In just two days time we will be starting our road trip up to Belfast for one of the most anticipated festivals of the year, AVA Festival & Conference 2017. Known for it’s ground breaking talks beforehand and of course, the iconic Boiler Room stage, this year’s edition is shaping up to be the best yet. Bicep, Jeff Mills, Marcel Dettmann, Denis Sulta, Midland, Hammer, Tinfoil and more will all take to the beautiful city of Belfast this weekend to grace us with their brilliance.

In the lead up to the festival, we had a chat with some of the acts playing this year and asked them what they are looking forward to the most! Be sure to grab your ticket here, as they are moving very fast…

JC Williams

I’m well and truly buzzing about AVA Festival this year. I’m lucky enough to have been invited back to do my live show – I debuted it at the festival last year. This time I’ll be on the Boiler Room stage, alongside some fantastic local acts as well as the likes of Denis Sulta. I’ll be playing on Saturday, but I’m also planning on catching some of the conference and acts on Friday. I’m particularly looking forward to Neil Barnes’s (Leftfield) talk and seeing Fatima Yamaha live, Ben UFO and the Extended Play DJ’s (to name a few). On Saturday, I’m really looking forward to seeing Jeff Mills & Guillaume Marmin, Marcel Dettmann, Rebekah and all the great local DJ’s that are playing. AVA is the best thing to happen to Belfast in a long time. The vibe was amazing last year, and it’s going to be bigger and better this year!


I’m really excited to catch Ben UFO. Have never seen him live so it’ll be a great experience. Im also really interested in the Jeff Mills and Guillaume Marmin show! On the Saturday, I’m gonna catch JC Williams’ live set. One of the best in Belfast in my opinion and he smashed it last year, so I can’t wait to see him play again!

Ryan Vail

For myself, Jeff Mills is probably the main act to catch. Like Jeff, I focus my live sets on drum machines and various other bits of hardware. The last couple of years The Boiler Room event has been insane. Local lady OR:LA is one to watch. Always has great sets, her music choice is second to none.

The Cyclist

Seriously looking forward to the buzz at AVA this year, been before as a punter and the energy in the crowd and beaming from the artists playing was amazing throughout. Never been to a another festival quite like it. That Belfast crowd gets pretty crazy, but in amazing way and there is also a serious amount of love in the air so it’s going to be really exciting to get a chance to play the kind of tunes that I know will get them into that AVA frenzy, but also hopefully surprise them with a few curveballs that I’ve been loving lately if I can! I’m playing on the Friday, but gonna stay and party throughout the Saturday too as there are just too many great NI and international artists playing at this to for me morally miss even a minute of this absolute belter of a festival.

Timmy Stewart

I’m really looking forward to seeing Jeff Mills & Guillaume Marmin’s show, the combination of Jeff’s relentless grooves and the visual aspect seems absolutely perfect for AVA and the T13 venue. I’ve been a fan of Mr Mills since I was a teenager, playing his Axis & Purpose Maker records that I still revisit today. He’s a proper originator and innovator and someone I’ve never managed to see live over the years, so I’ll be making sure I catch that whole set. Also on the Saturday I’m looking forward to seeing my friends destroy Boiler Room. I’ve had a sneak preview of what’s planned from a few and it’s gonna be complete carnage.

Holly Lester

Super excited to check out the conference this Friday, especially the Native Sessions with Jordan and Hammer. The conference is a great opportunity to catch up with everyone back at home and also get a load of tips and advice from the pros! I found it really helpful last year and am keen to see what’s in store this time round. Saturday is also looking like it’s going to be an exciting one for me – I’ll be making my AVA debut on the main stage and then will be attempting to squeeze in as many acts as possible afterwards. There is so much to choose from, though I have to say I’m really looking forward to catching JC Williams’ set on the Boiler Room stage. It’s going to be the only live act on Boiler Room this year and if his show from last year is anything to go off, it’s going to be an absolute cracker. He has been working on a load of new material just for the show over the past month, so I’m interested to see what he has up his sleeve.

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