, Nathy Peluso and Love of Lesbian.

“I believe that Barcelona is once again the centre of the world in terms of organising events and live music”

Catalonia’s festival frenzy continued with Canet Rock on 3 July, held from 6 pm to nearly 6 am, with an audience of 22,200 people.

The Canet de Mar-based festival also opted for a domestic-only line-up, featuring Doctor Prats, Oques Grasses, and Itaca Band.

Cruïlla rounded off the week with more than 50,000 attendees at the Parc del Fórum (also home to Primavera Barcelona).

The three-dayer took place between 8–10 July and was the only festival that opted for an international bill which including the Irish indie band Two Door Cinema Club.

“We have the feeling of total success, we can feel proud and happy, and we can get our chest out. I believe that Barcelona is once again the centre of the world in terms of organising events and live music,” says Jordi Herreula, Cruïlla.

“[Rapid Covid-19 screening] could become a solution that can be extended to the rest of society, however, the model is subject to improvements that we will outline in collaboration with the scientific community.”

 


Get more stories like this in your inbox by signing up for IQ Index, IQ’s free email digest of essential live music industry news.

Spanish developers bring Covid-safe app to market

A new ticketing services operation based in Barcelona claims to be attracting interest from some of the world’s biggest live event companies, thanks to its ability to include health record details of fans as part of their pass to attend shows.

Barcelona-based TiketBlok says it has developed an app that makes it possible to identify everyone who attends a major event through their mobile phones. The app also allows event organisers to establish a communications channel with those attendees, as well as including identity and health certification within the ticket itself.

TiketBlok has already trialled its system successfully at a Manel concert on 21 May in Gerona, where 1,000 people gathered without social distancing after passing an antigen test. The company also says it has attracted the attention of Live Nation, the WiZink Center in Madrid and opera houses in Vienna.

“Our tool allows venues and event organisers to identify every single attendee, communicate with them and certify their identity and health status, says TiketBlok managing director Javier de Esteban, adding that for the Manel concert in Gerona’s Sala La Mirona venue, more than 5,000 notifications were sent to attendees via SMS, email or through the app itself.

TiketBlok trialled its system successfully at a concert with 1,000 people without social distancing

He continues, “Our app works as a ‘smart wallet’ so all attendees have to enter the venue with their own app: One phone, one ticket. This is how we identify the whole audience, and how we are able to communicate with them anytime in real time. We also include the identity certification through a biometric analysis of the attendee ID or passport and the health status.”

TiketBlok can integrate the AOKpass health certificate – a Covid-free certification project backed by the International Chamber of Commerce, International SOS and SGS Group – into its tickets. The company says it connects with official health certificate issuers to include on the ticket itself whether the ticket holder has passed a pre-event antigen test or has had a certified vaccination.

Company MD de Esteban adds, “The best part is that we are system agnostic. It doesn’t matter who sold the tickets, you can use TiketBlok to manage the tickets and the access.”

 


Get more stories like this in your inbox by signing up for IQ Index, IQ’s free email digest of essential live music industry news.

Primavera to return in 2022 with bumper event

Primavera Sound Festival has announced the programme for 2022, confirming previously reported rumours of a new expanded format.

Next year’s 20th-anniversary edition will take place across two weekends, 2–4 June and 9–11 June, with more than 400 artists and 150 shows.

The festival will primarily be held at the Parc del Fòrum in Barcelona but this year, more than 150 shows will also take place across the city’s music venues between 5–8 June. Primavera 2022 will then close with the ‘Brunch On The Beach’ party on 12 June.

The line-up for Primavera Sound Festival 2022 was announced this morning (25 May), with more artists to be added soon.

The first weekend of Primavera 2022 (2-4 June) will feature a large number of the artists who were booked to play in 2020 and 2021, including The Strokes, Tyler, the Creator, Pavement, Tame Impala, Massive Attack, Gorillaz, The National, Charli XCX, Beck and Jorja Smith.

Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds will also perform during the first weekend, as will Caribou, Kim Gordon, Jamie xx, Fontaines D.C., Earl Sweatshirt, Parquet Courts, Beach House, Disclosure, Idles, King Krule and Slowthai.

