Sonar Music Festival 2014
This event has been and gone.
Sonar Music Festival in Barcelona has grown from strength to strength and is now established as one of Europe's most well known music festivals. Each year, for one weekend in June, Barcelona is flooded by thousands of music fans from all over Europe.
It is Spain's mashup of music and film and video, all rolled into one big multimedia festival. The confirmed dates for the 2014 Sónar Festival in Barcelona are June 12 - 14. You will get installation art, audiovisual concerts, and medialab presentations next to DJ sets, electronic music, film and more. It's the new media jet set in the heart of Europe.
Along with Portishead and Tricky, Massive Attack remain one of the most respected acts from the famed "Triphop" scene. Robert Del Naja and Grant Marshall have used an array of guest vocalists and musical collaborations throughout their career, with each album growing to a higher level. Their success story is somewhat surprisingly for an act who are genuinely quite publicity shy and have almost fought against the mainstream. Their seminal million-plus selling debut album Blue Lines spawned the hypnotic and timeless anthem 'Unfinished Sympathy' featuring the powerful vocals of Shara Nelson, while further success came from second album Protection featuring the unmistakable voice of Everything But The Girl's Tracey Thorn. Their third release Mezzanine sold over 4 million copies, making it their biggest selling release to date, perhaps in part to the haunting single 'Teardrop' which featured the breathy voice of Liz Fraser from the Cocteau Twins. Further albums 100th Window and Heligoland have continued to break musical barriers and push their sound ever forward.
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Chic featuring Nile Rodgers
Chic are an American disco and R&B band that were founded in 1976 by guitarist Nile Rodgers and bassist Bernard Edwards. The group, still fronted by Rodgers, are best known for hit songs including Le Freak, Dance Dance Dance, I Want Your Love, Good Times - the latter of which provided the bedrock of The Sugarhill Gang's A Rapper's Delight, the first multiple-platinum Hip Hop single. The group regard themselves as a rock band for the disco movement 'that made good on hippie peace, love and freedom'. In October 2012, Chic were nominated for induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame for the seventh time. Nile Rodgers, whose 1958 Fender Stratocaster has played on an estimated $2bn worth of hit music, also has numerous producer credits to his name - including Let's Dance, David Bowie's biggest-selling album, and Madonna's blockbuster album Like a Virgin, plus records by Sister Sledge, Duran Duran and Diana Ross. In March 2013, Rodgers was profiled in the highly rated BBC4 documentary special, Nile Rodgers: The Hitmaker.
See 18 tour dates featuring Chic featuring Nile Rodgers
Norweigan electronica outfit whose enormously successful Melody A.M. album (released in 2002) introduced us to their brand of luscious, chilled upbeat ambience with deep, dubby beats and enormous electronic soundscapes. Stunning.
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Swedish pint-sized pop star, Robyn brings a different type of pop music to the table. Writing about the journey from adolescence into adult life and the trials and tribulations of being young, Robyn's songs are classic pop. She ended her hiatus in October 2018 with the unexpected release of her eighth studio album 'Honey'.
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Hackney-based Drum'n'Bass quartet made up of musicians Piers Agget, Kesi Dryden, Amir Amor and Leon (DJ Locksmith), who navigate through genres effortlessly. Known for their collaborations, they first achieved a UK no.1 single in 2012 with 'Feel The Love' featuring guest vocalist John Newman, and the success story continued with number ones from 'Waiting All Night' featuring Ella Eyre and 'These Days' featuring Jess Glynne, Macklemore and Dan Caplen.
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The artist formerly known as Manitoba, offering up a likeable blend of electronica and sunshine pop. Their live set sees them deliver a carnival-esque whirl of ridiculous melodies, effusive noise, stampeding beats alongside furiously harmonised vocals. Two drummers, visuals and whirling guitars and keyboards create a claustrophobic, mesmeric soundscape akin to My Bloody Valentine and the sprawling, bucolic tour de force, like early Mercury Rev.
See 11 tour dates featuring Caribou
Woodkid is the stage name of acclaimed film and music director Yoann Lemoine. With an already successful career directing music videos for the likes of Lana Del Ray, Katy Perry, Drake and Mystery Jets, his performances are an unsurprisingly highly visual live experience.
