Niall Coleman, Editor
The iconic yellow cranes of Harland & Wolff will again form the backdrop for Belfast’s homegrown showcase of electronic music as Audio Visual Arts returns with it’s critically acclaimed festival and conference. Having earned itself an applauded reputation after only two appearances in Belfast, AVA 2017 boasts an impressive lineup which will this year be split across two days in early June (Friday 2nd & Saturday 3rd).
As tickets are touted to sell out early, organisers behind the AVA project have released a full lineup of the weekend’s attending artists, from international names and industry pioneers, to celebrated emerging talent in Ireland’s growing presence within a growing house & techno culture in Europe. Amongst the strongest selling points of this year’s AVA Festival & Conference is the Irish debut of Detroit techno icon Jeff Mills’ collaboration with world-renowned lighting designer Guillaume Marmin known as Close Encounters of the Fourth Kind – described as “a full sensory experience that explores the sensation of entering & existing in another reality – a different time and space. A live audio-visual journey through another dimension”. The joint performance will come in a growing line of notable collaborations featuring Mills, including Montpelier Philharmonic Orchestra and the BBC Symphony Orchestra, and is set to be one the event’s more memorable appearances.
Fans of the Boiler Room series will be pleased to see the return of the promotion to AVA 2017. Headlined by local legend Ejeca, the Boiler Room offers a strong lineup of artists including Hotflush Records’ Or:La, Saoirse and JC Williams – to mention but a few. Followers of the series will recognise Boiler Room’s presence with its now well recognised branding (not to mention dancers clambering to get closer to the artists – check out the videos). Kicking off as a conference featuring panelists, speakers and demonstrations of technological innovations currently pushing forward the capabilities of musical production. For those passionate about producing music and understanding the industry – this is for you. Full details of the conference have yet to be released – but last year’s appearance of Juan Atkins, Dave Haslam and representatives from Ableton give us no reason to believe this year will disappoint.
Aside from Boiler Room and the conference aspects to AVA 2017, the festival offers a lineup which rivals others currently being announced for this summer in Ireland and beyond. Friday will a Northern liveshow debut from Fatima Yamaha, as well as a HYBRID performance by Berlin-based Rebekah and sets from Ben UFO, Job Jobse and the Irish all-stars Timmy Stuart, Bobby Analog and Swoose & Cromby. Saturday promises to be similarly tempting with appearances from Marcel Dettmann, Midland, Myler and TINFOIL (the must-see collaboration between Ireland’s own Sunil Sharpe and Defekt).
All in all, AVA 2017 is a strong temptation to fans of house and techno music across Ireland – some of which will be relieved to see that it does not clash with Westmeath’s Life Festival, as has been the case in previous years. Full details of the festivals proceedings can be found here.