The season of festivals is upon us with more than ever to choose from. The good news is that there are plenty of things to see that provide a refreshing alternative to standing in a corporate-sponsored field drinking warm, overpriced and watered-down lager watching corporate indie bands. Here are just a few.
The annual Sonar festival in Barcelona is its fourteenth year now, and is firmly established as the left field electronic/dance gathering of choice. It takes place in various venues in the Catalan capital between June 14th and 16th and includes acts as varied as Mogwai and the Beastie boys through to Kode 9, Wolf Eyes and, um, Altern8. www.sonar.es
On a similar sort of theme, the seventh Dissonanze shindig takes place at the Palazzo dei Congressi in Rome on June 1st and 2nd with Alva Noto, Fennesz, Battles and Pole amongst many others. www.dissonanze.it
Le Weekend in Stirling is just a month away. Similar to Glasgow’s Instal, but with a more visual element, the Tollbooth is the venue for this bash which takes place over le weekend of May 25th to 27th and features an array of experimental musicians and film. Nalle, Bill Wells, Nils Økland, Ikue Mori and Zeena Parkins are among those scheduled to appear. www.leweekendfestival.com
More electronica and digital art stuff is showcased in Britain’s spiritual home of the form – Sheffield – between May 13th and 20th. The Lovebytes 2007 festival includes live appearances by Plaid, Battles and Clark. Not very Warp-centric at all. www.lovebytes.org.uk
The weekend before that Manchester gets in on the act with Futuresonic 2007, three days styled as “Music For The Bleep Generation”. It takes place at various venues around the city and includes a showpiece reconstruction of the legendary 1967 UFO club light show. Faust, Clark and Legowelt also appear, but the real scoop is a solo show by Wolfgang Flür of Kraftwerk. May 10th – 12th. www.futuresonic.com
If your ears are up to it, Super Sonic 07 at Birmingham’s Custard Factory will definitely be the noisiest of the lot. It takes place on July 13th and 14th and features such gentle souls as Sunn O))), Zeni Geva, Jazkamer and Wolf Eyes. Mogwai will be soothing balm for the soul after that lot. Cakes are promised too. www.capsule.org.uk/supersonic
Finally, Indian Summer in Glasgow returns, but misses the point of its name by moving to July (14th and 15th) in the hope of catching the mercurial Scottish summer. Flaming Lips, Wilco and Explosions In The Sky headline this bijou festival in the West End’s Victoria Park. www.indiansummerglasgow.com