Watch: Sonica Festival brings the world’s top music and audiovisual artists to Glasgow

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Sonica Festival 2024, which will run at venues across Glasgow, from the IMAX big screen to Govanhill Baths, 19th - 29th September.

The programme has been announced for the eighth edition of Sonica, Glasgow’s large-scale festival for curious minds and adventurous spirits. From 19th - 29th September, Sonica will bring some of the world’s top music and audiovisual artists to the city, alongside showcasing some of Scotland’s top homegrown talents.

The festival offers a packed 11 days of city-wide live concerts, installations and events at vibrant venues ranging in scale from the IMAX (Scotland’s biggest screen), Tramway One and the Burrell Collection to the Glad Cafe and Govanhill’s Romalav and Offline, alongside Govanhill Baths, CCA, Glasgow City Chambers, the Goethe Institut, New Glasgow Institute and more. Sonica will also be bringing visual art back to the city centre Lighthouse venue since it closed in March 2020. 

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The eighth edition of the biennial festival will showcase contemporary artists and musicians from across Egypt as well as welcoming talent from Myanmar to Ukraine, Australia to Luxembourg, Viêt Nam to Switzerland, Canada to the Netherlands to the city, alongside top homegrown Scottish talent.

Sonica 2024 will open on 19th September with the Scottish premiere of Nati Infiniti by Nine Inch Nails’ Alessandro Cortini. Other live highlights across the eleven days including the RSNO performing the Scottish premiere of John Luther Adams’s Pulitzer Prize-winning Become Ocean with kaleidoscopic live visuals from legendary coder Alba G. Corral; a pay-what-you-can live concert at the Burrell from Scottish Ensemble inspired by the art and architecture of the collection and the first ever UK performances from Myanmar’s cosmic electronic artist and genre film aficionado Heft.

The festival will also welcome renowned Scottish film composer Craig Armstrong (Moulin Rouge!, Romeo + Juliet) to the city’s Glasgow Film Theatre for a Cinemasters Season celebrating his big screen work, culminating with a screening of The Great Gatsby and a live Q&A with Craig on 25th September. 

The programme also features a triple bill of Quebec artists from Montreal’s renowned MUTEK Festival; a cyborg pop concert of the future from Danish music ensemble NEKO3 and German multimedia composer Alexander Schubert and Harry Gorski-Brown exploring the limits of the bagpipes.

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Free installations across the city include the UK premiere of Celine Daemen’s Venice Film Festival Award-winning VR opera starring one headset wearer, a pack of wild dogs and a horse in trouble.

Sonica Festival 2024 is the culmination of a celebration of 30 years of Glasgow’s Cryptic as world-renowned award-winning producers of unique experiences. 

Cryptic’s founding Artistic Director Cathie Boyd said: “Sonica 2024 will be the culmination of our celebration of an incredible 30 years of Cryptic, which began life in Glasgow in 1994. It showcases everything that Cryptic has gone on to become known for: bringing cutting-edge, internationally-renowned artists to Scottish audiences and giving an ambitious platform for Scottish artists to stand alongside them.

“I am particularly pleased to be premiering new work from both international and Scottish artists developed during a Cryptic residency at Cove Park in Argyll in Spring 2024. We bought together Laura Mannelli from Luxembourg, Alba G. Corral from Spain, Kseniia Shcherbakova from Ukraine, No Plexus from the Netherlands and Heft from Myanmar to live, work and converse alongside Scotland-based artists Sonia Killmann, SHHE, Harry Gorski-Brown, Konx om Pax and Alex Smoke and we’re thrilled that Sonica will give the first outing to new work developed during these unique collaborations.”

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“A clear and urgent theme emerging from Sonica 2024’s programme is one of our developing relationship with water in the age of climate catastrophe and how seemingly minute changes in our natural world can impact across the globe. This is an understandable concern for many of our festival artists, from Egypt to Dundee, and AV art, which expands from a single note or pixel to create vast immersive worlds, is a perfect medium to explore how the tiny can both disrupt and possibly heal on a giant scale. 

“With all festival installations completely free to experience and some live events pay-what-you-can, I urge everyone to come and experience Sonica 2024 - and celebrate 30 years of Glasgow’s very own Cryptic for themselves. Whether it’s a virtual reality tour that will make you see Glasgow’s history in a whole new light, a sideways grand piano that plays itself using passing traffic or a mind-expanding visual trip on Scotland’s biggest screen, this is a unique chance to see some of the world’s most inventive artists right on your doorstep.”

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