The Strokes, Tyler, The Creator, Tame Impala, Gorillaz, Massive Attack and Jorja Smith will also return for weekend two of Primavera 2022 (9-11 June).

The festival will primarily be held at the Parc del Fòrum but this year, more than 150 shows will also take place across Barcelona

The likes of Lorde, Dua Lipa, Megan Thee Stallion, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Interpol, Run The Jewels, M.I.A., Playboi Carti, Holly Humberstone and Burna Boy will also perform on the second weekend of Primavera 2022. You can find more information on the Primavera Sounds 2020 line-up here.

Once again, the festival has achieved a gender-balanced bill, reinforcing the festival’s public commitment. Read more about Primavera’s pledge to maintain gender parity here.

Tickets for Primavera 2022 will go on sale on 1 June via DICE. Ticketholders for the cancelled 2020 and 2021 editions of Primavera will be able to attend one weekend of Primavera 2022 of their choosing, or they can upgrade their tickets in order to attend both weekends.

Refunds will also be available for any 2020 or 2021 ticketholders who do not wish to attend Primavera 2022. You can find out more information here.

Ahead of the 2022 event, Primavera Pro, the music industry conference, will take place in a ‘hybrid’ format (part physical, part online) from 2 to 4 June 2021.

Primavera Sound’s Primavera Weekender will also return, welcoming some 30 artists and around 1,000 attendees for the second edition of the resort festival in Benidorm, this November.

 


Get more stories like this in your inbox by signing up for IQ Index, IQ’s free email digest of essential live music industry news.

Primavera Sound expected to expand for 2022 edition

Barcelona’s Primavera Sound is set to dramatically expand for its 20th-anniversary celebration in 2022, according to Reuters.

Reportedly, the festival will take place between 2–5 June and 9–12 June next year – double its usual length – and will host around 400 shows across two line-ups.

No decision has been made yet on whether to keep the new two-weekend format beyond 2022, according to Reuters sources.

Primavera organisers told IQ that they ‘could neither confirm nor deny’ the information.

In March, the flagship festival was cancelled for a second consecutive year due to the pandemic, shortly after the cancellation of sister festival NOS Primavera Sound, in Oporto, Portugal.

Primavera organisers told IQ that they ‘could neither confirm nor deny’ the information

As in 2020, all tickets remain valid for the delayed Primavera Sound 20 in June 2022. Ticketholders who would prefer a refund will be able to make a request from 2 June, when the 2022 line-up will be revealed.

Headliners for Primavera Sound 2021, which sold out in record time, were Gorillaz, the Strokes and Tame Impala, with FKA Twigs, Tyler the Creator, Iggy Pop and Disclosure also set to perform from 2 to 6 June.

Ahead of the 2022 event, Primavera Pro, the music industry conference, will take place in a ‘hybrid’ format (part physical, part online) from 2 to 4 June 2021.

Primavera Sound’s Primavera Weekender will also return, welcoming some 30 artists and around 1,000 attendees for the second edition of the resort festival in Benidorm, this November.

 


Get more stories like this in your inbox by signing up for IQ Index, IQ’s free email digest of essential live music industry news.

Road to recovery: A timeline of pilot projects

In August 2020, Germany paved the way for live music pilot projects with Restart-19, an experiment which saw thousands of volunteers to take part in a concert at the Quarterback Immobilien Arena in Leipzig with singer Tim Bendzko.

Since then, similar experiments have popped up across the globe. From Spain to Singapore, test events with as few as 50 participants and as many as 5,000 have taken place to prove to authorities (and the world) that when it comes to safety and security, the live music industry knows what it’s doing.

Below is a timeline of the pilot projects that have taken place since late summer 2020 – all of which have proved, in one way or another, that the live entertainment sector can reopen safely under certain measures – as well as the tests that are on the horizon in 2021.

