In 2017 alone we’ve seen a serious increase in the amount of festivals in Ireland. We’ve seen homegrown grass roots festivals like Higher Vision, Scrobarnach Music Society (going into it’s second year), Mass and Townlands Carnival, to name a few, perform well up alongside the likes of Life Festival, BD Festival , Forbidden Fruit, Longitude and the already sold out Electric Picnic, which is just around the corner.
Although these festivals are an extremely good day or weekend and we don’t want any of them to change, we need something that we don’t have at the moment, a techno only festival.
All around Europe they have these type of day or weekend festivals where the line up is completely techno, with every style from hardcore industrial to the softer more melodic stuff. We’ve seen it work with the likes of Awakenings and even with Reaktor’s Unpolished (which wasn’t billed as a festival but the line up was big enough to be one). Most notable of these type of festivals was Kappa FuturFestival which has set the standard.
For those who don’t know what Kappa FuturFestival is, it’s a festival based in Italy that started back in 2010. It’s located near old factories that once took over 450 thousand square metres and “exploited [the river] for decades by factories, making it polluted and inaccessible”. Kappa Futur now keeps the park healthy whilst using the industrial past of the city as the surroundings for the production of the festival, leaving it looking something of a scene from Mad Max.
Now I’m not saying that Ireland needs a 70,000 capacity techno extravaganza in Croke Park, but it is possible to hold an all out techno festival. Looking at this year’s line up for Kappa Futur is something that could easily work. Minus the tech house acts this is how it looked; Carl Cox, Nina Kraviz, Joseph Capriati, Maceo Plex, Marcel Dettmann and Sven Vath. Now take a few of Awakenings recent acts like Dax J, Blawan, Ben Klock, Adam Beyer, DJ Rush, Paula Temple, Randomer and you’ve got yourself a strong line up.
Between these the endless supply of homegrown local DJs and brands we have on hand is ridiculous. Brands like Techno & Cans, Subject, Bastardo Electrico, Research, RLSD, Vision Collector and their DJs are all fit to either host their own stage or supply DJs to the cause.
Unless you’ve been living under a rock the last year or so, it’s been quite obvious that techno is one of the most popular genres in Ireland. We’ve seen names like Nina Kraviz, Ben Klock or even one of our own Sunil Sharpe fill out huge tents are Life Festival and Electric Picnic. Apart from the more “star” names like Carl Cox etc, the techno scene around Ireland now even allows for the more niche acts in recent years like SHXCXCHCXSH, 999999999, I Hate Models, Under Black Helmet and many more to come over to a rapturous reception.
Even when you venture past Dublin to the west with Cork, Limerick and Galway, there are club nights like SubTech, Vereisen, Techno Fridays and many more. Jamie Behan’s Bastardo Electrico has brought down underground acts like Blawan, Paula Temple and Perc to Cork whilst SubTech have brought Randomer, Dax J and Keith Carnal to Limerick.
We do appreciate what the likes of Boxed Off has done in recent years but it’s not quite what we’re talking about. Last year we saw Len Faki, Dax J, Rodhad and Boddika all take to Fairyhouse Racecourse but alongside this was a house line-up with the likes of Brame & Hamo, Jeremy Underground, Eats Everything and more. Now the house line-up they supplied was extremely strong but there’s something not right about walking from Dax J taking a few souls at 135 bpm past Eats Everything dropping some absolute Tech House b-a-n-g-e-r. Also with Circles coming up this weekend at District 8 with Ben Klock performing a four hour set, he then has The Black Madonna closing out after him.
We’ve seen how day long festivals like Boxed Off can work, as last year’s edition had sold out but now all we need is something dirty and underground. No intense production, no mad stadium venues, just good music and a strong line up. Promoters seem to be afraid to scare away their crowd by not having house or disco at a festival, but it would work.
Now don’t get us wrong, this isn’t an article slating all other genres besides techno, but we just have to wait and see who will be brave enough to do an all techno festival.