This has taken me ages to post about. But just wanted to say Sonar Festival in Reykjavik was amazing!
I’ve been to tons of music festivals, but really really love going to festivals in different cities or countries. It’s a whole different experience, I think, going to see music (which is so cross-cultural) abroad. The crowd can make up a huge part of the experience.
What is Sónar Reykjavik (from the Sonar website)
It’s intimate. The festival is going to portray how a prestige brand can redefine itself in smaller locations and venues. The new concert house, Harpa and the joy of music will be a stark contrast against the Icelandic winter and the arctic darkness outside. Sónar Reykjavik is also an experiment in how music can reach those who truly seek it by those performing it and seeing that it´s not always the largest stage and the biggest crowd that matters but also about the unique relationship that forms and the memories for all involved. Trying to follow in the footsteps of the pioneering Sónar Barcelona festival is hard but hosting a Sónar Reykjavik festival which strives to deliver the experience and artists line up Sónar Barcelona would be proud of is something we truly believe is possible.
Sónar Reykjavik will take place on five stages with a total capacity of 3500 guests. Beside the two main stages, a part of the concert halls underground parking will be changed in to a nightclub were local and international DJ´s will perform during the festival. A scenic part of the concert house will also be changed into a stage along with a seated hall with capacity of 199 guests.
Sonar was ace! Highlights for me included Sykur, Jon Hopkins, Bonobo, Diplo / Major Lazer, FM Belfast, Hermigervill, as well as being at Harpa – the amazing concert hall in Reykjavik. And popping out between sets to see the Northern Lights on the last night, obviously. Seriously amazing.
Bands we saw:
- Ryuchi Sakamoto & Taylor Dupree (wasn’t hugely impressed)
- HE (looks like Jesus)
- ELOQ (pretty much the most amazing thing ever):
- Kiriyama Family
- Hermigervill (also looks like Jesus.. but played a THEREMIN! Great tunes)
- Bonobo – freaking amazing!
- Jon Hopkins:
- Major Lazer
- Diplo – weird to see him again life. been almost 10yrs since I last saw him…
- Kenton Slash Demon
- James Holden (essentially this set)
- Steve Sampling
- FM Belfast (gave an AMAZING show!! the light-up dress! check this true-fan’s vid):
An amazing festival! Glad to tick another thing off the list for this year!
I think going to music festivals as a way or reason to explore a city is the way forward for me. Also, I have never seen so much knitwear at a(n indoor) music festival EVER – like, actually a guy squeezing past us with beanies and MITTENS on during Major Lazer. Incredible.
I thought the line-ups were a bit tricky each day, and we often had ‘down time’ to explore some of the bands we’d never heard before (which turned out to be great as we discovered a fair number of cool Iceland bands in particular). The venue was stunning and never really much queuing for things like drinks or toilets – a dream for a crotchety old lady like me! Except there was one room of *experimental* music that we never even went into at all, even just to see; there was always a massive line outside between sets and then no coming in during the sets. A missed trick maybe! Still, really looking forward to more Sonars (perhaps I will do a Sonar-around-the-world tour!) and more Iceland.