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Swedish indie-songstress whose debut album, Youth Novels, was produced by Bjorn Yttling of Peter Bjorn and John. Sparkling pop songs meet dreamy ramblings on love, life and loss, with a voice to die for.
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German electro-tech producer and DJ Alexander Ridha is well known on the international techno scene as Boys Noize, as well as the monikers 909d1sko and Kid Alex. He's a prolific remixer, having remixed tracks for a range of artists from Snoop Dogg to Bloc Party.
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Bonobo, aka Brighton-based DJ and musician Simon Green, makes beautifully chilled beat-driven music drawing close comparison to the works of DJ Shadow and Mr Scruff. His combination of downtempo, hip hop, funk and dub with catchy melodies skilfully immersed in organic, pastoral atmospheres has seen him quickly grow in popularity since his debut album Animal Magic in 2001. 2017 saw the release of 6th album Migration, reaching no.5 on the UK album charts.
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The solo electronic project of Kieran Hebden of post-rock band, Fridge. What you get here is a beguiling and baffling journey into sound; a mixture of folk-inflected electronica and lo-fi murmurings incorporating elements of jazz, techno and hip-hop. His first two releases were NME singles of the week and his 2005 album, Everything Ecstatic has secured him the title of King of folktronica.
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The musical creation of Colorado's Derek Vincent Smith, Pretty Lights create their music through digital sampling, with an emphasis on hip hop beats, dirty synth lines and vintage funk and soul samples. Like many of his contemporaries, every project Pretty Lights has released has been free, with his career blowing up due to coverage on blogs, and word of mouth.
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Moderat is an electronic music project that originated in Berlin, Germany. It started as a collaboration between Sascha Ring, also known as Apparat, and Gernot Bronsert and Sebastian Szary, also known as Modeselektor. Their first full length album was released seven years after their first EP, due to some creative disagreements and different opinions on how they should work.
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There are no boundaries when it comes to this one-man orchestra. He has taken anything you thought you knew about music and created a new branch on the dubstep tree. You have been granted entrance into a tangled web of high bass and drum patterns, which melodically intensify your eardrum! With the ability to sing and play a large variety of instruments, it's obvious that music comes naturally to him. Since first sitting down at a keyboard at the age of six, his dream has been to make music that he loves, and perform it to people who love it just as much.
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The daughter of painter Moki Cherry and West African percussionist Amadu Jah, Neneh was raised by her mother and stepfather Don Cherry, the celebrated jazz trumpeter and global music pioneer. Not surprising that she made her career in music. A member of ska punk band The Nails and briefly all-girl punk outfit The Slits, Neneh made her name as vocalist with funk-punks Rip Rig & Panic. In 1987, she launched her solo career with the single Buffalo Stance, the rest is history. Hit albums and hit singles quickly followed, and further established Neneh as a critically acclaimed singer and songwriter.
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Former rapper and hip hop DJ on the German hip hop scene who now DJs and produces house and techno. With his trademark chunky grooves and unique, self-composed sound, the Desolat co-founder demonstrates why he remains one of the most influential and inspiring figures in electronic music.
See 2 tour dates featuring Loco Dice
Todd Terje exploded across the dance world's consciousness when 2013's track of the year "Inspector Norse" took over dancefloors, house parties and airwaves across the globe. While he continues to promote the current renaissance in Norwegian House, his seminal re-edits on tracks by artists like Chic, Curtis Mayfield and The Bee Gees have taken the world by storm.
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Belgian funk DJs (aka rockers Soulwax) whose eclectic bootleg mixes have endeared them to clubbers across Europe and propelled them to A-list status on the world's DJ roster. Destiny's Child mixed with Nirvana? Royksopp mixed with Dolly Parton? Oh yes!
See 2 tour dates featuring 2ManyDJs
DJ Kid Koala
Vancouver-born hip-hop DJ who has stepped seamlessly from club to studio, emerging as a true artist in his own right.
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James Murphy is an American musician, producer, DJ, and co-founder of record label DFA Records. His most well-known musical project is LCD Soundsystem.
