AVA Festival 2017 Continues To Be An Irish Force

An Irish crowd, a host of local and international stars, no wonder so much hype surrounds AVA Festival.

| by | Features, News

AVA Festival 2017 was the third edition of the festival which takes place at the huge T13 warehouse in the Titanic Quarter of Belfast. The last two years of the festival have been huge, with a serious amount of hype surrounding each of the years. When it comes to AVA Festival 2017, the hype was no different, and the festival certainly delivered the goods showcasing to the world exactly why Northern Ireland and the Irish crowd are one of the best. This is going down as one of the best parties of the year.

Kicking off the Friday was a sit down, round the table discussion at the Bullitt Hotel, aptly titled AVA Pro, where representatives from Resident Advisor, Native Instruments and the Association For Electronic Music (AFEM), plus a host of others attended. A sit-round-the-table experience offered a chance for those to ask questions, get a little bit of knowledge and tips from the industry, plus a lot more. Classic networking which in a busy industry, works well.

Heading into the AVA Conference though, and a number of areas were covered. In terms of a journalism perspective, some high profile topics were covered. But starting off the conference was Jeff Mills and his opening keynote, which offered attendees an insight into his world. Covering areas such as his inspiration, which was space exploration in the late 60’s and 70’s as well as Jeff touching on not producing music and working with new areas of technology, he provided this information with grace and humour. A worthy way to kick off a conference and really get those attending into the swing of things.

A couple of talks really stood out though in the conference – the first of these being Ian Moss as he presented a talk on Brexit, the second being the keynote with Renaat Vandepapeliere, and lastly, the Future Of Electronic Music. Ian Moss held an intimate talk, explaining the difficulties of Brexit, how Northern Ireland could be a special condition, and the effects of Brexit on dance music as a whole, as well as the music industry in general. Explaining the impacts and what was to happen first, he talked about how the Brexit crusade could take a number of years to work out, but stated that “27 countries decide the terms of the UK leaving”.

R&S Records head Renaat Vandepapeliere held a Q&A in the Craneview room and he offered an insightful look into the world of electronic music he hears, listens to and how much he doesn’t like. It was quite a solid talk from the label head as he answered questions to those in the crowd. The panel which dealt with the ‘Future Of Electronic Music’ was chaired by AFEM’s Mark Lawrence, and joining him was representatives from Boiler Room and Resident Advisor. By talking about the future, areas such as where next is going to be the big thing, new technology within dance music such as VR, and the areas of live streaming and ticketing were all covered in the talk. The future of electronic dance music is looking good though. One note which was really positive was that the “EDM Boom” has made more people “diversify themselves into different sounds”, made by Jack from the Boiler Room.

The picturesque backdrop of AVA Festival Belfast.

Once the conference ended on the Friday, it was all about the music. A long day in the different rooms covering different debates led to the need for a nice little pint, some food and the crave for some proper good tunes. Ryan Vail showcased his live show at the live stage within the main warehouse, but it was outside in the sunshine where the main party was at. The Becks Stage x Extended Play had some artists seriously going for it. Inside Moves and Bobby Analog were taking it through the mid afternoon and into the evening as the crowd filtered into the festival, many of them well up for it at this time. One of the stand out acts of the day though was New Jackson (Live). I’d never seen this guy before, but the way in which he played his synths, and mixed it in with his vocals through a vocoder was just unbelievable. A seriously impressive artist.

As the night continued, the party seemed to be heating up, and it there were a few names on everyone’s lips. Timmy Stewart and JMX set the party up for Fatima Yamaha, one of those artists that everyone seemed to be waiting for. And boy did he impress. The talented musician had the crowd fully involved, and it was when he dropped his stand out tune “What’s A Girl Got To Do’, that it was at this moment, you realised how special the Irish crowd were. Singing along and bringing a smile to his face, it was six minutes of pure ecstasy. Job Jobse built on this and the outdoor stage was simply the stand out moment of the night from 20:30, however it is hard to compete with the power of Jeff Mills. A full light show, major production work and his experimental, underground and minimal Techno finished off the night. Friday had finished, but the party still had one day left.

Saturday was Boiler Room day as many described it. Luckily the sun was out once more and the crowd was beginning to gather in the early afternoon. At 13:00, the outdoor stage already had many dancing the afternoon away, letting numerous “yeo’s” out as if it was still Friday night. But the Boiler Room was the main attraction. Many tried and failed to get tickets, and those lucky enough were loving the moment. DJ Deece fired up the crowd with some major tracks, and he rivalled one of the best sets of the day. Saoirse followed suit and again, it was another stand out performance, with the crowd loving the afternoon raving. Belfast’s own JC Williams brought about a set fused with acid vibes and techno hitters set the crowd alight.

