By Matthew Duffield



Published on June 1, 2018

Barcelona’s Sónar festival needs little introduction. Now in its 25th year, it has become a world-famous celebration of cutting-edge music and new media art where renowned artists join young pioneers. Did the Sónar founders think they would reach such heights when they first began? Possibly not, but such is the case, and alongside the rise of Sónar, another phenomenon has had equal success: Off Sónar.

The Off Sónar events taking place around Barcelona attract huge numbers and feature many of the world’s best DJs. There is no formal connection between Sónar and Off Sónar. But there is no doubt that both feed into Barcelona’s reputation as a haven of creativity, imagination and – let’s not forget – having fun. And what’s not to like about spending a few days in June in Barcelona? The city offers beautiful weather and beaches, stunning architecture, interesting corners and surprises, and a mixture of people, residents and visitors. No doubt many will be attending both Sónar and Off Sónar events, and a lack of choice is not a problem.

We’ve handpicked various Off Sónar parties, from label showcases to mini-festivals which look particularly inviting and that offer high-quality electronic music. Buying advance tickets is highly recommended.

SÓNAR (JUNE 14–16)

Sónar by Day (Fira Montjuïc, €65) – Kicking off on Thursday, heavyweight DJ names include Laurent Garnier, Agoria, Oscar Mulero and Kode9, with a live set inspired by Japanese video game music.

Sónar by Night (Fira Gran Via, €85) – Night one puts forward the Gorillaz, Thom Yorke, Bonobo, LCD Soundsystem, Diplo and Richie Hawtin.


Clone Label Night (Moog, €15) – This year, label boss Serge invites Moustache Records founder David Vunk to his now legendary Off Week party at Moog.


Detroit Love (El Monasterio, €35) – Detroit Love presents a party with Carl Craig, Moodymann, Octave One and more.

It’s All About the Music (Poble Espanyol, €45) – Club4 cofounders Marco Carola and Paco Osuna will be headlining…


This is Hardcore (Razzmatazz, €17) – The iconic haunt will see its dance floors bringing in brands for showcases, with labels like Bugged Out!, Pinkman and Mannequin and names like Vitalic, Ben Sims and Surgeon. 


Monumental (La Monumental, €30 / €40) – Spanish promoters Creaductions returns to Off Week with an unmissable fiesta series featuring veterans like Sasha and Digweed, pioneers such as Kerri Chandler and Theo Parrish, and many more.


трип (Poble Espanyol, €35) – Founded by Nina Kraviz, трип (aka Trip) is forward-thinking record label ranging from techno to IDM, hardcore to ambient.

We Are Not Alone (City Hall, €20) – Ellen Allien will be bringing the vibe of her We Are Not Alone party to town.


Innervisions (Poble Espanyol, €55) – Its “biggest lineup ever”: Ben UFO, Jamie xx, Floating Points, Avalon Emerson, Job Jobse, Keope, Red Axes, Dixon, Henrik Schwarz, Discodromo and Solar…. 

Secretsundaze (La Terrrazza, €25) – The UK institution is back for a Sunday night soirée with guests Ryan Elliott, Tama Sumo and Chaos in the CBD.