Sónar Lisboa returns in 2023 between 31 March and 2 April
The debut edition of Sónar Lisboa was attended by 27,000 people from all over Europe, filling the festival's four venues from Friday to Sunday. The Portuguese capital hosted a total of more than 70 performances between Sónar by Day and Sónar by Night. In addition, there were more than 30 Sónar +D activities, including conferences, installations and AV shows.
Two days and two nights of colourful, vibrant and diverse music
Sónar Lisboa kicked off on Friday with the first session of Sónar by Night. The Pavilhão Carlos Lopes hosted an eclectic party in SonarHall, ranging from the electro-funk of legendary LA bassist Thundercat to the intimate selections of Dixon b2b Trikk, while also taking in the transgressive experiments of Arca.
The Centro de Congressos showcased the most effusive side of techno: Charlotte de Witte closed SonarClub in expected style, taking over from an eagerly anticipated back-to-back: Richie Hawtinand Héctor Oaksplaying an all-vinyl set on two separate pairs of decks and mixers. Other highlights included Stingray 313's live experimental electro and DJ sets from Imogen and Vil b2b Cravo.
On Saturday, Sónar by Day took over the Pavilhão Carlos Lopes. Lisboa is still dreaming of Honey Dijon's colossal closing DJ set and Nicola Cruz's breaks-heavy live set. The energy of Poté and IAMDDB and, above all, the celebratory deep house of The Blaze DJ - a preview for their long-awaited new live set at Sónar Barcelona - kept the audience in the SonarHall dancing throughout the afternoon, while Ka§par and India Jordan rocked the outside dancefloor of SonarVillage.
SonarHall featured the most colourful and festive rhythms of modern electronic music during Sónar by Night, with performances by the queen of neo-kuduro Pongoand Peruvians Dengue Dengue Dengue. Ugandan DJ Kampire and a warmly received b2b from Branko and Gafacci rounded off the night.
Meanwhile, at the Centro de Congressos, SonarClub continued to dance to the rhythm of techno, this time with live performances by German duo FJAAK and Portuguese producer Dust Devices. Partiboi69, Ellen Allien b2b Dr. Rubinstein and local legend Lewis Fautzi also DJed.
The majestic Coliseu dos Recreios opened its doors as SonarPub for a historic evening that began with Leon Vynehall's live set and ended with Bicep's stellar audiovisual live show. There was also room for the hypnotic rhythms of rRoxymore and DJ sets by Helena Guedes, Chloé Robinson, Floating Points and Rui Vargas.
A final day of Sónar by Day took place, once again, at the Pavilhão Carlos Lopes. New Yorker Evan Baggs was the star of the show under sunny skies at SonarVillage, with the booth also hosting Anah and Zé Salvador, among others. In the meantime, SonarHall vibed and danced one last time to the disco and house of an ultra-energetic Jayda G, a set of rave-nostalgia from Overmono and live shows from EU.CLIDES and French duo Polo & Pan.
One of the biggest editions of Sónar+D in history
At the same time, the four buildings of the Hub Criativo do Beato hosted three days of Sónar+D activities, in one of the most extensive editions yet held.
At the Fábrica da Moagem attendees immersed themselves in Alessandro Cortini’s sound and light installation "Nati Infiniti". British studio Semiconductor also presented their monumental immersive geological installation "Earthworks”.
The weekend also saw the presentation of various co-creation projects developed in collaboration with Sónar, working with scientists and researchers from the UPC (Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya) to investigate the new possibilities that Artificial Intelligence introduces for music.
Pianist and composer Marco Mezquida maintained a permanent improvisatory dialogue with an AI system during his concert on Friday, as did the Catalan producer and DJ AWWZ in her b2b with an AI. On Saturday, Catalan studio Hamill Industries presented "Training Virtual Dancers", unpacking the ins and outs of their collaborative performance with dancer Kianí del Valle.
Kate Crawfordand Trevor Paglen, leading researchers and key figures in the debate around the social and political implications of Artificial Intelligence (AI), explored issues in the field of AI and the politics of new technologies. Other highlights from the weekend included Bas Grasmayer and Kaitlyn Davies' exploration of NFTs and the world of Web3, and a conversation with Canadian DJ Jayda G that looked at the music industry/sustainability dichotomy.