August 2020

Restart-19
When: 22 August 2020
Where: Quarterback Immobilien Arena, Leipzig, Germany
Who: University Medical Center of Halle
What they said: “[T]he contacts that do occur at an event do not involve all participants. Therefore, events could take place under specific conditions during a pandemic.”
Participants: 1,500

November 2020

Konzerthaus Dortmund (study)
When: 2–3, 20 November 2020
Where: Konzerthaus Dortmund, Germany
Who: Fraunhofer Heinrich Hertz Institute Goslar, ParteQ
What they said: “Concert halls and theatres are not places of infection. […] With our study, we want to ensure that concert halls and theatres may again admit sufficient audiences when they reopen.”

December 2020

Primacov
When: 12 December 2020
Where: Apolo, Barcelona, Spain
Who: Primavera Sound, Germans Trias Hospital, the Fight Aids and Infectious Diseases Foundation
What they said: “A live music concert, staged with a series of security measures that included a negative antigen test for Sars- CoV-2 done on the same day, was not associated with an increase in Covid-19 infections.”
Participants: 1,047

Philharmonie de Paris (study)
When: 16 December 2020
Where: Philharmonie de Paris, France
Who: Dassault Systèmes
What they said: “The combination of face masks with a fresh-air supply built into every seat gives the indoor Philharmonie a similar profile to that of an outdoor space, with a very limited risk of spread from one side [of the venue] to the other.”

Back to Live (SG)
When: 18–19 December 2020 Where: Sands Theatre, Marina Bay, Singapore
Who: AEG Presents, Collective Minds
What they said: “[T]he outcome of such pilots will be critical to our ongoing efforts to allow events of a larger scale to resume in a safe and sustainable manner.”
Participants: 500

February 2021

Because Music Matters
When: 10–14 February
Where: Rockhal, Luxembourg
Who: Rockhal
What they said: “Building confidence among all our stakeholders that live events are a safe environment is so important.”
Participants: 100 per night

Back to Live (NL)
When: 15, 20, 21, 28 February & 6, 7, 20, 21 March 2021
Where: The Netherlands
Who: Fieldlab Evenementen
What they said: “We can now show that we can organise events in a very safe way. […] We hope this can lead to a tailor- made reopening of venues.”
Participants: Varies between events

March 2021

Love of Lesbian
When: 27 March 2021
Where: Palau Sant Jordi, Barcelona
Who: Festivals per la Cultura Segura
What they said: The event had no impact on Covid-19 transmission among attendees, despite the lack of social distancing observed.
Participants: 5,000

The Berlin Philharmonic
When: 20 March 2021
Where: Chamber Music Hall, Berlin
Who: Pilotprojekt, Berlin department of culture
What they said: ‘Zero infections among the 1,000 people who attended the show is further proof that events can be organised safely during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.’
Participants: 680

April 2021

Jonathan theatre performance
When: 26 April–9 May 2021
Where: Koninklijke Vlaamse Schouwburg (KVS), Belgium
Who: KVS and Belgium’s Ministry of Culture
What they said: “An important observation is that the CO2 value and the relative humidity have barely increased. We saw the figure increase from 500 ppm to 600 ppm, while the maximum permitted value is 1200 ppm. This is of course only a first indication.”
Participants: 50–250

May 2021

Events Research Programme
When: April/May 2021
Where: Sefton Park and Bramley-Moore Dock in Liverpool, Brit Awards in London, The Crucible Theatre in Sheffield and more
Who: Festival Republic, Circus, BPI, the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport and more
What they said: “These test events will be crucial in finding ways to get fans and audiences back in safely without social distancing. We will be guided by the science and medical experts but will work flat out to make that happen.”
Participants: 300–21,000

TBC 2021

Denmark Trials
When: TBC 2021
Where: Denmark
Who: Dansk Live, Divisionsforeningen
What they said: “This should very much lead to a much-needed festival summer and many great concert experiences across the country in 2021.”

Paris test
When: TBC 2021
Where: Accor Arena, Paris
Who: Ministry of Health, Ministry of Culture, St Louis Hospital, Prodiss
Participants: 5,000

Marseille test
When: TBC 2021
Where: Dôme, Marseille
Who: The city of Marseille, Inserm, Béatrice Desgranges (Marsatac, SMA)
Participants: 1,000

 


Get more stories like this in your inbox by signing up for IQ Index, IQ’s free email digest of essential live music industry news.

