Sónar+D 2018 invites you to imagine the next 25 years of music, the Internet and digital culture

The Sónar+D congress joins the 25 years of Sónar celebrations to explore the future of creativity, taking the pulse of the next 25 years in music, technology,and online knowledge.

Sónar+D, the congress dedicated to creative technologies, today announces its sixth edition, which will cover 5 key topics aimed at imagining the future, while asking: what are the new creative and technological territories that remain unexplored? And who are the people leading these initiatives

“Makers”, artists and scientists, democratizing the conquest of space.

The stage as a creative laboratory, AI in music composition, blockchain and the future of music on the Internet, performing music in space in zero gravity.

From 360 to Augmented Reality, the new frontiers of storytelling.

Towards to regaining an open and decentralized network, amplifying and renewing the debate on digital ethics, how to overcome addiction and start a data detox.

Future knowledge, a hybrid between human, collective and artificial intelligence.

Among this year’s guests are organizations including NASA, MIT Media Lab, Google Magenta, The Long Now Foundation, Mozilla, Bandcamp; creators such as the Virtual Reality studio Felix and Paul; the pioneer in mixing Internet and music, Ian Rogers, current chief of digital area at LVMH; experiences designer Nelly Ben Hayoun; Augmented Reality artist Zach Lieberman, and Prince’s legendary sound engineer Susan Rogers, among others.

The stand out activities from this year’s program include a workshop on how to build nanosatelites; The Glass Room Experience, an installation that shows the dark side of the technology we use day to day; as well as an opportunity to meet the creators investigating how art can exist in space, creating instruments designed to be played in zero gravity.

Another highlight will be the presence of Ryuichi Sakamoto and Alva Noto, in conversation together on the Stage+D, as well an all new and expanded Sonar360o by MEDIAPRO – a fulldome experience measuring 19 meters in diameter that will host premières of fulldome pieces, AV workshops and live performances.

Networking continues to be an important focus of Sónar+D; the Start Up Garden and its associated activities will be the meeting place for investors, companies, startups and professionals from the most innovative sectors of the creative industries. Investors taking part include Nick Crosthwaite (Spotify), Jan Bohl (Ableton) and Max Rimpel (Index Ventures) among many others.

Over 4 days, the key figures and projects giving shape to the future of music and creative technology will come together in Barcelona, with more than 100 activities, 150 speakers, over 5,000 accredited professionals and representatives from around 3,000 companies from 65 countries.

Sónar+D opens its doors on Wednesday 13th June, a full day before the official start of the festival, with a Networking Day exclusively for delegate pass holders. This event is by and for professionals, creators and representatives from business and institutions, and includes a programme of conferences and workshops specifically designed to inspire debate and information exchange.

Nelly Ben Hayoun, experience designer – DOWNLOAD


THE FUTURE OF SPACE EXPLORATION: Exoplanets, nanosatellites and a vision of the future in 10,000 years from now

Using the “Sónar Calling GJ273b” project as a guide and stimulus -the first ever series of radio transmissions sent to a potentially habitable exoplanet-, Sónar+D welcomes leading space research organizations such as NASA, the MIT Media Lab and The Long Now Foundation.

NASA will explain the latest developments in the search for Earth-like planets outside of our Solar System and how artists would be able to facilitate communication in the event of first contact.

The renowned MIT Media Lab presents its new initiative for space exploration: the democratization of nanosatellites, radio astronomy and its contribution to the mapping of the Universe.

San Francisco’s The Long Now Foundation will present projects that will last 10,000 years from now as an antidote to the short-term thinking prevalent in today’s global society and economy.


Sónar+D takes a deep dive into what the future of music will hold, whether this be through expanding creative horizons through collaboration – either with other artists, hardware or with the help of AI; getting to grips with digital music infrastructure and seeing blockchain as more than an economic tool; or finding new ways to create, collaborate and to discover how digital distribution companies are getting ever more personal in their attempts to relate to their audience.


Companies such as Google Magenta and Jukedeck propose AI as another collaborative element in the production process. To this end, Google Magenta will present their new musical instruments at MarketLab, as well as presenting a workshop on how to create music with AI. Jukedeck will be part of the Sónar+D Innovation Challenge, with a call to create high level tools for integrating AI into musical creation.

