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Buena Vista Social Club. June 19th.
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Anastacia. July 7th.
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Bob Dylan. July 4th.
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Festival Pedralbes. June 8th-July 10th.
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Jessie J. June 18th.
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Mika. July 10th.
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Paul Weller. July 2nd.
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Pet Shop Boys. June 8th.
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Sara Baras. June 24th-25th.
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Sonar. June 18th-20th.
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Spandau Ballet. June 20th-21st.
This summer there’s more to Barcelona than sun and beaches. The city once again plays host to some of the best music festivals in Spain, showcasing sounds from electronic and pop to rock and folk. Festival season kicks off this month with two of the biggest crowd pullers, Sónar and the Festival Jardins del Palau Reial de Pedralbes.
FESTIVAL JARDINS DEL PALAU REIAL DE PEDRALBES. June 8th to July 9th.
The stage is set at the former residence of the Spanish Royal Family for the third edition of the Festival Jardins de Pedralbes. This year, the Auditori Aire Lliure will host an assortment of international and Spanish artists. Electronic pop icons—and veterans of the festival—the Pet Shop Boys will open. Formed in London by singer Neil Tennant and keyboardist Chris Lowe, the pair have been listed as the most successful duo in UK history, having sold more than 50 million records worldwide, and received six Grammy nominations and three Brit Awards. Jessie J will perform her mix of soul vocals with contemporary R&B, pop and hip-hop beats on June 16th. And Buena Vista Social Club, world ambassador for Cuban ‘son’ music, arrive on June 19th as part of their explicitly titled Adiós Tour. Named after a Forties members club in Havana, this legendary group has raised the profile of Cuban music across the globe over the last 20 years. Other highlights in June are British New Wave old-timers Spandau Ballet (June 20th) and world-famous flamenco dancer Sara Baras (June 24th and 25th).
If it’s possible, the lineup for July has even more star quality, with Paul Weller performing his soulful tunes on July 2nd and Bob Dylan gracing us with his presence on July 4th. And to close the festival on July 9th, the singer Miguel Poveda presents his new album, Sonnets and Poems for Freedom. Born in Barcelona, Poveda started singing at the age of 15 in flamenco clubs around Catalunya.
The festival will also include concerts by young, standout musicians from the national scene on the Village stage, as well as the second edition of SoundEat!—where music and street food come together for one rhythmic feast. On June 27th, crowds can taste test the gourmet lineup as DJs and bands play. With this combination of artists and cooks, it’s sure to be a spectacular event.
SÓNAR. June 18th, 19th and 20th.
Sónar has gradually become one of the world’s most respected electronic music festivals, bringing top international DJs, record labels, artists and music fans back to Barcelona every June. 2015 is the 22nd edition of the festival with the official title of International Festival of Advanced Music and New Media Art. Like past years, Sónar will focus on cutting-edge electronic culture, represented in music, art and film, and will provide a great mixture of top acts both new and old, amazing venues, breakthrough digital art forms and intense club nights.
The confirmed acts for Sónar 2015 include established classics as well as emerging phenomena. There are more than 150 acts that will make up this year’s edition of Sónar by Day (at Fira Montjuïc) and Sónar by Night (at Fira Gran Via). Among the first are Manchester duo The Chemical Brothers, composed of Tom Rowlands and Ed Simons, who have spent the last 20 years redefining the concept of live electronic music; and Autechre, who are one of the most prominent duos signed to Warp Records and are respected for their contributions to abstract and experimental electronica. Other acts that can’t be overlooked are the UK’s Tahliah Barnett—better known as FKA Twigs—who was met with admiration at Sónar 2014 thanks to her hit debut album, LP1, released the same year; and Irish singer Róisín Murphy, formerly part of Moloko. Not to mention big name DJs Skrillex and Jamie xx. The regulars will be there as well: Hot Chip, Flying Lotus and Duran Duran.
There are also more Sónar women in this year’s programme. Holly Herndon, based in San Francisco, who often uses the visual programming language Max/MSP to create custom instruments and vocal processes, will share her worlds of dystopian sounds. British poet, performer and playwright Kate Tempest will present her first album. And German techno and electro DJ, Helena Hauff, will bring up the tempo with her original beats.
In recent years, the extended Sónar programme has started to generate as much excitement as the live acts at the main stage and night sessions. Parallel activities to the concerts include art installations, a conference dedicated to digital culture, decibel-appropriate kids’ specials and more. Come check it all out.
More summer festivals coming up...
CANET ROCK. July 4th.
GREC FESTIVAL. July 1st to 31st.
CRUÏLLA. July 10th, 11th and 12th.
FESTIVAL DE PERALADA. July 10th to Aug 15th.
CAP ROIG FESTIVAL. July 10th to August 16th.
HARD ROCK RISING July 24th and 25th
MAS I MAS. July 28th to August 29th.
CIRCUIT. August 5th to 16th.
FESTA MAJOR DE GRACIA. Aug 15th to 21st.