Sonar 2015 added 72 million euros to the Catalan GDP
The economic contribution to Catalonia’s GDP from the 2015 Sonar music festival was 72 million euros. Along with Sonar+D, a series of conferences about the relationship between creativity and technology, the event brought in 111,000 visitors from 104 different countries. This data was presented at the pre-festival press conference on Thursday. Indeed, the festival has been interested in tracking its economic impact since it created a study group to do so in 2004. To be held on the 16th, 17th, and 18th of June, Sonar 2016 will include 130 concerts by artists from 28 different countries, and will be based on a “more social” rhetoric. Meanwhile, Sonar+D will include activities in about 180 different formats, with 400 registered participants, and more than 4,000 professionals from 57 countries. Some new additions to the festival will be the new SonarCar stage, and a one-hour delay of the Sonar by Day portion of the festival. In 2016, Sonar is also offering a map of Barcelona showing the creative training offerings one can find in the Catalan capital. The metro strike should not affect the festival.
Barcelona (CNA).- 72 million euros were contributed to the Catalan GDP by the 2015 Sonar music festival. In 2015, Sonar, along with Sonar+D (the collection of conferences based around the relationship of creativity and technology) brought in 111,000 visitors from 104 different countries. This information was released at the pre-festival press conference on Thursday. Since the creation of a study group in 2004, according to figures presented by Sonar itself, the festival’s economic impact has been steadily growing. Sonar 2016, to be held on the on the 16th, 17th, and 18th of June, is set to include 130 concerts by artists from 28 different countries, based on a “more social” rhetoric. Meanwhile, Sonar+D will include activities in about 180 different formats, with 400 registered participants, and more than 4,000 professionals from 57 countries. Some novelties regarding this year’s edition of the festival are the new peripheral sound stage SonarCar and the one-hour delay of the daytime event Sonar by Day. Additionally, Sonar has published, for the first time, a map showing where creative training programmes are offered throughout the city of Barcelona (including 51 training centres, and more than 700 certificates). As for the confirmed Metro strike, co-director and founder of the festival Ricard Robles noted that there has never been a Metro for the night-time Sonar festival, so they will continue as they “always have”.
The 2015 edition of the internationally-known, Barcelona-based Sonar music festival contributed 72 million euros to the Catalan GDP. Sonar, along with its sister event Sónar+D (created to bring together a combination of activities based on the relationship between creativity and technology), attracted 111,000 visitors from 104 different countries. These figures were released by the organisers of the festival during their press conference last Thursday. The upcoming edition of the Sonar event, to be held on the 16th, 17th and 18th of June, will feature 130 concerts by artists from 28 different countries, and be based on a “more social” rhetoric. Meanwhile, the Sonar+D activities will include about 180 different formats, with 400 registered participants, and more than 4,000 professionals from 57 countries. Among the highlighted novelties for Sonar 2016 are the new SonarCar octagonal stage at the festival, equipped with peripheral sound technology, and the one-hour-delay for the daytime event Sonar by Day, which will take place from 1 pm to 11 pm.
In 2004, Sonar pioneered the development of a study regarding the economic impact of festivals and cultural events in Catalonia and Spain. If, 12 years ago, the contribution of the festival and the activities it generated related to the electronic music industry exceeded 47 million, a decade later, this number has risen to 125 million.
Besides its economic impact assessment, Sonar decided that in 2015 it would extend this analysis to include an appraisal of the festival’s contribution to Barcelona and Catalonia, in order to capture the concert’s overall impact as a global event. To do so, it analyses the economic, social, cultural, media, and innovation contributions of the festival.
The results of this multidisciplinary approach have shown, according to co-director and founder of the festival Ricard Robles, an active projection of the city, which contributes to the structure of the creative industries in Barcelona and promotes social change.
“A global understanding gives us a vision that Sonar is an element of revitalisation of the cultural world, and encourages creative industries”, he noted.
An additional novelty this year is that Sonar has published the first map of the training offering from the creative industries in the city. This map identifies 51 training centres with more than 700 certificates and degrees.
A budget of 7.5 million euros
With an overall budget of 7.5 million euros, a figure similar to last year’s edition, the 23rd edition of Sonar will feature the world premiere of Jean Michel Jarre’s new show, Anohni (i.e. Anthony & the Johnsons)’s first European concert with ‘Hopelessness’ (of a high political content), along with performances by James Blake, New Order, the Black Madonna, John Talabot, Santigold, Flume, Skepta, El Guincho and el Niño de Elche.
This edition also includes special sessions of seven hours of circular sound, with Four Tet and DJ Laurent Garnier playing on the renovated SonarCar stage.
Climate change, mass surveillance, immigration policies and transgender rights are some of the Sonar 2016 artists’ subjects.
The impact of algorithms on the relationship between culture and activism
In parallel with Sonar, Sonar+D will also arrive, bringing a catalyst to the world of creativity, technology and knowledge. The programme of activities for this year encourages interaction between the various protagonists of innovation, through collaboration with the creative community, universities, scientific research centres and the business world.
Thus, the event will offer debates regarding the impact of algorithms in cultural prescription, the challenges artists face to approach technology as a transformative tool, and the relationship between culture and activism and ways to decentralise networks.
In the press conference for the Sonar 2016 presentation, speakers also touched on the possible impact on mobility caused by the planned Metro strike, which was confirmed this afternoon. “We aren’t working on a Plan B, we only have a Plan A, because there has never been Metro mobility at Sonar by night, so we will continue as we always have, for the last 22 editions”, stated Robles.
Meanwhile, the deputy mayor of Enterprise, Culture and Innovation, Jaume Collboni, who participated on Thursday in his first culture press conference, has stated that taxi schedules have been freed up for Saturday morning (although he avoided speaking about Friday morning); Collboni is convinced that mobility “is guaranteed”.