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I Am Legion
Composed of Noisia and Foreign Beggars.
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South African Snake is one of the new wave of DJs set to make waves in 2003.
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From Kingston Upon Thamas, Jon Hopkins is a critically acclaimed electronic musician who is a favourite of TV music supervisors on both sides of the Atlantic. His name is often uttered in the same breath as Brian Eno, William Orbit, Massive Attack and Moby. After a Mercury Prize nomination for his 2013 album Immunity, Jon soon became one of the most talked about new British artists in the diasporadic world of modern electronic music. His fifth studio album 'Singularity' was released in 2018, while as a producer he was also worked with Coldplay, David Holmes and Natalie Imbruglia.
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Resident with Space in Ibiza.
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Canadian DJ and producer Tiga, making deep house and funky disco, inspired by the rave scenes of the early nineties and contemporary indie-rave.
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French dance-pop group Yelle were founded in 2005 when longtime friends Julie Budet (who took the stage name Yelle) and Jean-François Perrier (known as GrandMarnier) decided it was time to start a band.
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Oneohtrix Point Never
There are a few touchstones in the work of Oneohtrix Point Never, but composer Daniel Lopatin’s real magic power is his ability to rewire, unground and transfigure music and images into a mise-en-scène of wild depths and tricky shallows. His Warp Records debut R Plus Seven is being held up as a major departure, but really it is just another brilliant piece in the puzzle … a piece that grows tangentially over his exquisite repertoire of imaginative and abstract musical outputs. It may glide and glisten with ease, but it contains that disruptive and hypnotic OPN DNA in equal measure.
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'Matmos are probably the most resourceful sound sculptors in contemporary music'- The Wire. San Fransisco based band.
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Forest Swords is one producer, Matthew Barnes, from The Wirral. A unique blend of jagged hip-hop and RnB beats, looping guitar lines and manipulated samples, his evocative and emotional music reflects the sprawling Wirral landscape of river, coastland and woodland with all the haunting melodies of nearby city Liverpool’s enviable pop history.
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Ben Frost is an Australian composer and producer who is based in Reykjavík, Iceland. Frost composes minimalist, instrumental and experimental music. His albums, including Steel Wound (2003), Theory of Machines (2007) and By The Throat (2009) fuse intensely structured sound art with militant post-classical electronic music, shape-shifting physical power with immersive melody, concentrated minimalism with fierce, rupturing dark metal.
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From New York City, as producers, their less is more approach to releasing records has made massive fans out of Sensu favourites Josh Wink, Dubfire, Loco Dice and Sebo K. As DJs, what sets them apart is their sense of flow and timing. Watch them behind the decks: they don't stop moving. Lean, lanky, all wrists and elbows and ear-to-ear grins, these kids look like they were born to move. They're practically climbing over each other as records flow together, one brother cueing up a track, the other EQing, the headphones passed back and forth, forearms intertwined, heads bobbing in unison. It's amazing to watch and it's even more amazing to hear.
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Who Made Who
You take a house DJ and make him play the drums, then add a Bowie-loving bassist who sings too and complete with an avant-garde jazz guitarist with a mean moustache. These are the main ingredients of Who Made Who, the Danish trio who play a mix of no-wave, funk rock and sneaky covers. Great on record, but unbelievable live!
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Icelandic electropop group FM Belfast have been perfecting the art of reading an audience and connecting with it, using their steadily growing skills to hone a music that catches easily, yet runs deep; an art of performing that can-and usually does-induce unique and euphoric states in large crowds of people, or just in your headphones. It is harsh and technical, warm and embracing and organic, thoughtful and giddy and cool and inclusive.
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Pushing a bold and bass-heavy line of techno, this Parisian has shaken off his ‘new kid on the block’ tag, becoming a true heavyweight of the scene in the process. In 2011, Brodinski launched his now highly influential Bromance Records.
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Many know Paul Woolford's name through the 2005/6 slow-burning hit "Erotic Discourse", released on 2020 Vision, the Leeds label with which he made his name initially. The success of this proved he has the ability to create a genre-defining sound and led to sales of over 15,000, capturing the imagination of DJs across the board.
