The second week of June is a great time. The weather is usually great (not too hot yet, not too humid, but reliable enough to forget jackets and coats), the city is buzzing with full terraces and newly-found bars with happy hours and great tapas, and exams have just finished in universities around Europe, so that can mean only 1 thing - time to party.
For years in Barcelona, the Sonar Music Festival has been providing the escape to hedonism for the weekend, attracting visitors and artists from around the world. The festival is usually split up into 2 parts - Day and Night. Sonar by Day is located in Barcelona's Old Town Raval quarters, in and around the CCCB and the Night is usually at Gran Via 2 - an exhibition space slightly outside the city centre, where people can make as much noise as they want without the neighbours complaining. Well, this year, they've gone one better - they're involving the kids!
Sonar Kids is a great new idea to involve the musicians of the future in Sonar. The idea is that the kids can come along and experiment in various workshops which are completely geared towards the kids. So you can attend the Hip Hop workshop and learn how to dance a face-off like Run DMC Jason Nevins cool vid, or you can attend the DJ workshop and get the basics about spinning the wheels or scratching. There's a cool beatbox workshop, Illustration workshop (no graffiti one surprisingly!), as well as felt masks, Finger skating, Medieval armour and much more.
Everything will be kicking off on the Sunday 21st June (with a few heavy heads from the parents, no doubt) and the website is quick to point out that they will be taking children's tolerance to raised levels of noise into consideration, too. Sensible.
As for the festival itself, it looks like being another stellar year, and I'm a little early in commenting on the line up this year, and usually leave it till later in the year, but I saw the Kids angle and loved it. Headliners this year include Orbital, Grace Jones, Mujava, Joker, Crookers, Fever Ray and many others already lined up. Things might change from now until June, so I'll keep you posted.
If you're coming to Barcelona for the festival, I can highly reccomend renting Barcelona apartments for the stay. In fact, looking for apartments for Sonar 2009 is a great way to save money and be close to all the action, too.