It’s been a decent start to 2016 for Belfast, to say the least. Winner of the best UK city award and now we could be a contender for one of the dance capitals of the world this summer, with a huge host of dance artists coming to our shores.
Here’s a look at the 10 must-see dance acts performing this summer…
Belsonic, June 9
A Dutch dance music legend who needs no introduction, Tiesto has been at the top of the dance music scene for the past few decades and isn’t slowing down. Tiesto’s style has changed over the years with a shift from his trance genre into more pop-friendly EDM. A listen to his last album ‘A Town Called Paradise’ showcases how much he likes working with different DJs and vocalists. Expect some new material and a few of the classic Tiesto anthems like ‘Adagio for Strings’. What a way to kick off the new Belsonic!
Tennent’s Vital, August 26
After having Calvin Harris wow Belfast last summer, headlining Tennent’s Vital this year is Swedish Dance legend Avicii, who is coming off the back of a strong second album in ‘Stories’. Avicii is famed for mixing folk music with dance music as we saw with ‘Wake Me Up’ and ‘Hey Brother’. Stand-out songs in ‘Stories’ include ‘Broken Arrows’ featuring the Zac Brown band, ‘True Believer’ and ‘Waiting For Love’ which was co-produced with Martin Garrix. Expect to see old favourites like ‘Levels’ and a few unreleased tracks.
Belsonic, June 11
What a moment it will be when Insomnia drops! Absolute Euphoria. Expect a good old fashioned 90’s rave. They recently released a new album called ‘Faithless 2.0’ which includes new remixes by DJs such as Avicii, Axwell and Tiesto.
4. David Guetta
Belsonic, June 26
This massive French DJ is a hit-making machine… and he’s coming back to Belfast after wowing crowds in 2014 at Tennent’s Vital. Fresh after releasing ‘Listen Again’ which was a rework of his album ‘Listen’, we can expect a host of Guetta’s best tracks and probably a few new ones in his set this summer. His latest track featuring Sia and rapper Fetty Wap was a step outside his usual style but nevertheless it was a radio hit and a success. There are just too many hits to name so it should definitely be a crowd pleaser and hopefully we hear some new material.
5. Oliver Heldens
Belsonic, June 9 (supporting Tiesto)
One of the rising names in EDM is 20 year old Oliver Heldens. The Dutch DJ first got attention with his track ‘Gecko’ and didn’t stop from there releasing more hits such as ‘Koala’ and ‘Shades of Grey’. Not only is he at the forefront of deep house style at 20, but he also has his own label: Heldeep Records. His star is rising at lightning speed and it will only be a matter of time before he is headlining festivals.
Tennent’s Vital, August 26 (supporting Avicii)
Coming together as Galantis, Swedish producers, Christian Karlsson and Linus Eklöw, really are at the point where EDM meets pop. Most of their songs come with a ‘Galantis filter’ for the vocals which is a blend of male and female vocals, and it makes Galantis’ style instantly original and unique. They have an original mascot called a ‘Seafox’ which appears on their album artwork, and their fans are known as the Seafox nation. They are best known for ‘Peanut Butter Jelly’ and ‘Runaway (U&I)’ which was nominated for Best Dance Recording for the 2016 Grammy Awards.
They bring an incredible audio/visual experience to live performance that matches the really, really big vibe of their music – so Belfast crowds can be prepared for something that will set Boucher Road Playing Fields rocking.
AVA Festival, June 4
A special homecoming for Bicep, as the duo prepares to debut their specially curated live show, accompanied by visuals from internationally revered AV artists Guerrilla Shout. Known the world over for killer productions and seamless sets, Bicep are flying the flag high for the Belfast movement.
AVA Festival is the first of its kind in Ireland, offering a platform for emerging and established electronic DJs & producers and audiovisual artists in Northern and Southern Ireland. The first event to bring Boiler Room to Belfast, AVA offered a stunning backdrop for the renowned Electronic Music Video platform and will see Boiler Room return at this years event. There is a huge line-up for the festival including German Techno DJ Rodhad and some of our very own Northern Irish DJs including Phil Kiernan, Extended Play’s Jordan and Swoose & Cromby hitting the decks.
Check out last year’s Boiler Room with Bicep performing…
8. Robin Schulz
Belsonic, June 26
Supporting David Guetta is DJ Robin Schulz who came out of nowhere with his remix of ‘Waves’ by Mr Probz. Then his next track ‘Prayer in C’ did even better getting number one in ten countries. Other hits include ‘Headlights’ and ‘Sugar’. His album Sugar is also worth listening to if you like his style… his signature deep house sound will be perfect in some Belfast sunshine (fingers crossed!)
9. The Chemical Brothers
Belsonic, June 10
These Grammy award winning guys released their first album in 1995 and are still popular to this day. Their latest album ‘Born in the Echoes’ topped the charts last year and their lead single ‘Go’ featuring the vocals of Q-Tip who they previously collaborated with on the smash ‘Galvanise’. The Manchester duo – Tom Rowlands and Ed Simons – return to the city for the first time since 2005.
10. Green Velvet
Shine, QUB Students Union, March 28
Returning for his first Belfast date in over two years is Green Velvet, a Shine legend who needs little in the way of introduction. Over the course of three decades he has remained a crucial exponent of electronic music, constantly reinventing his style & image, and consistently delivering, both in terms of productions, and live shows. Joining him for Shine Easter Monday in the main room is one of Scotland’s finest – Jackmaster.
Club MTV, Derry-Londonderry, September 10
Although not in Belfast but definitely worth a drive down the road for. It’s a rarity that Dutch DJ superstar Martin Garrix comes to Northern Ireland so you would be mad to miss him! With a new album on the way later this year, a host of brand new tracks with Avicii, Julian Jordan and Jay Hardway featuring this will be a huge year for the 19 year old who is smashing it. Martin has just announced his own label ‘STMPD’ records, a homage to his father who owned a stamp business… first class! At 19 years old to have your own label shows how massive he is right now. Also rumoured talk of a potential Justin Bieber collab is growing as they share the same manager – Scooter Braun. And as it’s now cool to like Bieber we can’t wait to hear it!