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Often noted as being 'Britain's best kept secret DJ', Ralph Lawson has been a regular at Fabric, Bugged Out and Home for the best part of a decade. Not satisfied with making his own music and releasing the music of new artists on his label 2020 Vision, Ralph has earned himself a significant reputation as a re-mixer, famously tampering with the work of artists as diverse as David Bowie and Felix Da Housecat.
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Laurel Halo is a New York based recording artist from Ann Arbor, Michigan. She has previously released on Hippos In Tanks and released her debut album, Quarantine, on Hyperdub Records to critical acclaim in 2012. Taking influence from the techno music of her Midwest roots, Halo has developed a unique take on electronic music - meant for transit, body listening and loud soundsystems.
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South African genre-bender Spoek drops dirty electro rap future sounds. He is a true music activist, showcasing and stretching the limits of electronic music and hip hop. Armed with a Roland sampler and his laptop, Spoek heightens offbeat rhythms to build sound collages where percussion, bouncing guitars, and a vast array of samples intersect. "A dazzling cut-up of bass-heavy electronics, warped jazz and forward-thinking hip-hop’ - Q Magazine.
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Hailing from Montreal, Canada, this young beat maker and DJ is no stranger to production. Starting to produce in his early teens, and now in his mid-20s, Kaytranada has the work ethic of a seasoned producer. His influences come from all sorts of genres. Genres between Disco, Hip-Hop, House, and RnB. As of the last year, he has made a name for himself through producing RnB influenced bootleg remixes from artists such as Janet Jackson, Missy Elliot, TLC, Danny Brown, and Teedra Moses. Combined, these remixes have received millions plays on Soundcloud and YouTube.
See 2 tour dates featuring Kaytranada
Camo & Krooked
Award winning Austrian duo hailed as “one of the biggest talents in Drum n Bass” by the mighty Grooverider.
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Something of a man of mystery, UZ emerged into the world of constantly evolving bass music back in 2012, and his intense musical creativity has kept fans guessing ever since, with him being considered one of the founding fathers of the trap sound that has taken over. He has built a platform for himself both as a DJ and producer.
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When classical and jazz training and a love of RnB come together, the result is some seriously good singing. Add songwriting and production to the match, and you have Jessy Lanza, an incredibly talented artist from Canada.
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Crossing the dots between dubstep, post-rock and electronica.
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Quietly kicking around the grime of the New York City underground for some time, Ron Morelli started the L.I.E.S. label in 2010 as an outlet to release the music of a tight knit group of friends who were making tracks around the city. What started as a small project to release his own music and those of local producers, it slowly evolved as more people came out of the woodwork with contributions for the label.
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Nisennenmondai are a Tokyo, Japan-based instrumental rock trio who make music that's both raw and danceable in equal measure. They formed in 1999 and took their name from the Japanese translation of the then-current phrase “Year 2000 Computer Bug”. The band are known for their dynamic live show, and despite little mainstream media attention, have built a substantial international following.
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Robert Piotrowicz is one of the most prolific artists in the Polish experimental and improvised music scene. Piotrowicz has developed his trademark sound of intense dynamics and balanced form.
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LA contemporary hiphop trio using distortion of audio tracks, static and electronic glitches to create a colourful bed of sound.
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'Majical Cloudz is a music project and performance event. Negative and ecstatic. Fun-loving. Seeking relationships with audiences to share transforming experiences.'
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Since his debut on Alexander Nut’s Ho-Tep label has remixed acts like Gold Panda, Sinden and Eskmo, delivered acclaimed releases on his own Snowfall label and put together one of the best live shows around, making him a favourite of the likes of Gilles Peterson, Benji B, Mary Anne Hobbs and Radiohead’s Thom Yorke.
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Glasgow-based producer Koreless (originally from Bangor, in Wales) makes 2-step that’s just as likely to break your heart as it is to wear in your trainers. Cutting up vocals over spacious beats, he’s been compared to James Blake but is equally aligned with fellow heart-string-tuggers Submerse and Resketch. Come to dance, prepare to weep.
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T. William's DJ sets and productions ride the line between House and UK Bass. As head of label Deep Teknologi he is behind one of the most interesting new labels to emerge from London as part of the recent Bass Music explosion.
