Panic on the streets, or mass protests with Massive Attack’s 3D, moors ablaze and a distressed David Attenborough. The less said about the world right now the better, then.
Thankfully this month’s listings are in a healthier state, which is little compensation in the grand scheme but means we can all have a dance at least, and in nature no less. Festival highlights include the chug-friendly Alfresco in Kent, and the sublimely serene Masked Ball on the edge of a Cornish cliff complete with 24-hour license (don’t miss Bodyhammer, Dave Harvey & Felix Dickinson’s b2b or DJ Mag fave John Gomez).
That’s before we come to lake and stately home-side Virgo, which bows out after this year so get involved— the talented Jacques Adda in charge of a line-up brimming with decent, not least Gwenan b2b Joe Delon, Best of British winner Willow, Night Moves co-host Jade Seatle and Mr G ‘protege’ Jayson Winters.
Heading into town, Nottingham gets Wigflex’s first foray into multi-venue stuff. Check No.1 in the region for the players involved. London has plenty outside, too. Queen’s Yard Summer Party is always good, and this year’s bill is a top ad for homegrown quality; DJ Storm’s dnb, Kowton and Hodge’s Livity Sound boom, Scottish talents Craigie Knowes and Harri & Domenic, Manchester duo Blasha & Allatt.
GALA is also in the capital with a strong house contingency, but it’s Donna Leake, Debora Ipekel and Ece Duzgit playing together that we’re most excited about. Not that Midland, Beautiful Swimmers and more won’t also be great. Club-wise, the Cultivated Electronics x CPU session at Corsica is more than enough— proper electro all night.
Belfast’s AVA Festival & Conference is back to prove why it’s fine to pull an all-nighter then give a lecture. Riverside Festival returns to Glasgow with some pretty tempting b2bs (Rodhad with Ame, Daphni and Hunee, Objekt meets Stingray). Oh, and a stage dedicated to domestics like Thunder Disco Club and Athens of the North. FLY is also in the open air, with KiNK live, Big Miz b2b Kettama, Seth Troxler, Nina Kraviz and more.
Elsewhere, Project 13 appear on our pages again— we’d leave them out if they stopped booking people like Concrete Paris must-see Deena Abdelwahed and Kazakhstan’s in-demand experimenter Nazira. Full marks for that. System & Set One Twenty’s Terrace Party hits Leeds, sporting Rhadoo and Margaret Dygas, while Musu x Colours’ hush hush hoedown in Bristol sees Nicolas Lutz share honours with Ivan Smagghe. Now that’s what we call music.
More complete listings for the UK are included in this month’s edition of DJ Mag, Issue 593 (May 2019) fronted by Anastasia Kristensen.
LONDON / SOUTH
1. ALFRESCO FESTIVAL
THURSDAY 23RD - MONDAY 27TH MAY 2019
HOP FARM, KENT
After impressing over the last couple of years, Alfresco is back and significantly expanded on its previous edition. Four days and eight stages are on the cards this time, with some seriously heavyweight crews throwing hats in, not least Andy Blake’s revered clandestine gathering, World Unknown, and London’s legendary tech crew Wiggle.
If the partner hosts are impressive the line-up is equally stellar, with breadth and quality in equal measures. Headliners this time round include 2manyDJs, Erol Alkan, Joey Negro, and Maurice Fulton, not to mention live synth chap du jour, Marc Ribillet, who plays two nights. Sounds good, and that’s before you come to Bawrut, Bill Brewster, Identified Patient, Ivan Smagghe, Prins Thomas, Jennifer Cardini, Donna Leak, and the not-so-small-matter of Salons des Amateurs duo Lena Willikens and Vladimir Ivkovic b2b. There should be some suitably tripped out moments in them woods, then, which is pretty much exactly what you’re there for.
2PM - 3AM / £109 - £139 (camping not included)
2. QUEEN'S YARD SUMMER PARTY
SATURDAY 4TH & SUNDAY 5TH MAY 2019
QUEEN'S YARD, LONDON
Dan Shake, DJ Storm, Kowton, Hodge, Peverelist, Amy Becker, Imogen, Jane Fitz, Pangaea, Athens of the North, Craigie Knowes, Harri & Domenic, Jade Seatle, Saoirse, Blasha & Allatt, Bodyhammer, Grimes Adhesif, Pinch, Tristan da Cunha, more.
12PM - 6AM / £15.50 - £41.50
3. SCAND PRESENTS: CULTIVATE ELECTRONICS X CENTRAL PROCESSING UNIT
SATURDAY 4TH MAY 2019
CORSICA STUDIOS, LONDON
Detroit In Effect, Neil Landstrumm, Animistic Beliefs, Djedjotonic, Sync 24, 96 Back, Assembler Code, CPSmith, Steve Allman.
10PM - 6AM / £15 - £20
4. OR:LA INVITES
SATURDAY 4TH MAY 2019
Or:la, upsammy, Charles Green.
11PM - 4AM / £TBC
5. GALA 2019
SUNDAY 26TH MAY 2019
PECKHAM RYE PARK, LONDON
Chez Damier, Crazy P, Honey Dijon, Midland, Auntie Flo (live), Beautiful Swimmers, Mafalda, Nick The Record, Sassy J, Thris Tian, Winds & Skins (Donna Leake, Debora Ipekel, Ece Duzgit), more.
