The first Portuguese edition of the festival brought together over 27,000 attendees with a programme focused on diversity and sustainability.

The second edition of Sónar Lisboa will be held between the 31st March and the 2nd of April in 2023.

Sónar Lisboa 2022  brought more than 100 different activities – from live shows, DJ sets, talks, conferences, debates, installations and exhibitions – to four emblematic venues spread across the city: Pavilhão Carlos Lopes, Coliseu dos Recreios, Centro de Congressos, and  Hub Criativo do Beato. 

Over two nights and two days, the newest location for Sónar brought together an audience with a clear desire for discovery from Portugal and beyond. Visitors to the festival came from Spain, France, the UK, Germany, Italy, Ireland, Belgium, the US, Holland, and others.

Sónar+D held one of the largest programmes in its history in Lisboa, focusing on three principal themes: the interaction between Artificial Intelligence, Algorithms and Music; where art, science and ecology meet; and the role of creative technologies in the digital economy. 

Sónar Lisboa also hosted various co-creation projects commissioned for the festival. Various musicians, working with scientists and researchers from the UPC (Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya), explored the new possibilities that Artificial Intelligence brings to the world of live music, presenting the results on stage in front of an audience. 

In just two month’s time, the 29th edition of Sónar Barcelona will host a decidedly multi-faceted, innovative, festive and global programme of artists. Amongst the over 100 shows announced are international stars like The Chemical Brothers, Arca, Moderat, The Blaze, Charlotte de Witte, C. Tangana, Nathy Peluso and The Blessed Madonna. 

Sónar Lisboa
Música, Criatividade & Tecnologia
31.3 – 2.4. 2023

High turnout at a resoundingly successful first edition of Sónar Lisboa

The first edition of Sónar in the Portuguese capital unveiled a packed programme of music, creativity and technology, bringing together 27,000 attendees from across Portugal, as well as from countries such as Spain, France, the UK, Germany, Italy, Ireland, Belgium, the Netherlands and the United States.

The festival, held in four emblematic venues spread across Lisboa, hosted more than 100 artists, with over 70 performances at Sónar by Day and Sónar by Night and 30 activities – including conferences, talks, installations and tech shows – as part of Sónar+D.

The programme for Sónar by Day spread across two stages in the Pavilhão Carlos Lopes during Saturday 9th and Sunday 10th April. Two memorable DJ sets were amongst the highlights: legendary duo The Blaze, who showcased a wide selection of music ahead of their much-awaited new live set at Sónar Barcelona; and British brothers Overmono, with powerful set of nostalgic rave sounds (they’ll also perform live at Sónar Barcelona).

Acclaimed live performances from Ecuador’s Nicola Cruz – who dazzled with a set of globally inspired  music -, France’s Polo & Pan – with their distinctive folktronica – and acclaimed local producer and musician EU.CLIDES were also amongst the highlights. In addition, the DJ booth featured some of biggest names in clubbing today, such as Jayda G – a colourful selection of house and disco -, India Jordan – a daring mix of UK garage and breakbeat rhythms – and Honey Dijon – an always energetic, Chicago influenced set.

In turn, Sónar by Night also raised the tempo in Pavilhão Carlos Lopes, featuring a stellar performance of the electronic neo-kuduro by Pongo (ex-vocalist of Burak Som Sistema), who presented her recently released album Sakidila, ahead of her performance at Sónar Barcelona. The transgressive and experimental sounds of Arca’s five latest albums were another highlight, as they’re sure to be for the Venezualan performer and producer’s debut at Sónar by Night in June in Barcelona. Two nights of dancing at Pavilhão Carlos Lopes also featured live percussion from Peruvians Dengue Dengue Dengue and electro-funk from legendary bassist Thundercat, plus DJ sets from stars like Germany’s Dixon and Uganda’s Kampire, as well as Portuguese artists with an international reach like Nídia and local heroes like Branko b2b Gafacci.

Coliseu dos Recreios hosted a memorable night of electronic music on Saturday. In a majestic setting, revered Northern Irish duo Bicep unleashed the full power of their live show, featuring practically all the hits that made Isles one of last year’s best albums. The percussive house of rRoxymore and a revolutionary new live set by Leon Vynehall completed the live programme, accompanied by DJ sets from disco maestro Floating Points; Chloé Robinson; Helena Guedes; and Rui Vargas, who applied the finishing touches with a hometown set that was one of his best in recent memory.

But it was at the Centro de Congressos de Lisboa that pulses really raced. On Friday and Saturday, The Portuguese capital experienced two nights of masterful techno that will be remembered for a long time. Until dawn, the audience at Sónar Lisboa paid tribute to the hardest styles of electronic music. Techno reigned supreme on both days, thanks to stellar performances by stars such as Charlotte de Witte and Richie Hawtin, alongside new idols like Partiboi69. All three will once again take up the baton in two months‘ time at Sónar Barcelona, amplifying the scale of the experience. The Centro de Congressos also saw live performances by Berlin duo FJAAK, Detroit electro kingpin Stingray 313 and another local hero, Dust Devices. Back-to-backs delivered the biggest surprises of the night, with unusual pairings in the booth like Ellen Allien b2b Dr. Rubinstein, and above all, Richie Hawtin’s b2b with Héctor Oaks. Nina Kraviz also shone in the booth, while Portugal’s Lewis Fautzi knew just how to please an audience he knows extremely well.

One of the most extensive programmes in the history of Sónar+D

In parallel, the four buildings of the Hub Criativo do Beato e hosted three days of activities for Sónar+D , in one of the most extensive displays of the art, creativity and technology congress to date. More than 30 activities, including talks, conferences, debates, installations and exhibitions, took place throughout the weekend. The warm response from the public demonstrated Lisbon’s growing interest in cutting edge music, art, creativity and technology.

At the Fábrica da Moagem attendees immersed themselves in the sound and light installation „Nati Infiniti“ by the Italian musician and composer Alessandro Cortini, a member of Nine Inch Nails. Cortini’s project was designed specifically to fill a factory that has not been used in many years: an unprecedented, unique and unrepeatable experience for Lisbon.

Another highlight of Sónar+D Lisboa was delivered by British studio Semiconductor, who presented their monumental immersive geological installation „Earthworks„, allowing the audience to witness in a few minutes events that normally take place over vast geological timeframes.

Sónar Lisboa also featured several co-creation projects that have been organised by Sónar along with scientists and researchers from the UPC (Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya) who have been investigating the new possibilities that Artificial Intelligence brings to the world of music. Pianist and composer Marco Mezquida maintained a constant artistic dialogue with an AI system during his concert on Friday, as did the Catalan DJ AWWZ in her b2b with another AI system, inviting reflections on the future of DJing and possible collaborations with Artificial Intelligence.

On Saturday, the Catalan studio Hamill Industries presented „Training Virtual Dancers“, explaining the ins and outs of their collaborative performance with dancer Kianí del Valle, in which music, visual projection, dance and Artificial Intelligence work together as a single organism.

The inaugural lecture by US academic Kate Crawford and artist Trevor Paglen, leading figures in the research and dissemination of the social and political implications of Artificial Intelligence (AI), generated a lot of interest. Together, they explored current issues and debates in the field of AI and the politics of new technologies. Bas Grasmayer and Kaitlyn Davies’ workshop on NFTs in the Web3 world, and a discussion with Canadian DJ Jayda G on the dichotomy between music and sustainability were also among the highlights of the weekend.

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