As the pints and alcohol flowed through the rest of the day, you simply could not argue as to why the reception for the Belfast Boiler Room has been so good. An ecstatic crowd, one who were giving it there all, this is a relationship which has been forged and will not go away any time soon. AVA Festival 2017 was the third year, but many more are expected. Hotflush Recordings and Derry’s own Or:la took hold and another Belfast name, Jordan, followed suit, each going bigger and bigger. It was finally the time of Denis Sulta, the party master, the rock star, one of the best DJs in the world at this current time. And he did not disappoint. House, Disco and everything in between was brought to the dance floor. Nothing is needed to be said about headlining artist Ejeca though, the Irish native brought family and friends as he celebrated his birthday, what a moment.

AVA Festival 2017 - Denis Sulta Taking The Reigns

Denis Sulta at work during Boiler Room @ AVA Festival 2017

After the Boiler Room rounded up, all attention was turned to the huge main stage line up. The Becks x DSNT x Lumen outdoor stage was being headed up by some brilliant talent such as Myler, Tinfoil: Sunil Sharpe & Defekt, as well as brilliant Hybrid Set from Rebekah, but the pull for the crowd was the major names taking hold of the main stage. Belfast boys Schmutz were dropping some serious fire at the stage before being taken over by Hammer, one of those who has been a mainstay at the festival for the last few years. He has become a seriously brilliant artist, one who is certainly on his way to hitting the big stages and following in the footsteps of his friends Bicep.

Midland was on stage between Hammer and Bicep, and he really showcased his quality and why he is such a solid name within the dance music industry. It was a set of underground tunes which were beginning to pump up the crowd as the rain poured down outside, and the onslaught of people entered the main warehouse for what lay ahead. Bicep were just utterly brilliant as usual. Whether it have been their ‘Higher Level’ remix or the tracks from their Feel My Bicep label, it was a set which took the crowd on a journey through their eclectic sound. It isn’t hard to see why this duo have become one of the most demanded artists on the scene. It was the turn of Marcel Dettmann then to round off the night and his hard hitting Techno was the perfect way to end the festival. A whole host of anthems were on offer, and the crowd were giving it their all for the last set of the festival.

AVA Festival 2017 was the perfect example of why Belfast and the Irish crowd have become so popular over the last few years. The crowd give it all and respect the music which the DJs are playing, and respect each other while on the dance floors. The music is pure, the music is what is there to bring everyone together. The festival itself has room to grow in the conference area but as a whole, this is a festival which has a very exciting future ahead of it. The growth over the last few years has been phenomenal but it isn’t hard to see why. This is AVA Festival 2017, this is a festival which is set to become an Irish force in a global industry for years to come.

For more information on AVA Festival:
https://www.facebook.com/avafestival/
https://twitter.com/AVAFestivalNI
http://avafestival.com/

By Chris Stewart

Main Photo Credit: Grant Jones

AVA Festival 2017.

AVA Festival 2017 was the third edition of the festival which takes place at the huge T13 warehouse in the Titanic Quarter of Belfast. The last two years of the festival have been huge, with a serious amount of hype surrounding each of the years. When it comes to AVA Festival 2017, the hype was no different, and the festival certainly delivered the goods showcasing to the world exactly why Northern Ireland and the Irish crowd are one of the best. This is going down as one of the best parties of the year.

Kicking off the Friday was a sit down, round the table discussion at the Bullitt Hotel, aptly titled AVA Pro, where representatives from Resident Advisor, Native Instruments and the Association For Electronic Music (AFEM), plus a host of others attended. A sit-round-the-table experience offered a chance for those to ask questions, get a little bit of knowledge and tips from the industry, plus a lot more. Classic networking which in a busy industry, works well.

Heading into the AVA Conference though, and a number of areas were covered. In terms of a journalism perspective, some high profile topics were covered. But starting off the conference was Jeff Mills and his opening keynote, which offered attendees an insight into his world. Covering areas such as his inspiration, which was space exploration in the late 60’s and 70’s as well as Jeff touching on not producing music and working with new areas of technology, he provided this information with grace and humour. A worthy way to kick off a conference and really get those attending into the swing of things.

AVA Festival 2017.

A couple of talks really stood out though in the conference – the first of these being Ian Moss as he presented a talk on Brexit, the second being the keynote with Renaat Vandepapeliere, and lastly, the Future Of Electronic Music. Ian Moss held an intimate talk, explaining the difficulties of Brexit, how Northern Ireland could be a special condition, and the effects of Brexit on dance music as a whole, as well as the music industry in general. Explaining the impacts and what was to happen first, he talked about how the Brexit crusade could take a number of years to work out, but stated that “27 countries decide the terms of the UK leaving”.

R&S Records head Renaat Vandepapeliere held a Q&A in the Craneview room and he offered an insightful look into the world of electronic music he hears, listens to and how much he doesn’t like. It was quite a solid talk from the label head as he answered questions to those in the crowd. The panel which dealt with the ‘Future Of Electronic Music’ was chaired by AFEM’s Mark Lawrence, and joining him was representatives from Boiler Room and Resident Advisor.

