The first generation of electronic music fans may be all grown up but they're still raving and, what's more, they're taking their kids.
The Sonar music festival, a rendez-vous every year in Barcelona for the most cutting-edge fans of techno and electronica, has created an event especially for children and their parents for the first time.
AdvertisementFrench techno legend Laurent Garnier, himself a dad who began DJing in the late 1980s, is to play a set for youngsters this Sunday at the first SonarKids gathering, with the sound reduced to a suitable level for the little ones. He will be joined by German hip hop collective Puppetmastaz and others who will animate workshops on DJing and producing.
"We were seeing more and more people coming to Sonar with children, so we decided to do something for them specifically," Sonar co-founder and director Enric Palau told AFP.
The development has been driven by demographics. Those that came of age in the 80s and 90s during the first waves of rave and techno now have kids, but are reluctant to miss out on their summer festivals.
"We wanted to do something that adults and children could both enjoy," said Palau. "We've invited artists to do special sets for them."
The main Sonar festival kicks off Thursday and is as usual split into the laid-back Sonar By Day event in the grounds of the city?s modern art gallery and Sonar By Night, which has a club atmosphere and takes place in giant hangars on the outskirts of Barcelona.
James Bond star and 80s fashion and music icon Grace Jones is to headline on Saturday night and she will be joined over the three days of music by other stars of the electro scene, including Orbital, Richie Hawtin, Jeff Mills and Carl Craig.
Staying true to its roots as a showcase for artists from all over the world, DJs and producers from Africa, Syria, Russia, Singapore and Japan will also play.
"We have people from everywhere where people are doing something interesting," said Palau. "It's one of the aims. Lots of festivals rely on Anglo-American acts. Electronica with its instrumental sides gives opportunities for people from further away."
Asked about the most creative scene for electronic music currently, Palau picked a European destination that was neither the perennial favourite London nor the recent hotspot of Berlin.
"I'd say France, and not just Paris," he replied. "That's why you see the three artists we have chosen to play the last sets at Sonar By Night on Friday are all French. There's a happiness in the music. It's very party-oriented."
Bass-laden house and techno producer Brodinski, new electro-house talent Don Rimini and Lyon-based Agoria will all take to the desks for the final hours in front of thousands here. By this time, the kids should all be in bed.
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