The curtain may have fallen on Belsonic: Part 1, but the good news is we’ve only a month to wait for the sequel.

ZARA PORTER gives us a flavour of what to expect at the new venue as she details her VIP experience at the festival courtesy of Absolut Vodka…

Tuesday night made for quite an occasion if you were clever enough to get yourself down to Belsonic.

Now in its fourth week, Belfast’s biggest music festival has well and truly warmed up – making it the perfect time for one of the hottest musicians to hit the stage. Yes, it was the turn of the lovely Ellie Goulding and I was as excited as a six year old girl in a room full of barbies (because I love her).

Before we reached the show, however, we took some time out with the ABSOLUT gang who had very kindly organised a little pre-party with a difference. Pulling up to The National, everything seemed reserved enough – with a smorgasbord of olives and cheese on offer – although I couldn’t help but notice the odd vehicular contraption parked outside the door.

With the eats out of the way – and the welcome suggestion that we might pop into Cast and Crew for a sneaky burger before the show – we were led outside to our carriage for the evening.

Turns out, you don’t need an Uber; you don’t need a cab – not even a bus or a moped, man – when you have a portable bar with bicycles attached. The folk at ABSOLUT had teamed up with Wee Toast Tours so we could take the ‘scenic route’ to Belsonic.

Realising that this was our one and only mode of transport – and with thoughts of a burger and chips pulling us through – we quickly mounted our bicycle seats. The appearance of a barman, some ABSOLUT cocktails and the kind assurance that no one had ever toppled off the vehicle before, meant we were soon raring to go.

Whirling through the streets of Belfast, waving to pedestrians as we went, we soon forgot that we were spinning our legs as fast as Fred Flintstone in his Stone Age car – although you should never underestimate the distance between High Street and Titanic Slipway.

With burgers on board and VIP bands safely around our wrists, we hopped off our bikes and headed into the welcoming and somewhat less demanding arms of Belsonic just in time to catch The Coronas. Despite the slightly foreboding grey skies, the rain soon let up and the sun streamed in just as golden girl, Ellie, danced on to the stage.

AbsolutAFace Belsonic (7)

Absolut provided some colour amidst the aforementioned grey skies thanks to their #AbsolutAFace campaign (think highlighter pens but on a larger scale) backed by some of their trademark cocktails, which went done a treat.

After such a fortnight for our very own GAWA, it was only fitting that Ellie’s most well sung-along-to tune of the night was ‘Army’ – and, as per usual, the Belfast crowd switched on their charm. As she rounded off ‘Burn’, the band looked set to leave the stage before an encore – but Ellie had a different plan.

“Usually I walk off but I don’t really want to leave you – so I’m just going to stay,” she said politely.

Sadly, she did leave eventually.

Maybe you weren’t lucky enough to get down to any of the June gigs at Belsonic, maybe you were. Either way August’s line-up gives everyone a second chance…

It kicks off on Thursday August 18 with The Corrs followed on Saturday August 20 by Madness. Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Bird and Catfish & The Bottlemen take on the stage on Tuesday August 23, then on Wednesday August 24 it’s Disclosure (Live) and Kano & SG Lewis, finally on Saturday August 27 Fatboy Slim rounds off a memorable summer at Belsonic.



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