By talking about the future, areas such as where next is going to be the big thing, new technology within dance music such as VR, and the areas of live streaming and ticketing were all covered in the talk. The future of electronic dance music is looking good though. One note which was really positive was that the “EDM Boom” has made more people “diversify themselves into different sounds”, made by Jack from the Boiler Room.

AVA Festival 2017.

Once the conference ended on the Friday, it was all about the music. A long day in the different rooms covering different debates led to the need for a nice little pint, some food and the crave for some proper good tunes. Ryan Vail showcased his live show at the live stage within the main warehouse, but it was outside in the sunshine where the main party was at.

The Becks Stage x Extended Play had some artists seriously going for it. Inside Moves and Bobby Analog were taking it through the mid afternoon and into the evening as the crowd filtered into the festival, many of them well up for it at this time. One of the stand out acts of the day though was New Jackson (Live). I’d never seen this guy before, but the way in which he played his synths, and mixed it in with his vocals through a vocoder was just unbelievable. A seriously impressive artist.

As the night continued, the party seemed to be heating up, and it there were a few names on everyone’s lips. Timmy Stewart and JMX set the party up for Fatima Yamaha, one of those artists that everyone seemed to be waiting for. And boy did he impress. The talented musician had the crowd fully involved, and it was when he dropped his stand out tune “What’s A Girl Got To Do’, that it was at this moment, you realised how special the Irish crowd were.

AVA Festival 2017.

Singing along and bringing a smile to his face, it was six minutes of pure ecstasy. Job Jobse built on this and the outdoor stage was simply the stand out moment of the night from 20:30, however it is hard to compete with the power of Jeff Mills. A full light show, major production work and his experimental, underground and minimal Techno finished off the night. Friday had finished, but the party still had one day left.

Saturday was Boiler Room day as many described it. Luckily the sun was out once more and the crowd was beginning to gather in the early afternoon. At 13:00, the outdoor stage already had many dancing the afternoon away, letting numerous “yeo’s” out as if it was still Friday night. But the Boiler Room was the main attraction. Many tried and failed to get tickets, and those lucky enough were loving the moment. DJ Deece fired up the crowd with some major tracks, and he rivalled one of the best sets of the day. Saoirse followed suit and again, it was another stand out performance, with the crowd loving the afternoon raving. Belfast’s own JC Williams brought about a set fused with acid vibes and techno hitters set the crowd alight.

As the pints and alcohol flowed through the rest of the day, you simply could not argue as to why the reception for the Belfast Boiler Room has been so good. An ecstatic crowd, one who were giving it there all, this is a relationship which has been forged and will not go away any time soon.

AVA Festival 2017.

AVA Festival 2017 was the third year, but many more are expected. Hotflush Recordings and Derry’s own Or:la took hold and another Belfast name, Jordan, followed suit, each going bigger and bigger. It was finally the time of Denis Sulta, the party master, the rock star, one of the best DJs in the world at this current time. And he did not disappoint. House, Disco and everything in between was brought to the dance floor. Nothing is needed to be said about headlining artist Ejeca though, the Irish native brought family and friends as he celebrated his birthday, what a moment.

After the Boiler Room rounded up, all attention was turned to the huge main stage line up. The Becks x DSNT x Lumen outdoor stage was being headed up by some brilliant talent such as Myler, Tinfoil: Sunil Sharpe & Defekt, as well as brilliant Hybrid Set from Rebekah, but the pull for the crowd was the major names taking hold of the main stage. Belfast boys Schmutz were dropping some serious fire at the stage before being taken over by Hammer, one of those who has been a mainstay at the festival for the last few years. He has become a seriously brilliant artist, one who is certainly on his way to hitting the big stages and following in the footsteps of his friends Bicep.

AVA Festival 2017.

Midland was on stage between Hammer and Bicep, and he really showcased his quality and why he is such a solid name within the dance music industry. It was a set of underground tunes which were beginning to pump up the crowd as the rain poured down outside, and the onslaught of people entered the main warehouse for what lay ahead. Bicep were just utterly brilliant as usual.

Whether it have been their ‘Higher Level’ remix or the tracks from their Feel My Bicep label, it was a set which took the crowd on a journey through their eclectic sound. It isn’t hard to see why this duo have become one of the most demanded artists on the scene. It was the turn of Marcel Dettmann then to round off the night and his hard hitting Techno was the perfect way to end the festival. A whole host of anthems were on offer, and the crowd were giving it their all for the last set of the festival.

AVA Festival 2017 was the perfect example of why Belfast and the Irish crowd have become so popular over the last few years. The crowd give it all and respect the music which the DJs are playing, and respect each other while on the dance floors. The music is pure, the music is what is there to bring everyone together. The festival itself has room to grow in the conference area but as a whole.

For more information on AVA Festival:
https://www.facebook.com/avafestival/
https://twitter.com/AVAFestivalNI
http://avafestival.com/

By Chris Stewart

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