Sonar Ramps Up Global Expansion

Spanish music festival Sonar is ramping up its global expansion, adding new festivals in Colombia and Chile.

Photo: AP Photo / Manu Fernandez
Spain’s Sonar Festival drew close to 40,000 fans per day June 18-20 to see acts including Duran Duran, Skrillex, and The Chemical Brothers.

There are already South American Sonars in Brazil and Argentina, plus three European fests in Scandinavia. The first Sonar to happen outside Spain in 2015 will be Sonar São Paulo in Brazil Nov. 24-28.

The new Colombian Sonar is Sónar Bogotá (Dec. 7), while the new event in Chile is in Santiago (Dec. 5). In Argentina, Sónar Buenos Aires is Dec. 3. The Chemical Brothers, Hot Chip, Brodinski, and Evian Christ are the first names to be announced for all South American dates. Advanced Music, which owns the name and has run the Spanish festival in Barcelona for 22 years, does brand agreements with local promoters to run its new events, although it retains an involvement with booking, communications and marketing.

The brand has spent four years growing in Scandinavia, beginning with Sónar Reykjavik in Iceland, and subsequently adding festivals in Copenhagen and Stockholm. The Scandinavian editions are much smaller than the Spanish festival and have started out in indoor concert venues. The dates for the next fests are Iceland Feb 18-20, Denmark Feb. 19-20 and Stockholm Feb. 26-27.

This year’s edition of the original Spanish festival came close to breaking the 40,000 per-day record it set in 2013. The acts that drew the crowds June 18-20 included Duran Duran, Skrillex, The Chemical Brothers, Laurent Garnier, Hot Chip, and Roisin Murphy.