The history of the Internet and of that of music distribution are tightly linked. In many ways, digital distribution platforms have directly led to the internet we know today – and can point the way to its future. Mat Dryhurst and Ian Rogers, as well as taking part in the conferences on the future of the Internet, will share their vision of the future of music.

One of a kind creators across all disciplines will be showcasing their latest work and collaborations at Sónar, and Sónar+D presents a behind the scenes look at their creative processes. Globally respected innovators Ryuichi Sakamoto and Alva Noto will take part in a talk together, while two of Flamenco’s most important innovators, the singer Niño de Elche and dancer Israel Galván, will join in a conversation along with the musical and visual duo formed by in-demand producer Refree and the filmaker Isaki Lacuesta. All four of these artists will debut material at Sónar, and explain the essence of their collaboration at Sónar+D

THE FUTURE OF AUDIOVISUAL EXPERIENCES: from 360 to Augmented Reality to new forms in storytelling.

For yet another year, Sónar+D explores new layers of reality: from VR to Augmented Reality and immersive audiovisual narratives.

Zach Lieberman, one of today’s most amazing digital creators, will present a new visual code for our devices thanks to Augmented Reality.

Paul Raphaël from the Canadian Virtual Reality studio Felix and Paul has been leading the artistic evolution in this medium for 5 years. The studio’s new work will be on view
at Realities+D, the largest showcase in Spain for international artistic VR production.

The immersive audiovisual and 3D audio space, with the ambitious Sonar360o by Mediapro, increases in size at Sónar+D and will include workshops and premières, with visitors also able to enjoy fulldome shows.

The Garage Stories studio, working between Barcelona and Silicon Valley, will deliver a workshop explaining the new narratives in Virtual Reality to those wishing to break into this continuously developing field.



Among this year’s noteworthy investors will be funds such as Max Rimpel’s Turner International Digital Ventures and Innovation, Index Ventures, with investments in companies such as Slack, Sonos, Deliveroo and BlablaCar; Ton’t Noordende, from investment fund 01 Ventures specialized in deep tech (companies dedicated to purely technological or scientific development); and Mercè Tell, from the Nekko Ventures investment fund, participating with e-commerce, software and telecommunications companies.

ICEX and Red.es, the public entity promoting the internationalization of companies, collaborates with Startup Garden and will be presenting a selection of Spanish startups curated by Sónar+D.

The Sónar+D exhibition space MarketLab, will bring together up to 25 technology companies, universities and creative laboratories to present their latest developments –including finished products, prototypes, services and completed (or in development) artistic works-. MarketLab 2018 will feature projects including the new hardware instruments by Google Magenta; The exhibition The Glass Room Experience by Tactical Tech with a selection of projects aimed to create a debate on security and privacy online; Curiosibot, the Valencia maker laboratory who will present “Playing with Trash” -a hybrid reality installation that allows users to activate physical objects from a Virtual Reality environment-;

and Alone, a visualization of the universe by Barcelona SuperComputing Center. In addition IED, Elisava , University of the Arts of London and Utrecht’s HKU universities and schools will also be present together with technology companies such as Elektron, Playtronica, Nuraphone, Native Instruments and MOD Devices among others.

INFORMATION here: https://sonarplusd.com/es/programs/barcelona- 2018/areas/marketlab

Sónar+D will hold the Sónar+D Innovation Challenge for the third consecutive year, in collaboration with the Music Technology Group of the Universitat Pompeu Fabra. This particular open collaborative platform will feature technological companies such
as Jukedeck, Alpha, Amplifon, Utopia Music and MTG presenting 5 challenges that will be developed by multidisciplinary teams (programmers, artists, hackers, makers) for 5 weeks, who will then present the results of their prototypes at Sónar+D. This year’s challenges are based on the use of Artificial Intelligence in human creativity; on new formulas rethinking the future of education and on music learning tools for people with motor disabilities.

INFORMATION here https://sonarplusd.com/es/programs/barcelona- 2018/areas/sonar-d-innovation-challenge

Sónar+D is the international congress for creativity, its relationship with technology and business, and how creativity acts as an engine for innovation beyond the artistic, cultural or purely technological sectors.

