Sónar Festival Recommits to Barcelona Venue After Strike, Big Dip in Attendance

Xavi Torrent/WireImage
General view of Sonar Village by Estrella Damm during day 4 of Sonar Festival on June 17, 2017 in Barcelona, Spain. 

Sónar will return to its usual dates in June 2020 after being held a month later this year.

Sónar organizers have confirmed their commitment to remain at the festival’s Barcelona venue after a 2019 edition that attracted some 21,000 less people than the previous year.

This year's Sónar was held July 18-20, a month later than usual. The new dates were imposed on the festival by Barcelona's Fira, the convention center where Sónar's daytime edition is held, which booked a textile machinery fair on Sónar’s habitual June dates.

In 2020, Sónar will be held at the Fira from June 18-20, a festival spokesman confirmed for Billboard. The festival is committed to the venue through 2022.

In the days leading up to this year’s Sónar in July, the festival was threatened with possible cancellation because of a riggers’ strike at the Fira. After the venue hired other workers to set up the stages for the festival, the strikers filed a motion in court, charging that bringing in outsiders for the job violated their right to strike.    

Two days before the festival, a Barcelona judge ruled that the preparations could continue, because canceling the festival would threaten the livelihood of many other people who work in the production of the annual festival.

While Sónar attracted 126,000 in 2018, only 105,000 came out for the festival last month.

Festivals 2019


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