Last weekend was the first time AVA Festival came to London and hopefully it will not be the last. The annual music event and conference is held at S13 Warehouse in Belfast and this year saw the crew come over and celebrate St Patricks Day at Hangar with a conference and two consecutive nights of musical excellence.
Friday day consisted of free talks from various industry heads which commenced with a conversation with Crazy P about the highs and lows of the past 20 years as a band. Representatives such as Ashley Howard (PRS for Music), Vidhi Gandhi (Ninja Tune) and Sarah Carley (Locket Management) discussed the do’s and don’ts when getting started in the industry, focusing on getting management, hiring booking agents and how to successfully monetise music.
Following this, Hodge walked us through an unreleased track of his, focusing on the Native Instruments tools he was using to sculpt his kick drums and transform his samples as well as the importance of recycling ideas from previous tracks. Another highlight for us was the discussion on the increasingly difficult licensing environment in Central London, in which Judy Griffith (Fabric), Louis Woodhead (Long Live Southbank), Tamsin Ace (Southbank Centre) and others ended on a slightly positive note from most of the panel about the future of the nightlife scene. Dark Sky talked us through their live set and Moxie, Monki and CC:DISCO! finished up the days proceedings with a light hearted and entertaining talk on how they got involved in radio and their funny experiences including stalkers sending rocks.
Friday evening was packed full of live sets. R. Kitt (LIVE), Sally G and Ryan Vail (LIVE) kicked off the first half of the evening with storming sets, leading up to headliners Genius Of Time (LIVE) playing their classics like Juno Jam and Dark Sky (LIVE) who provided punters with a flurry of their well known tracks, blended with immersive transitions that left the room mesmerised.
After a warm-up at NTs Bar featuring DJ Deece and Dave McDonagh, St Patricks day celebrations carried on into the night, with Swoose and Saoirse on first. The Irish fans were certainly out in force, worshipping Or:la and Optimo as they smashed out 3 hour sets venturing into all strains of house and techno. It felt as if Hangar had been transported to Belfast as the fans threw their hands in the air from start to finish and cried for the night not to stop as the lights turned on.
AVA Festival & Conference 2018 takes place June 1st-2nd at S13 Warehouse, Belfast.
Find out more + tickets here.