Frankly said - I was disappointed.
I had visited Sonar in 2003 and found a very interesting and exciting multimedia exhibition; video art installations and various other multimedia projects carried me through a well devised tour.
This year in 2006 it almost completely lacked such an exhibition, leaving us with description boards explaining conceptual multimedia art - INSTEAD of actually showing them!
Sonar by Day
Also missing where the laptop tweakers - and performances of video artists where rarely scattered.
Sonar seems to be moving away - changing its paradigm into - yeah into what I don't really know.
The Sonar by day resembled a "Biergarten" with Hiphop and Reggae concerts outside, in the Sonorama etc. buildings we found weird art exhibitions (vinyl records hung on the wall or strange pictures and paintings with no new media references whatsoever), and of course the usual label gathering floor and sponsor product demos down below.
This was not a Sonar I feel like going to and pay the pricey entrance fee again!
Sonar by Night
The Sonar by night was ok, thank god for Miss Kittin, Ricardo Villalobos and Ritchie Hawtin. The huge venues and the tens of thousands of people are tiresome - at least for me, I prefer events more "underground" in a sense or at least not in that super size edition.
The actual party and music excitement, though took place at the more and more popular becoming so called "Anti Sonar" parties!
Spread around town they where at different venues such as “Nitsa” Club or "Theàtro" - with amazingly well chosen bookings of DJs and Live Acts, such as: DJ Koze, Michael Meyer, DJ Hell, Jesper Dahlback, Thomas Andersson, Zoo Brasil, Prydz, Steve Angello, Sebastian Ingorosso, Superpitcher, Wighnomy Bros., Mathias Kaden, Krause Duo, Ellen Allien & Apparat, Kiki, Sascha Funke, Smash TV, Huntemann, LocoDice, Luciano and many more.
Held at venues close to Barcelona's Rambla and thus close to the Sonar by day location, the Anti Sonar event is becoming more and more popular having people flying in for just those events instead as for visiting the actual Sonar!!
And exactly that is what I might be doing from now on - maybe getting a ticket for one Sonar by Day, giving them another chance to cough up some cool multimedia installations or otherwise abandon the Sonar event entirely.
After all the Anti Sonar was a massive success and not to speak of the illegal and secret Sunday morning after hours, following the closing of the Sonar by Night Saturday, close to Marbella beach!!! A great party with Villalobos showing up as surprise guest and playing a great morning set, Ritchie Hawtin and Miss Kittin hanging around partying and an overall GREAT ambience! (Although sauna temperatures on the dance floor ;-)
This event wasn't even an Anti Sonar party, as stated on the Flyer:
But it was a privately organized after hour/day party filling the gap until the beach parties started on Marbella beach, with many famous labels presenting themselves at the various playa-bar places.
The party continued well into the night, and not only where all the beautiful dancing people a worthy sight, but of course the sun setting, the ocean and the beach of Barcelona too.
I'll probably go again to the Barcelona Sonar week next year, but rather more for the events surrounding Sonar then for the exhibition itself.