Arriving in Barcelona I was definitely ready to swap a tent for a real bed. We had one day to rest before the parties began, and then I saw very little of the bed I so much desired. The week of Sonar sees an incredible array of world class music descend on Barcelona, so each night you are presented with a plethora of difficult choices. Our first night was a wonderful aural treat, with Anja Schneider and then Pan Pot playing out wonderful music. Hearing such good music after a prolonged absence only made it sound even more amazing.

The following night was a Tresor label night, and then the next two night were Sonar by night events.The great thing about Sonar is that it is not a pure techno festival. That’s also the worst thing about Sonar. I want to go out at night and listen to amazing techno/mnml/deep house. I do not want to see the likes of Dizzee Rascal. It was a great disappointment that Magda only played an hour and that Richie only played as Plastikman for 1 hour. It was far too short a time, but likewise listening to Plastikman for 1 hour was by far the highlight of the whole party experience. Having listened to Richie do a mini talk the night before about how technology and innovation were working for and against him it made me appreciate what he’s doing a little more deeply. Of course, just hearing an amazing sound that makes your body move is great, but knowing that the person you’re listening to is trying to push the envelope of what is possible is also really cool.

I don’t think I’ll ever go back to Sonar. I’ve done it 3 times now, and it’s changed a lot from the first time I went in 2005. I want to go and explore other festivals like mutek, timewarp, exit and DEMF. Going back to a good thing is always comfortable, but how do you know if it’s really that good unless you go out and try something else? Life is all about variety, seeking out new lines, and exploring new terrain. That’s what I’m trying to do in climbing and outside of climbing. Soon enough we’ll know how that worked out. For now, click the photo below to go to a gallery or sonar images.