As always this time of the year, you’ll likely see lists of pretty much everything on blogs, news sites and social media. A lot of people moan, but I actually like them. There’s nothing better than sifting through a list of things like ‘Best Tracks of the Year’ and reminiscing about the year gone by, the good parts and the bad.
Anyway, as the years coming to an end and I’ve realised I don’t have anymore gigs or festivals lined up for 2017, and after checking out Get To The Front to try and book more, I thought i’d do a little round-up of the best artists and DJs i’ve seen this year, both at venues and festivals:
I didn’t get to leave the country to sunnier climates on any holidays this year so made sure I packed the summer full of local festivals and managed to get myself to 4 festivals between June and September. I kicked off the summer by heading over to Belfast for AVA Festival, 2 days of techno treats such as Marcel Dettmann, Bicep, Hammer, Fatima Yamaha and Midland.
If you haven’t been, it’s a 2 day event (Friday and Saturday) based in a Warehouse on Belfast docks, hosted by the Bicep fellas who invited the likes of Boiler Room to enjoy the party. The highlight for me was Midland’s high energy techno on the Saturday night, and the lowlight was getting to the front of the Boiler Room queue for Denis Sulta before being turned away because it was too full.
Luckily though, whilst riding the wave of AVA, we booked up Parklife in Manchester for the weekend after, where I did manage to catch Denis Sulta’s set, along with others from the weekend before and more acts like Damian Marley, Andy C, The Martinez Brothers, Mele and more. It was a bit of a rainy affair but that didn’t matter too much.
My summer wasn’t all DJs though, at the end of July we hit up Kendal Calling, which is nearby where I’m from originally, and was my first camping festival back in 2009 I do believe. I wasn’t as bothered about seeing as much this year, but managed to catch Happy Mondays, Stereophonics, The Coral, Franz Ferdinand, Jasper James and Cyantific to name a few. It pissed it down all weekend but that didn’t ruin the good company, music and beer on offer.
I finished off the festival season by winning tickets to Bestival, right at the other end of the country. I won the tickets 2 weeks before, and with it being so last minute, it was 50/50 on whether we would go. I’m so glad I did though, it’s always been my favourite UK festival, and even the long drive down, new location and bad weather it was the highlight of the summer once again. I love how crazy this place is, you can just wander around at 3am seeing the wonderful, mad sights. Highlights for me were Maceo Plex, Danny Brown, Jasper James (again), Kolsch, Jamie T and the BBC Radio 1 gang.
Here’s my stand outs:
I didn’t manage to go to as many gigs as usual this year, but I’ve already got a few big ones lined up for next year, Kendrick Lamar and The Streets reunion already in the bag. I did recently get to see Run The Jewels in Manchester, who absolutely tore the place apart with tracks from the new album and a few deeper cuts. So much energy from start to finish that they’ll be top of my list to see again!
On top of that, I headed to a few Warehouse Project’s in Manchester too, including the recent Ram Records 25 Years and Dekmantel shows. Recommend that place as always.
What’s been the highlight of your 2017 in terms of live music? I wish I had seen more but there’s always next year to look forward to. Check out Get To The Front for all your music news and tickets too…