Sonar was founded in 1994, but since 2002 has held parallel events outside Spain. Its first excursion into the United States was last year, with two events held in Washington and New York. In its early years, Sonar attracted mainly United Kingdom musicians, as well as a strong contingent from Barcelona’s home region of Catalonia.
Sonar says it expects the Chicago festival to become a regular event. The Chicago operation will be promoted together with Bonnaroo promoter AC Entertainment, with the collaboration of the cultural organization Institut Ramon Llull.
Sonar’s aim is to “disseminate the philosophy of the Barcelona festival and adapt it to new cities and formats.” In Chicago, it will present a “multi-disciplinary line-up with an experimental slant,” says Sonar, and will focus on emerging talent and local scenes in both North America and Catalonia.
The Sonar by Day events in Chicago will be held at the Chicago Cultural Center (CCC), and the headquarters of the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs. The program will be completed with Sonar by Night shows and sessions.
The line-up will as usual combine some important names and less mainstream and more experimental offerings, and details will be announced in mid-July.
Caribou, Speech Debelle, Pete Tong, LCD Soundsystem, Air, Plastikman, Hot Chip, the Chemical Brothers, Roxy Music and Dizzee Rascal will play the Barcelona event June 17-19.
Since 2002, Sonar has held 24 events around the world, such as Lisbon (2002), Neuchatel (2002), Hamburg (2002-06), Tokyo (2002-2004-2006), London (2002-2005, 2009 and 2010) Rome (2003), Sao Paulo (2004), Lyon (2004), Buenos Aires (2006), and Seoul (2006).