Spain pilot shows no impact on Covid-19 spread

Festivals per la Cultura Segura, the organiser of the recent pilot concert in Barcelona on 27 March, today announced that the event had no impact on Covid-19 transmission among attendees, despite the lack of social distancing observed at the 5,000-person show.

Having analysed the data, doctors from the show’s medical partners (the Germans Trias Hospital and Fight Aids and Infectious Diseases Foundation), who observed the event, have concluded that the indoor concert setting did not increase the coronavirus risk – with concertgoers exhibiting a lower incidence of Covid-19 than the general population in Barcelona at the time.

Taking place at the 17,000-capacity Palau Sant Jordi Arena, the event saw popular local rock act Love of Lesbian perform to an audience of 4,994 fans, all of whom had tested negative for Covid-19 on the day (six people were turned away after testing positive). While the use of a medical-grade FFP2 mask was mandatory, there was no social distancing among fans, who were separated into three areas, once the show got underway.

Compliance with the measures that were in place – such as the mask mandate, the three concert zones and a regulated flow of people around common areas such as bars and the toilets – was “scrupulous”, say organisers.

Of the 4,592 concert attendees who gave consent for the doctors to analyse Covid-19 tests taken after the event, six people tested positive for Covid-19 within 14 days of the show. All six cases had mild symptoms, or were asymptomatic, and no secondary transmission was observed; additionally, analysis suggests that four of the cases originated outside the concert.

“We will continue to work under the guidance of the scientific community to make further progress”

The six cases, say the scientists, represent a cumulative incidence (at 14 days after the show) of 130.7 cases of Covid-19 per 100,000 inhabitants. Compared to Barcelona as a whole, this is lower than the 259.5 cases/100,000 people in the city’s population at the time.

In a statement, Festivals per la Cultura Segura – comprising Primavera Sound, Sónar, Cruïlla, Canet Rock, TheProject and Vida Festival – say they view the experiment “very positively”, stating their intention to use the lessons of the Love of Lesbian show to push for the safe return of full-capacity live concerts.

“We will continue to work under the guidance of the scientific community in order to make further progress,” they say. “The aim is for this established model to generate new proposals within the framework of a strategic plan of pilot studies, such as the one carried out on 27 March at the Palau Sant Jordi.”

The Palau St Jordi show is the latest scientifically monitored pilot show to conclude concerts do not increase the rate of Covid-19 transmission, following similar events in Germany (Restart-19 in Leipzig and a test show at Dortmund’s Konzerthaus) and elsewhere in Barcelona (Primacov at Sala Apolo).

Watch the the event’s aftermovie, which includes on-the-day interviews with the organisers and fans (with English subtitles), below:


This article forms part of IQ’s Covid-19 resource centre – a knowledge hub of essential guidance and updating resources for uncertain times.

Get more stories like this in your inbox by signing up for IQ IndexIQ’s free email digest of essential live music industry news.

Barcelona to provide grants for summer 2021 shows

As part of ‘Barcelona Never Stops’, the Spanish city’s post-pandemic recovery plan, Barcelona city council has announced half a million euros’ worth of subsidies for ‘large-format’ concerts in the city this summer.

The €500,000 in grants will go towards the cost of promoting shows at two of Barcelona’s most celebrated open-air venues, the Parc del Fòrum (home to festivals including Primavera Sound and Cruïlla) and the Anella Olímpica (Olympic Ring), the complex built for 1992 Olympic games.

Jaume Collboni, first deputy mayor of Barcelona, says the grants aim to help the city “regain [its] leadership as the capital of live music in southern Europe”.

The concerts organised as part of the initiative, which must place at one of the two venues between 20 May and 30 September, will follow a Covid-secure format, taking place outdoors with social distancing and mask wearing, and are expected to have a capacity of between 1,000 and 3,000, says the council.

