Sónar usually Begins on a Thursday. Since it attracts an international crowd, Barcelona gets to the best promoting spots for different Music Labels. In that week the Party calendar seems to explode, there are plenty of Events everyday, and it's basically impossible to be everywhere. I collected a bit of experience during the past three years of my Barcelona visits, so I would recommend to anyone that wants to get there: inform yourself in advance!
Resident Advisor is the best site to get any Event Information and, most of the time, book directly your own partytickets. Best featured are European cities, which have the biggest density of electronic acts and Clubs. I would recommend a quick line up check and some playlist listening on platforms like Soundcloud are very helpful to discover if the music direction is the perfect one, since there are different kinds of electronic music.
The best Thing to do is starting to check around spring what Kind of Events are upcoming for that busy week. Try to get the best combination between day (mostly openair venues) and night Events. The openair venues usually are thrown on the beach (most of the time for free) or in pool Areas, so it's a nice way to hang out and have a drink with some Quality electronic Music. The night Events take place in Clubs and theatres, sometimes outside like at el Poble Espanyol, a fantastic monastery that Hosts art, activities and Music through the year. El Poble Espanyol has it's own summer Nightclub, La Terrrazza, which Hosts a good bunch of afterparties (Cocoon is one of them).
To get in the mood, I often start my stay in Barcelona by throwing my suitcase in my Apartment and heading to the beach. Barceloneta, the old fisher's district, has a big urban beach that is visited yearly by every tourist and is also the spot where locals hang around on their day off or for a drink after work.
Speaking of Drinks, I discovered another good spot where to have the perfect after beach apero the while being in the city.
This is another reason why I love it so much: I learn and discover new things, spots, Restaurants, just by Walking a lot and trying to avoid the "famous places" that I've seen anyway times before. I am in love with open air bars, oh Boy :)! Maybe it's because we don't have a Long summer in Switzerland, so everytime the sun is out, I try to get a table in a cafe outside in the sun.
Going back to the beach apero, I had the luck to step by at the Beach Garden, located on the Plaça del Mar. You have a big variety of Drinks, can also order Tapas from the Restaurant nearby and they Play electronic Music. So it's the perfect place to get in the Sonar Off mood, watch the People having a blast and sometimes, if you're lucky enough, get some free shots from Spirits Promoters (in my case, Jägerbombs by Jägermeister). This place is decorated like an Hawaiian Tiki Bar, pretty laid back; but for the ones who like it comfy, there are some Lounges to get with bottle Service ;). Definetly worth a visit to start a great Musical experience, I have already added it to my "must go list" while I am in Barcelona.
|Photo: Courtesy of Beach Garden Barceloneta|
|Photo: Courtesy of Beach Garden Barceloneta|
Off Sonar 2014 left some impressive memories back in my mind. The best parties I've visited where for sure the two Diynamic Events and the Exploited Showcase.
Diynamic is a Music Label from Hamburg, Germany. They Feature a bunch of the best DJ's I've heard in a while, like Solomun, H.O.S.H., Stimming and Karmon, just to mention a few.
They host different in-Club and open air Events, like the Diynamic Festival in Amsterdam (it happened in May. And I've missed it *sob*) or the Diynamic Neon Nights in Ibiza last year.
Off Sonar by Diynamic was one open air Party in the La Carpa Pool Complex on wednesday (day and night), featuring the all stars of the Label. Since the weather is mostly clear and sunny in Barcelona during this period, it's an absolute must to have a bunch of parties outside - it's an atmosphere I wouldn't miss anymore.
One day later, we were lucky enough to be at the night Event (tickets in advance, ha!), that taked place in a theatre (Teatre Principal) in the middle of La Rambla. There where two floors, an insane crowd in the right mood and a pretty good bar Service.
Good for me, I had a 10 minutes walk home from there, since my Apartment was amazingly located.
|Photo: Courtesy of Diynamic.com and Play.fm|
The Exploited Showcase happened in a small Club Almogavers 86, named after its adress. It's a small undergroundish Club, so pretty dark inside. In my opinion the darkness expands the Feeling of being reached by the played music (no, I don't do drugs, I simply feel the music) at the most. Relaxing is the rooftop terrace, illuminated with small lights, where the crowd hangs out and rests from the madness.
For Exploited, I Chose the following two tracks to Show you how great they work:
|Flyer: Courtesy of Exploited|
A few tips:
- Don't overload yourself with Party tickets: you might won't be able to attend everything. two to a Maximum of four Events should be enough, unless you want to be awake 5 days in a row. (I was, big mistake :D)
- Try to choose parties based on your taste in electronic music. Don't 'go with the flow' just because there are some famous names playing. If you don't like tech house for example, you won't do it certainly on a Party. The music tends to get 'harder' through a good soundsystem, so you will have the 'eeewww' Moment in your ears for sure, and nothing else. Just sayin' ;)...
- Take cash with you! The most venues have bars with a ticket System. You'll buy tickets based on what you want to drink (Long Drinks, soft Drinks, etc.). They accept mostly only payment by cash and the Drinks aren't that cheap as a beer in a Liquor store (usually approx. 8EUR each).
- Barcelona is pretty international, so you'll find a bunch of People that will answer in English, especially in the Hotel and gastronomy sector. Since I travel to Spain every year, I try to speak as much Spanish as I can, even if I Sound awful. I just exprenienced a lot of appreciation and kindness for trying it, so you should. A few Basic sentences will make your life out there much more easier.
- Have fun :)