ARTeNOU: Barcelona’s underground electronic festival

You know when Summer’s arriving in Barcelona, not only from the weather and the constant need of putting on sun screen, but because there’s no way you don’t have plans in the weekend.

Last Saturday I found myself heading to Sant Boi de Llobregat, a little town 20 minutes by Train from Barcelona. My friends told me to go see them play live at a Festival called ARTeNOU and since the weather was brutal and it was outdoors I couldn’t find myself even thinking of an excuse not to go.

ARTeNOU was born as a cultural event with the aim to show the different varieties of electronic music. It presents the more underground side of dance music through a compact lineup of national and international artists and along with parallel activities that include risk, consistency and eclecticism. It’s divided in the day festival which is in the Gardens of Sant Boi and the night festival that’s in the club session of Nitsa (Apolo).

Entering the festival, you kind of go through an indoor tunnel with different phases: the first one is the Experimental Room, where artists get to show off their creations, like Sun Color (representative of Knob Shop) who makes his own modular synthesisers; the second stage is the Installation Room, where visual creations are shown; the third one is a static installation of lights right before you walk out towards where the concerts are.

I first saw Gerard Daurella, representative of Neonized, spanish Electronic label, start off the festival. His chill set really synced with the whole it’s-five-PM-and-all-I-wanna-do-is-lie-in-the-sun-drinking-a-beer vibe, but Neonized is known for their sets to be adapted to the public’s demand.

Afterward I went to check the other stage and found myself gazing at Tropics. I wasn’t only bedazzled by the beauty of the three men that were on stage (I am not a groupie, but daaaaaamn), but Chris Ward, who’s the brains behind Tropics, really melted us all with his voice. All and all their set was an amazing start for those who wanted to get off their feet and start dancing, startling us all with some songs of their new album yet to be released.

I headed off to see Paradis spin the records for us all. Paradis was the winner of ARTeNOU’s contest and we all got to see and hear why. His set contained 4 different styles rising up to a banger end: starting off with Deep House with slow rhythms and a lot of vocals; continuing with UK Garage, Bass and House ; working up to nu-disco and funky electro as the sun went down to start making the people get off their feet and dance; and ending with dancefloor electro-techno. Paradis has been a friend of mine from the beginning when I moved to Barcelona 4 years ago, that was when he just started, but it was a real pleasure seeing him bloom into the DJ that he now is, with amazing skills and the knowledge of pleasuring the audience.

Due to nocturnal obligations (which means I had to go to another gig) I had to finish off the festival early. Which is a real pity since I would have loved to see Star Slinger and Blonde perform. But at least I got to end the day with the session of my best friend Boldtron, representing Egyptian Maraccas. Seriously, I don’t know how he does it, but he’s like this musical Stephen Hawking just pouring musical knowledge all over us. Boldtron’s set was marked by an old-school kind of vibe, with 90’s hip hop mixed with nowadays trap and… I just don’t know how to explain this genre! The sensation is like you’re standing in a glitter shower of the 90’s while twerking off to the beat. It’s amazing, really. If you want to know more of this type of music you should really check out his blog and the music that he posts, hidden gems of musical wonders.

All and all the festival was a huge success, a Saturday afternoon spent with good company and some amazing artists. I can’t wait for next year’s edition!

Light Installation

One of the several light installations in the entrance tunnel.


Neonized (Gerard Daurella) @ ARTeNOU

Neonized (Gerard Daurella) starting off the festival




Paradis, winner of this year’s ARTENOU contest

Egyptian Maraccas (Boldtron) @ ARTeNOU

Egyptian Maraccas (Boldtron) DJ SET

Gerard Daurella chillin'

Gerard Daurella chillin’

My lovely company chilling at the festival.

My lovely company chilling at the festival. FLTR: That Girl With Dark Eyes, Brunetto and his lovely girlfriend & Sergio del Amo.





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