11.30AM- 10.30PM / £60
NORTH / SCOTLAND / NORTHERN IRELAND
1. AVA FESTIVAL & CONFERENCE
FRIDAY 31ST MAY - SUNDAY 1ST JUNE 2019
In five years AVA has grown to occupy a place in the upper echelons of conference-cum-festivals, and this half-decade edition doesn’t look like it will ruin that reputation. Keynotes, panels and more are confirmed from the likes of The Black Madonna, Horse Meat Disco, Pioneer, PRS For Music, Akai, Pioneer, RANE, and Musicians Union with Queens University Belfast’s Sonic Arts Research Centre. Then there’s the small matter of the party…
…and given this is Belfast the party is rarely a small matter. Enviably on-point as per usual, Friday features Avalon Emerson, Blawan, Mall Grab, Len Faki, Palms Trax, JASSS, local lad doing decent, Cromby, and Northern Irish legend Timmy Stewart (who also features in the conference side of proceedings). Saturday continues that fine form, with Bens Sims and UFO, Call Super, Daniel Avery, Randomer, DJ Mag’s Best of British Best Producer 2018, Rebekah, Special Request, Saoirse, Willow, Skatebard, Hammer, Brame & Hamo and Or:la to name but a few.
3PM - 1AM / £49.50 - £85
2. RIVERSIDE FESTIVAL 2019
SATURDAY 25TH & SUNDAY 26TH MAY 2019
RIVERSIDE MUSEUM, GLASGOW
Denis Sulta, Bicep, Helena Hauff, Shanti Celeste, Todd Terje, Optimo b2b Carista, Rodhad b2b Ame, Daphni b2b Hunee, Objekt b2b DJ Stingray, Thunder Disco Club, Athens of the North, DJ Smoker, Andy Barton.
12PM - 11PM / £60 - £100
3. PROJECT 13
FRIDAY 10TH MAY 2019
THE WHITE HOTEL, SALFORD
Deena Abdelwahed, Nazira, Hesska, Szare.
12AM - 7AM / £10 - £13
4. SYSTEM & SET ONE TWENTY TERRACE PARTY
SUNDAY 5TH MAY 2019
MINT WAREHOUSE, LEEDS
Rhadoo, Margaret Dygas, Traumer, Francesco Del Garda, more.
3PM - 6AM / £12 - £20
5. FLY OPEN AIR
SATURDAY 18TH — SUNDAY 19TH MAY 2019
HOPETOUN HOUSE, EDINBURGH
Nina Kraviz, Sven Vath, KiNK live, Kornel Kovacs, Folamour, Peggy Gou, Big Miz b2b Kettama, Solomun, Seth Troxler, Theo Kottis, Jasper James, more.
12PM - 11AM / £55 - £85
MIDLANDS / WEST & WALES
1. WIGFLEX CITY FESTIVAL
SUNDAY 5TH MAY 2019
VARIOUS VENUES, NOTTINGHAM
One look at the line-up and scope of this debutant city-wide endeavour proves why Wigflex bossman Lukas is one of the UK’s most astute promoters. Few other heads would decide to gather such a breadth of must-sees in one place. Even less would consider the importance of a full-scale arts programme to boot, with different installations in each of the venues on the day.
To get more specific on the music front, attendess can expect to be exposed to a range of rhythms, from jazzy house to full-throttle techno, experimental bass to live indie-influenced electronics. And those descriptions barely scratch the surface. Giles Peterson, DJ Stingray, James Holden & The Animal Spirits, rRoxymore, SPFDJ, Machine Woman, Conducta, Bufiman, Young Marco, Eris Drew, DjRUM, Dimensions Soundsystem, residents from the esteemed Make Me crew, Peach, Avalon Emerson, Honey Dijon, Adam Curtain and stacks more talent. You get the point, then— it’s gonna be one of those days. And nights.
3PM - 6AM / £30 - £40
2. MASKED BALL FESTIVAL 2019
FRIDAY 3RD — MONDAY 6TH MAY 2019
BEACON CRAG, CORNWALL
Bodyhammer, Dave Harvey b2b Felix Dickinson, Francis Inferno Orchestra b2b Telephones, Peter Herbert b2b Dicky Trisco, DJ Format, Ellie Stokes, John Gomez, Not An Animal, Powder, Psychemagik, more.
4PM - 2AM / £79.95 — £99.95
3. VIRGO FESTIVAL 2019
THURSDAY 23RD — MONDAY 27TH MAY 2019
GREAT FULFORD, DEVON
Fred P, Willow, Gwenan b2b Joe Delon, Jade Seatle b2b Truly Madly, Rikki Humphrey, The Menendez Brothers, Dan Shake, Francesco Del Garda, Jayson Wynters.
12PM - 1PM / £99
4. LOVE SAVES THE DAY 2019
SATURDAY 25TH & SUNDAY 26TH MAY 2019
EASTVILLE PARK, BRISTOL
IAMDDB, CamelPhat, Storm, Lil Simz, Toddla T b2b Chimpo, Josey Rebelle, Goldie, Bonobo (DJ), Lady Leshurr, more.
11AM - 11PM / £49.95 - £94.35
5. MUSU x COLOURS
FRIDAY 3RD MAY 2019
SECRET LOCATION, BRISTOL
Nicolas Lutz, Ivan Smagghe.
10PM - 6AM / £16 - £18
Martin Guttridge-Hewitt is DJ Mag's Clubs Listings Editor. Tell him where he's going wrong on Twitter @Martinghewitt.