25.06.2009, Words by Ruth Saxelby

Off-Sonar roundup

Barcelona is bursting at the seams. In La Boqueria market off La Rambla, frothy beer slides down the side of glass tankards and langoustines attempt scrambled escapes over crushed ice. Out in the streets, art protrudes from every corner and colourful graffiti wraps itself round the architectural mix’n‘match buildings. Then there are the people. Over 70,000 have arrived in town for the official festival, now in its 16th year. Thousands more fly over for the off Sonar parties that take over the city’s nightclubs, hotels and beaches for three hot and chaotic days, myself included. Here are some of the best things that happened.

Culoe De Song’s set
At Friday’s Resident Adviser pool party, South African producer/DJ Culoe De Song inspired frenzied dancing with his hypnotic, afrobeat-tinged deep house. Only 19 and already signed to Âme and Dixon’s Innervisions label. One to watch. Later some of us hit Bugged Out, with Felix while others wimp out. Oh the shame.

Illegal swimming for €20 a head
Call us victims of Spain’s infamous free pouring policy (5 parts alcohol to one part mixer) but a pool party simply cries out for dive bombing – whatever the security says. Bribery gets you everywhere.

The B52s
It was a bit of a squeeze at Moog for the super-popular Wagon Repair and Cynosure party. The movers and shakers had to make do with shuffles and side steps. (“Sorry, was that your toe again?”) Not that it stopped anyone going mental when The Mole played a truly stonking remix of the B52s ‘Love Shack’. Mathew Jonson live too? Go on then.

2020 Visions’ Birthday Party
City Hall was bathed in lasers for 2020 Vision’s 15th birthday celebrations. Ralph Lawson leapt about with a big grin on his face while the crowd swapped Back to Basics stories. We still love you Leeds.

La Terrazza schmoozing
Everyone clearly had the same idea this year: keep something back for Sunday (or maybe just don’t go to bed). The whole of London turned out for the glorious Sonar swan-song that was Secretsundaze. Would’ve been great for networking had we possessed the power of speech. As it was we made do with going crazy to Adeva ‘Respect’. Ya-huh sister.

Getting our deposit back
So the rules said no smoking, no late night noise and definitely no shower parties. Thankfully we didn’t find them until afterwards. Ignorance is bliss, huh? Luckily we were blessed with a complete dude of an apartment fixer. Eder, we salute you.

So what were your best bits? Tell us via the comments section below.

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