Part-conference, part-club night, Bicep, Space Dimension Controller and Optimo are all on-board for the May one-dayer.
Billed as a "grass roots festival," the all-day event will focus on showcasing and supporting Northern Irish talent. Held at T13 in the Titanic Quarter, where the RMS Titanic was famously built, the day will be split in two: from 11 AM through 4 PM there will be a series of talks and panels (exact details TBA), followed by a club night from 4 PM until late.
A mix of local stars and up-and-comers have been confirmed for the showcase, with Bicep, Phil Kieran, Optimo and Ejeca leading the charge. SDC, AKA Space Dimension Controller, will perform his live laser show for the first time in Northern Ireland, and there are additional slots for Schmutz, Extended Play and Cromby, who spins back-to-back with Swoose. Artist Oisin O’Brien, AKA Guerilla Shout, will man the visuals.
We chatted briefly to Bicep pair Matthew McBriar and Andrew Ferguson over email to further discuss their involvement in the project.
Why have you decided to get behind AVA?
Coming back home and playing gigs in Belfast is still something really special for us. The atmosphere and crowds are as unique as we have seen whilst touring across the world. At the moment the local scene is thriving with amazing forward thinking electronic music nights, producers, promoters and visual artists… being from Belfast we want to get involved and help in its development.
We spoke with the AVA guys from the very outset, giving little bits of advice and telling them the things that made other festivals special. Their level of detail and production values definitely made us want to get behind the project. The venue is not what you what expect from the average festival and is in itself entrenched in history, set in the site where the Titanic was built. The sound system, equally as important, will be customised and purpose build for the event. Finally the artists involved and the community aspect was the sealing factor.
"AVA aims to be more than a festival." What else will it offer?
AVA will host a daytime conference too around electronic music, visual and moving art, design and a vinyl fair. It aims to bring together industry heads with established and emerging artists. It's also a chance for major partners such as Ableton and high-profile keynote speakers to share their knowledge and inspire.
Tell us about some of the local talent involved in the project.
Space Dimension Controller has launched his first 'Live Laser show' and this will be the NI debut. Jack is probably one of our favourite artists, producing some of the most futuristic forward thinking music of the past few years. Couple this with a mad amount of lasers, it's gonna be pretty special.
Similarly, our good friends Optimo (Jonnie from Belfast and JD from Glasgow) have an eclectic style that we love playing alongside. It's exciting for us to be part of something that is pulling this all together. Ejeca has just grown and grown since we first put his demos up on our blog (haha) and Phil Kieran's a veteran… It's great he is on board too as his techno sound was a big influence on us growing up.
Schmutz (two local lads Kristian and Conor) have just landed their first gig at Panorama bar next Friday and have some amazing music in the pipeline ready for release. Swoose & Cromby have been playing regularly at Shine for a few years now and are both really deep selectors with great taste. Likewise the Extended Play boys who have a lot of great music on the way.
Tickets to AVA Festival are available here on RA.