Sónar at 25: festival of the future?

Sónar is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year, while its creative conference offshoot Sónar+D is now in its sixth year. As part of our creativity in music series, we visit the festival to see whether its work hard, play hard culture is worth the hype

My first experience of Sónar came immediately after finishing a three-year history degree. I had just about scraped my way through a bunch of exams and a punishing 15,000-word dissertation, and decided to go to the music festival with a group of uni friends to celebrate the beginning of the rest of our lives (and having to pay off our mountain of student debt). The common goal of the trip was clear for all of us: a post-exams piss up to end all piss ups.

At the time, I was so consumed by drinking my bodyweight in Estrella and seeing Massive Attack live that I wasn’t even aware the festival was also home to a creative conference spin-off called Sónar+D. To be completely honest, I’m not sure I was quite the right target market for it at the time. Fast forward four years to this June, and I would be returning to Barcelona as the music festival celebrated its 25th anniversary. This time however, I was going for work, so my aim was to (hopefully) spend less time at the bar and more time learning how to become a creative genius.


Milton Keynes