Belfast party-starters AVA have announced their contribution to this year’s The Warehouse Project programme, where they will close the Store Street season, and it’s a line up that’s typically them: an assortment of legendary acts, rising stars and a kind nod to the Emerald Isle, all with the express intention of ensuring that disappointment is not to be found on the menu.
With appearances from such luminaries as Peggy Gou, Charlotte De Witte, DJ Koze and the one and only Sven Vath, plus the obligatory show from Bicep – and let’s face it, it would be any kind of AVA event without the boys strutting their stuff – I asked Belfast mainstay Timmy Stewart, who also features on the roster, about why he thinks AVA just keeps going from strength to strength.
‘One of the best things about AVA are the core values that drive it. From day one the impression I got from Sarah McBriar was different to anyone else I’d talked with about music events here over the years. The mission statement was to create something special, help put Belfast on the map and showcase local talent alongside International acts. The visiting tourists who travel here solely for that weekend, the electric atmosphere and response to the Boiler Room broadcasts and the range of AVA events across the globe like WHP in December are all testament to this. The fact AVA now also links acts and collectives from the North & South Of Ireland is another extremely powerful catalyst, something the politics here has even struggled with at times.’
Timmy has been around long enough to know what works and what doesn’t,and is in no doubt about what keeps him coming back to work with Sarah and the crew.
‘I always look forward to working with the AVA team. The gigs are always first class, the technical set ups and production second to none, alongside the competitions to unearth new talent. Those original bold claims are now a fierce reality and let’s face it, in twenty odd years it has take a strong individual to create and make an event like this happen.’
Quite an endorsement. And for anyone who hasn’t been to AVA’s annual festival in Belfast, make your way to Manchester to sample some of the magic that truly sets them apart.
AVA @ WHP will take place on Saturday, 1st December.