Sonar Music Festival Continuing to Face Rigger’s Strike


Barcelona’s Sonar Festival has grown to be one of the most popular festivals in Europe. But as we have seen with many big festivals, logistical planning isn’t always the easiest. Riggers are continuing to strike at the Sonar Music Festival site while raising many questions about the future of the festival.

Set to begin on July 18, an early ruling today from a court judge ruled against the strike, allowing the building to continue. Despite the workers strike continuing, the festival seems to be in jeopardy with strikers demonstrating outside the venue. To put this into context: the festival hosted around 126,00 individuals last year.

Executives at Sonar’s parent company, Advanced Music spoke with Billboard in a statement providing more details about the situation:

“Any other option that would mean a change in the set-up schedule of the festival would have had grave consequences for the more than 2000 workers and contributors involved in the project, the more than 120,000 national and international attendees, the organizations and services involved and also the city of Barcelona itself…”

Sonar Festival Strike

The strike isn’t the first issue the festival has had to face this year. There were already many planning issues with the date. Typically held in June, the festival had to shift to July because of the Fira trade show. Additionally, A$AP Rocky was set to headline the festival. Currently being jailed in Sweden, the festival was able to nail down Stormzy as a replacement.

More About Sonar

Sonar was founded in Barcelona in 1994 and is a festival that is split into two parts. Sonar by Day and Sonar by Night. Although the flagship event is held in Barcelona, Sonar has festivals held all over the world. Sites include Bogota, Buenos Aires, Hong Kong, Reykjavik, and Istanbul. Attracting the biggest names in music, performers have included: Björk, Thom Yorke, Jean-Michel Jarre, Kraftwerk, Gorillaz, New Order, Skrillex, Diplo, M.I.A., and Chic to name a few.

With the news unfolding and the festival only days away, we will have to wait and see what happens next.