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Rudi Zygadlo is a musician like no other, taking the fundamentals of Dubstep in a direction that is as unexpected as it is unique, he’s created an amalgamation of pop song writing with Dubstep, rewired using influences as wide as Frank Zappa, Eastern European Classical music and contemporary US Indie. He describes his music essentially as a fusion, a form of music he’s had in his head which has brought together his influences into a new format.
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Stunning pianist and composer from Berlin, Nils Frahm had an early introduction to music. During his childhood he was taught to play piano by Nahum Brodski – a student of the last scholar of Tschaikowski. It was through this that Nils began to immerse himself in the styles of the classical pianists before him as well as contemporary composers. Today Nils Frahm works as an accomplished composer and producer from his Berlin-based Durton Studio. His unconventional approach to an age-old instrument, played contemplatively and intimately, has won him many fans around the world. For a musician this early in his career, Frahm displays an incredibly developed sense of control and restraint in his work, catching the ear of many fans. 'Frahm creates something mesmerising' (The Observer) 'Frahm works his magic' (Mojo) 'A fantastic record' (Album Of The Week, The Guardian).
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Buraka Som Sistema
An Angolan-influenced genre, inspired by techno that was made for teenagers to go crazy to. 'The best live bands I've seen in the past two years” – Gilles Peterson, Radio 1. 'One of the most exciting and innovative dance acts in the world' – NME.
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Simian Mobile Disco
Debaucherous minimalist rave from London duo James Ford and James Shaw. Using the kind of vintage minimal beats that only a 1980's Casio can produce, this eccentric pair somehow manage to make techno sexy with their use of static vocals and fragmented rhythms; '...twisted disco as it should be.' - RoughTrade.
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Born and raised in the South Bay area of Los Angeles, TOKiMONSTA (Jennifer Lee) was an unfocused pupil of classical piano. However, she has come to use this background to create vast textural soundscapes by utilizing live instruments, percussion, digital manipulation, and dusty vinyl. Through the creation of beats, she is able to fuse vintage sounds with progressive styles into something unique.
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Canada's Ryan Hemsworth has had an incredible 2012, producing for several of the new breed of American rap stars and releasing his solo debut on Shlohmo's Wedidit label. His productions take hip hop as their core, bursting out with synth filled colour, booming basslines and trill snares, perfectly showcased in his recent mix for FACT, that ended up in countless best of 2012 lists, which is full of his edits and remixes. FACT also highlighted Ryan as one of the top remixers around.
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UNER is one of the most important names of the new generation of Spanish electronic music producers.
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Elijah & Skilliam
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Richie Hawtin (Plastikman), Objekt, Despacio, Trentemoller, Gesaffelstein, Audion, DJ James Holden, Future Brown, Dam-Funk, Evian Christ, Machinedrum Vapor City, Debukas, Recondite, Matthew Dear, Happa, Svengalisghost, Daito Manabe, Machine Variation, Sinfonietta Cracovia, Sibot, Alizzz, Chris Madak, Hucci, Tarek Aoui, Roll The Dice, BFlecha, Visionist, Copeland, DJ Nigga Fox, Sinjin Hawke, Emufucka, Louis Baker, Trancemicsoul, Leo Aldrey, Astroboyz, Harald Bjork, Jolly Mare, Love Cult, De La Montagne, Suzanne Kraft, Balago, Desert, Pau Roca, Professor Angel Sound, Chris & Cosey, M0, Daphni, DJ James Holden, Whorl, Dj2D2, DJ Monki, Alsarah, Stwo, Dengue Dengue Dengue, Sau Poler, Jameszoo, Simmone Jones, Arufe, Pick A Piper, Octo Octa, Shelby Grey, Kresy, Nev.Era, Pina, Mr. K!, Territoire, Eme DJ, Sunny Graves, Rayo 60, Xavi Mateu & Carlos Bayona, Sonia Gomez & Lucy Suggate, Discos Paradiso Crew, Glue Kids, BSN Posse, Mario Nieto, 3quinox, DJ Enpunto, DJ Der, Ordre Etern, Sanatruja, Valles