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A Guide to Sonar Barcelona 2014

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As one of the biggest festivals of the summer, there is so much going on at Sonar Barcelona 2014… you can’t possibly see everything! So we asked Andrew Trendell of Gigwise.com to put together this guide on all the must-sees at Sonar Barcelona this year, check it out below.

If you’re heading to Sonar, this week, then you couldn’t have chosen a better city for a festival or a better base than Generator. With Sonar, the charm of all of Europe and beyond will be coming together to celebrate the most acclaimed and credible electronic and alternative music –  filling the air with an electric anticipation and sense of community. Waking up at in the friendly, buzzing and chic vibrancy of Generator Hostel’s hotel in the centre of Barcelona, the rest of the city follows in that same spirit.

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From 2ManyDJs, Bonobo, Caribou, Jon Hopkins, James Murphy and Massive Attack to Nils Frahm, Lykke Li, Chic, Royksopp & Robyn, and MØ, the line-up is pretty staggering and guarantees a good time. If you’re after something a little bit different, then get a taste of local sounds with today’s excellent Spanish scene and make sure you catch Nev.Era., Pina, DJ2D2, Mwëslee, Territoire, Sunny Graves, Kresy, Glue Kids, BSN Posse, 3QUINOX, Mr. K!, and Enpunto.

On Thursday June 12th Sonar by Day will run until 11:00 pm for the first time featuring the first European performance of Plastikman’s developing ‘Objekt’ live concept in which he will premiere his new compositions – which will be pretty mind-blowing. 

The true highlight of the week is sure to be Despacio – a 6-hour disco extravaganza. Despacio is the brainchild of former LCD Soundsystem frontman James Murphy and  David and Stephen Dewaele from Soulwax (known as DJ collective 2ManyDJs). The trio played three sold-out and critically acclaimed shows in London. They were amazing.

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Speaking to Gigwise about the origins of the project, Stephen said: “It’s an idea that me, Dave and James have had for a while. We just said why can’t we build a soundsystem so we can play the kind of music that we wouldn’t normally play in normal DJ gigs. You know – a bit more of the rarer stuff and crazy vinyl that we have?

“I think that once James had finished with LCD, we bumped into him in London and he said ‘I don’t think you realise this, but I’m going to be in your neighbourhood a lot more so let’s actually finish the things that we’ve been talking about for the last 10 years’.  We went to our house, set up our laptops and started hanging out a lot more.”

Music aside, make sure to make the most of one of Europe’s most beautiful cities. Tourist-y stuff aside (Parc Guel, Sagrada Familia etc) make sure you spend a least a day lounging on of the world’s cleanest and most stunning city beaches. Buy a beer or two from one of the many wandering vendors selling them for just 1Euro and lose yourself

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If you’re after a cheap place to eat, then I’d strongly recommend La Malandrina enough. Near the coast Carrer de L’Almirall Cervera, you’ll find not only one of the best value but most delicious steaks ever. For just over 10Euro, we got a massive and gorgeous steak, a plentiful serving of creamy potatoes, bread, wine and an apertif – as well as a warm and welcoming authentic Mediterranean athmosphere. Don’t leave Barcelona without eating here at least once. 

For amazing beers, great cocktail and one hell of a White Russian, pay a visit to El Bar de l’Antic Teatre – a bar-meets-restaurant-meets theatre in a beautiful open courtyard and one hell of a cool and electric vibe. 

That aside, Sonar has been tailor-made for you to lose your mind. You’re going to need to learn the phrase ‘Me Gusta’ – which means ‘I LIKE IT’.

Andrew Trendell, Assistant Editor of Gigwise.com

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Generator A Guide to Sonar Barcelona 2014