Like many cities in Ireland, Waterford’s dance music scene has been crippled by lack of venues, legislation, and the impact of Covid-19. After an extended dance music drought in the city, Waterford’s vibrant dance music community makes a triumphant return with some fresh blood and some familiar faces.

After a rather discontinuous re-opening in late 2021, Ireland’s late night economy resumed as normal in February of 2022, while many cities celebrated a joyous return to dancing, some cities remained at a halt. One of those cities being, Waterford. The Crystal County had been left in the shadows of Ireland’s grand re-opening, as promoters and DJs were left to pick up the pieces of the Covid-19 pandemic, and government neglect.

Over three months on from the revitalisation of Ireland’s late night economy and music sector, Waterford local promoters can finally announce the resurgence of their dance music scene. We caught up with some promoters bringing rave back to the city, to chat about about their re-opening, the Waterford scene, and future events.

Symøne [Enigma]

I’m so over the moon to see Electric Avenue open back up again since 2020, it’s going to give the scene in Waterford such a boost, the capacity is 150 so it makes for a totally intimate vibe and allows for local techno heads and music enthusiasts alike to finally have a dedicated space where they can network and get to know each other. For me, it’s actually been quite emotional to have a venue to host Enigma events, as I’ve spent the last two years providing a space to local DJs and producers to showcase their mixes and premiere their tracks while we wait for a space to become available where they can play their sets in person. Through building the platform I really feel like we have built on the already existing community, so it can only mean amazing things to come. I’m so excited, this is just the start!

Dean Cummins [Subjective Series]

“I think it will be great for the scene down here, I feel like this will create a sense of community within the collectives which will only make the scene grow stronger”

You can purchase tickets for Subjective Series next show HERE.

Christy [Electronic]

“As the DJ who played the last night in Electric Avenue on March 15th 2020, never in my wildest dreams did I think it would be May 2022 before we got to return to that venue to play. The world shut down and the impact of that on young people has been huge, with no outlet to explore the more underground sounds of dance music, there is a group of younger music fans and their only clubbing experience is the commercial music being played in some bars and clubs. I can’t wait for them to see a full venue playing good quality techno with the reopening of Electric Avenue, this gives us an opportunity to book new up and coming DJs who have had the past 2+ years taken from them.”

“At Electronic we have always supported and booked new acts and gave them the chance to play a venue and learn what goes into putting on an event. A huge part of having a vibrant nightlife in a city is to have people that organise events or DJs looking to play at events or form collectives etc. Next week we return to a full late night venue which is huge for real dance music fans but we still have some issues hanging over the city, our Gardaí are still strictly enforcing a 2am closing time, while most of the country has a 2:30am closing and most Dublin venues 3am, with some even later than that.”

“Waterford is a city that craves a change to our license laws to bring us to be on par with the rest of the country, this has a big knock on effect for the city. The earlier closing times mean people will choose to go to another city for short breaks, it means less hours for hospitality workers, which means venues have a harder time getting staff. Myself and fellow promoters are positive this is a new opportunity, and a good day for us, we hope Give Us The Night finally get the result with the new laws that support a vibrant nightlife, while creating jobs and putting some sustainable career options out there for workers.”

You can purchase tickets for Electronics’ next show HERE.

MD Duffy [Reboot Events]

We are delighted to be making our way down to a brand new space for Reboot which in the past has welcomed us with open arms after an incredible start with Outset festival which took place in Tramore , Waterford less than a year ago.

We strive to bring a new feel/vibe to every area with our shows and the initial feeling about our new home at the Factory Waterford has us buzzing to do some of our biggest shows to-date, plus much more. We can’t wait to bring something new and exciting to the already well established scene down there and genuinely can’t thank everyone enough for the support we’ve gotten for the Waterford region up until this point, including the countless number of messages on our social media accounts as well as a huge amount of love from many crews who attended Outset festival in November of 2021.

You can purchase tickets to BLK. & XClub at Factory HERE.

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