15 photos from Sónar 2022, a spectacular celebration of music and culture - Features - Mixmag
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15 photos from Sónar 2022, a spectacular celebration of music and culture

The Barcelona festival made a triumphant return

  • In association with Sónar | Photos: Nerea Coll, Ariel Martini, Ruperez Alba, Fernando Schlaepfer
  • 22 June 2022

Sónar festival is a playground of fun and discovery. Since launching in Barcelona in 1994, it’s built a reputation to stand among the finest music festivals on the planet, setting the blueprint for combining cutting-edge music, thoughtful programming, and spectacular production in a way that is thought-provoking, accessible and playful.

The 2022 edition was a shining example of these qualities, marking the flagship festival's return after a pandemic-induced pause and the launch of two spin-off events in the Spanish city. Musical highlights include neo-perreo star Ms Nina exhibiting the queer and feminist side of reggaeton with a sweltering Thursday evening show, The Chemical Brothers performing their dazzling new live AV show at the vast SonarClub stage, and Arca making her Sónar by Night debut with sounds that beguile and agitate to captivating effect.

The line-up was stacked as ever with world class DJs, featuring slamming sounds from Helena Hauff and Charlotte de Witte, bouncey bangers from Conducta and Jamz Supernova, transcendent rave energy from Eris Drew and Octo Octa, Daytimers members Yung Singh and SUCHI channelling South Asian influence into broad floor-focused selections, and amapiano superstars Scorpion Kings helming a full six hour set.

Read this next: Scorpion Kings: "Amapiano hasn't even reached its full potential"

Many of the hottest live acts in the planet also performed, including electronic innovators Giant Swan, LSDXOXO and Lyra Pramuk, Eric Prydz in typically epic form, boisterous tunes from Overmono and Paranoid London, rousing house and club shows from the likes of Folamour and UNIIQU3, mind-altering drum patterns from Uganda’s Nihiloxica, and charismatic rap stars Headie One and AJ Tracey.

The production was impressive as ever, with no punches pulled on the immersive lighting and weighty sound to complement the blissful setting of Barcelona.

Sónar also presented an interesting range of discussions and art installations as part of its Sónar+D programme, where attendees could learn about Web3’s impact on art, lose themselves in virtual reality worlds constructed by visual artists, and listen to talks by influential musicians and industry professionals.

All eyes now focus on next year’s 30th anniversary edition, which looks set to pull out all the stops for an unbeatable festival experience. Sign up for pre-sale tickets here.

Check out some of the standout images from the weekend below.

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