“Barcelona wants to regain leadership as the capital of live music in southern Europe”

To be eligible for a grant, promoters must have a confirmed date at one of the venues, after which they will be reimbursed 40% of the costs of the show. Grants will be given on a first-come, first-served basis until the €0.5m fund is exhausted.

Application forms may be downloaded from the Barcelona City Council website.

The Association of Music Promoters (APM) welcomes the announcement, with spokesperson Tito Ramoneda saying the subsidies show that Barcelona is serious about retaining its crown as a music capital.

“This is very good news,” says Ramoneda. “Barcelona has historically been a city that has welcomed music in all senses; undoubtedly music is part of its identity. It it is a very powerful sector economically speaking – therefore, it must be protected and a path to normality sought.”

 


This article forms part of IQ’s Covid-19 resource centre – a knowledge hub of essential guidance and updating resources for uncertain times.

Get more stories like this in your inbox by signing up for IQ IndexIQ’s free email digest of essential live music industry news.

We can’t afford to go back to pale, male and stale

Health passports, fast testing, social distancing, rapid screenings: the industry has been grappling with more medical concepts in the last year than it ever had to before.

Getting back to business; finding ways to reopen venues and stage festivals; getting technicians back to their sound desks and musicians back on stage, is all we’ve thought and talked about during the past 12 months.

But is that everything? All of it? Perhaps the question shouldn’t simply be when is the industry resuming but how and with whom?

Perhaps the question shouldn’t simply be when is the industry resuming but how and with whom?

Because we can’t afford to go back to pale, male and stale music festivals, to companies overwhelmingly ruled by men, to soundchecks where as far as the eyes can see it’s Johns and Jacks and Martins – not that we want them to disappear, we just want them to share their space with us Janes, Jackies and Martas.

It’s been two years since Primavera Sound sent a message to the world: a gender-balanced lineup can be achieved. When we released that line-up, we said that equality and dismantling gender barriers should be normal, and yet, in spite of the fact that we claimed that that edition would be the one in which everything changed… it didn’t.

Two years after becoming the first major festival with a 50/50 gender split, we haven’t seen much of a change. In fact, the situation has only got worse for women thanks to the pandemic. The biggest problem now is not only the ongoing systemic inactivity but the depressing thought that the pandemic can, and will, be used as an excuse to avoid taking the much-needed next steps.

It’s not about the lack of female artists or headliners: it’s the lack of willingness to book them or give them the rank they deserve

At Primavera, we know how challenging this process can be, maybe even more than the promoters and festivals that still refuse to be more diverse. In the end, we set our own standard: we have to live up to that past achievement, and keep honouring it.

2019 was an amazing year for music made by women: Rosalía, Janelle Monáe, Robyn, Erykah Badu, Chris from Christine & the Queens and many more, made it really easy for us. But was that programme just a once in a lifetime? Not really.

The next year proved us right, thanks to Lana del Rey, Bikini Kill, Kacey Musgraves and Brittany Howard. So it’s not about the lack of female artists, or even female headliners: it’s about the lack of willingness to book them or give them the rank they deserve. In the end, if they are the ones who chart the highest and win all the awards, shouldn’t they be also topping our line-ups?

In 2019, Primavera Sound’s [gender-balanced line-up] sold more day tickets than ever, up to 65,000

So, let’s talk business. Does a gender-balanced line-up translate into revenue? In 2019, Primavera Sound sold more day tickets than ever, up to 65,000. That Saturday, 1 June, Rosalía, Solange and Lizzo shared a line-up with James Blake, Jarvis Cocker and Stereolab, as well as the biggest Colombian reggaeton artist, J Balvin.

Isn’t this how real diversity should look (and be heard)? Even our partners at the UN SDG Action Campaign thought so.

Whilst I don’t pretend to be an expert on this matter, by any means, let’s ask Google how a more diverse and inclusive environment can and will improve any company.

