- 27 Apr 17
It’s all about blissful rustic grooving this issue, as we take a look at some of the best upcoming dance festivals around Ireland. By Will Kinsella
Festival season has officially kicked off, with BD Festival recently taking place on Good Friday at Glendalough House. This year marked the 10th anniversary of the BYOB event, with the likes of Nightmares On Wax, Huxley and Format: B performing alongside local acts such as the Eve Collective. With the Good Friday alcohol laws changing next year, it’ll be interesting to see how the organisers adapt – but given the success of their Halloween party, I would expect big things from their 2018 show.
Life Festival returns to Mullingar House (45 minutes from Dublin City) on May 26. Offering three days of camping, electronic music and arts, alongside the audio-visual treats and artistic installations, there’ll also be a wide selection of gourmet food and drinks. Life has always been a big platform for local talent, placing them alongside international headliners such as Alan Fitzpatrick, Ricardo Villalobos, Dixon, Nina Kraviz, Recondite and Eats Everything. For good measure, Mullingar House is one of the most beautiful festival locations in the country. Tickets are available from life-festival.com.
Moving on to the June Bank Holiday weekend, and the hot ticket is undoubtedly Forbidden Fruit at the Royal Hospital Kilmainham. Once again, the organisers have outdone themselves with a heavy hitting international line-up. Top of my recommended list are Orbital, who are in my top 5 must see live electronic acts. Also worth catching are the incredible Booka Shade, while the Sunday is quite simply phenomenal, with the likes of Aphex Twin, Moderat, Maceo Plex, Motor City Drum Ensemble, KiNK and Hybrasil all performing.
Elsewhere, Body & Soul returns on June 23, and continues over the summer solstice weekend in the beautiful grounds of Meath’s Ballinlough Castle. The passion and love that is put into this festival is evident in the production and decor, creating an almost otherworldly atmosphere. Body & Soul uses art,
music, discussions, nature and food to create a place like no other in the wild Irish countryside.
Organisers are also committed to sustainability, operating green campsites and constructing sustainable stages, as well as recycling, incentivising greener travel and many more initiatives. In addition, they’ve made the festival accessible to everyone, from underground electronic music heads to families. Quite simply, it’s an incredible festival experience that’s a must for anyone with a passion for music and a taste for something a little different.
Fuinneamh Festival, meanwhile, takes place on September 15 at Bellurgan Park in Louth, and also offers something deliciously offbeat. The site is overlooked by one of Ireland’s last remaining native forests, so you can wander amongst stone circles to a banging techno soundtrack. The event offers and eclectic array of genres, from electronica to folk, all taking place under the harvest moon. Debuting as Lunasa festival last September, Fuinneamh offers a truly impressive setting with a remarkable mix of music, built by people who genuinely love what they do.
For those looking outside of Ireland, meanwhile,
the summer offers many tantalising opportunities.
The International Music Summit (Ibiza) celebrates its 10th anniversary from May 24 and features speakers such as Bernard Sumner, Dixon and The Black Madonna. Elsewhere, Sonar kicks off in Barcelona on June 15, and remains a brilliant showcase of art, music and technology. Also worth considering is Amsterdam’s Awakenings, which recently celebrated its 20th anniversary and kicks off on June 24.
The list of options goes on and on – indeed, there’s never been a better time to enjoy electronic on a scale such as this. Whatever turns out to be your event of choice, enjoy!