Sónar+D’s approach is not just multidisciplinary, it is antidisciplinary: since 2013, key personalities from the intellectual and artistic world have participated, including Bruce Sterling, Brian Eno, Björk, Jean Michel- Jarre and Holly Herndon; researchers and developers from companies including Google, Spotify and Microsoft; and directors from benchmark platforms such as Kickstarter and Vimeo.

Scientific research centres such as the Barcelona Supercomputing Center, the ALMA astronomical observatory and universities including MTG (Universitat Pompeu Fabra), London’s Royal College of Art and the Queen Mary University, IED and La Salle have chosen Sónar+D to showcase their projects.

Sónar+D is also a great networking space for professionals in the creative and technological sectors. Aside form the numerous specialized activities (meetings, workshops, debates, etc.) it takes place in a festive, informal environment, which facilitates close interaction between participants and attendees.

Throughout its 25 years, the Sónar festival has carried out historical work in the discovery and presentation of performances and projects from emerging artists, beyond music, providing added value to a multidisciplinary cultural event. Sónar+D extends this organic research work to all areas of technological and creative innovation, hence its name: R+D or R+D = Sónar+D.

Since 1994, Sónar has continually scanned creative scenes across the globe in the space between technological research, artistic exploration and the production of new sensorial experiences. Sónar was one of the first global events to affirm that 21st century musicians would become hybrids between artists, technologists and innovators, and that concerts would become multisensory offerings fusing sound, light and image; underlining that data and mobile technologies would be the new tools and raw materials for creation. Techniques common today such as projection mapping and augmented reality, were first showcased many years ago at the festival in their embryonic and creative experimental forms.


The future of space exploration

Extra-terrestrial Designs for eternity Nanosatellites Exoplanets

The future of creation and the music industry

New live experiences Music Explorations Unique collaborations Artificial Intelligence 3D

Making music in space Blockchain

The future of AV experiences

Augmented reality Storytelling Immersive experience Sound exploration

The future of the Internet

Blockchain Data Detox Digital ethics Digital activism

The future of intelligence

Collective Artificial Human Non-human Extra-terrestrial

Sónar+D 2018 Key Figures

The exploration of space: Ariel Ekblaw (MIT Space Exploration Initiative); Nicole L’Huillier (MIT Opera of the Future Group); Nelly Ben Hayoun; Dr. John Jenkins (NASA); Charles Lindsay (SETI AIR); Zero Gravity Band and more…

The future of music: Ryuichi Sakamoto & Carsten Nicolai; Zora Jones; Google Magenta; Niño de Elche with Israel Galván, Refree with Isaki Lacuesta; Jukedeck; BandCamp; Pandora and many others…

AV experiences with Zach Lieberman; Pfadfinderei; Paul Raphäel (Félix & Paul); Mileece en #SonarMies or Sonar360o de MEDIAPRO among others…

The new Internet: Ian Rogers; Mat Dryhurst; Tactical Tech; Mitchell Baker (Mozilla Foundation); Luis Ivan Cuende …

Intelligence with Susan Rogers (Berklee School of Music); Fabien Gouyon – Pandora; Aly Gillani, J. Edward Keyes ; Bandcamp …

StartUp Garden, Sónar Innovation Challenge, MarketLab: Andrea Rosen (Cube gmbh); Scott Cohen (The Orchard); Ton van ‘t Noordende; Nick Crosthwaite (Spotify); Jan Bohl (Ableton); Caterina Preti (Turner); Glenn Cooper (Universal Music) and more.


Sónar+D is an Advanced Music initiative within the framework of the Sónar Festival. The collaboration of the administrations in the consolidation, projection and development of Sónar+D is carried out through two agreements signed with the Ayuntamiento de Barcelona and the Generalitat Department of Culture’s ICEC.

Sónar+D has the support of the European Union’s Creative Europe Program: We Are Europe, the SGAE, the UPF Music Technology Group, with the strategic collaboration of BCN Tech City and sponsorship from MEDIAPRO Group and ME by Melià.


To attend Sónar+D and enjoy its exclusive activities and benefits, there are 2 types of delegate passes:

The Delegate Pass, giving access to the entire Sónar+D program, including Wednesday, June 13, and all Sónar by Day and Sónar by Night shows.
The Delegate Day Pass, allowing you to enjoy all the activities of Sónar+D, including Wednesday, June 13, and the only the Sónar by Day program.

See the exclusive advantages and benefits for Sónar+D 2018 delegates here.


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