I remember moderating a panel last year at Primavera Pro. We were already asking ‘What’s Next?’ because we suspected that 2020 could be the perfect time to pause and reflect on our work. In that panel, we were inspired by Fruzsina Szép (director of Lollapalooza Berlin and Superbloom Munich) and her approach to the pandemic: her whole team was taking much-needed time to take a deeper look at their festivals and to think how they wanted them to be, not how they had to be.

It’s not about being perfect, the real challenge is to do better

Why shouldn’t we use this crisis as an opportunity to fix systemic issues – that are more deep-rooted and insidious than a virus – instead of as an excuse?

We understand that competition can be fierce, but saying that line-ups prior to the pandemic have to be honoured feels cheap. Crazy thought: what if they had already been diverse in 2020? To all the festivals who pledged to achieve gender equality in 2022 and to all of those who were already trying to do better, please don’t take a rain-check due to the pandemic; you are doing a great job. It’s not about being perfect, the real challenge is to do better, no matter how small each step may seem.

We have this chance to start planting in empty fields, as nothing is written in stone anymore. If we don’t have a clue what it’s going to be like when we programme festivals again, if we lose all the benefits of a stable landscape, why should we inherit its problems?

 


Marta Pallarès is head of international press & PR for Primavera Sound in Barcelona, Spain.

“Historic event” as 5,000 attend Spanish arena show

Nearly 5,000 thousand music fans attended a non-socially distanced concert at Barcelona’s Palau Sant Jordi arena on Saturday (27 March) for the latest industry-run, government-backed ‘pilot’ concert designed to demonstrate how concerts may take place safely while the coronavirus is still a threat.

Organised by Festivals per la Cultura Segura (Festivals for Safe Culture), comprising festivals including Primavera Sound, Sónar and Cruïlla, the concert, by Spanish band Love of Lesbian, sold out quickly after going on sale earlier this month. In total, 4,994 people attended the show, after six ticketholders were found to have Covid-19 during the pre-gig tests.

The day of the concert began at 8am, when the first attendees arrived at the three Barcelona venues which were being used as Covid-19 test centres: Sala Apolo (which had hosted an earlier pilot concert), Sala Razzmatazz and Sala Luz de Gas.

All 5,000 fans passed through one of the three sites, which were staffed by more than 200 people in total, including medical professionals from local hospitals. Of the 5,000, 4,994 tested negative for the virus, while the six people who tested positive had their tickets refunded.

Fans getting tickets checked

The final tests finished at 4pm, with entry to the show open from 5pm. After gaining entry to the Palau St Jordi (using an app which contained both their ticket and negative test results), fans were given a medical-grade FPP2 mask to wear and shown to one of three pre-assigned areas set up in the arena.

Once inside, local heroes Love of Lesbian played the “greatest hits of their long career”, with concertgoers – seeing a show in a non-socially distanced format for the first time March 2020 – responding to the excitement of being part of “a historic event”, say organisers.

A video posted to the Palau St Jordi Twitter feed shows the thousands attendees dancing as Love of Lesbian perform on stage:

The concert marked a “great step forward”, says Festivals per la Cultura Segura, who hailed the event as an “example of the unity of the live music industry, the scientific community, the different administrations [the various Spanish governments] and committed sponsors”. The collective also thanked concertgoers for their cooperation and “civility”.

According to organisers, “conclusive data” from the concert will be available from 10 April, and will be released shortly after, following consultation with Catalonia’s ministry of health.

Love of Lesbian at Palau St Jordi

Speaking to the Catalan News Agency (ACN), Cruïlla director Jordi Herreruel said he hopes the show will demonstrate that festivals like his can take place safely this year.

“If the results confirm our theories, we will have the door open to the return of big events this summer,” he said. Previous pilot concerts, including the Sala Apolo study in Spain and two events in Germany (Restart-19 in Leipzig and a test show at Dortmund’s Konzerthaus), have demonstrated that live entertainment can take place safely in a pandemic situation.

 


Get more stories like this in your inbox by signing up for IQ Index, IQ’s free email digest of essential live music industry news.

Sónar pulls 2021 flagship festival, plans new events

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.

 


Get more stories like this in your inbox by signing up for IQ Index, IQ’s free email digest of essential live music industry news.