Sónar’s maiden edition in Hong Kong arrived earlier this month to rave reviews and left the fragrant harbor with a new formula for festivals to come. Blessed with perfect weather, the Hong Kong Science Park attracted a standout crowd of several thousand who driven by curiosity arrived early in the afternoon for the full experience. While science and technology were the star attractions of the afternoon, Blood Wine or Honey popped up on our radar, making themselves known to a new audience at the festival and were also the topic of many conversations throughout the night.
Gilles Peterson segued the festival from afternoon to evening by throwing down a sassy and eclectic sundown set. Not long after that DJ Shadow took to the stage in the Sónar Village and his performance was easily the highlight of night with the crowd at peak vibe. Where DJs struggle with engaging and keeping a crowd interested, there were so many more elements to DJ Shadow’s live show and the visuals were possibly amongst the best we've ever seen. With most DJs focusing on seamlessly transitioning from one track to the next, DJ Shadow’s enigmatic stage presence welcomed a break between his catalogue showcase. Finishing off the one day event were Mind Against, Ellen Allien and Dave Clarke who kept the Sónar Club going strong until well into the morning. The location - a banquet hall inside the Science Park that at first felt weird but seemed to recreate a club vibe once packed. The venue itself could have been easier to navigate but it's our only complaint, likely the full Sónar experience just needed some getting used to and next year we'll know better what to expect.