Ten years of Celtronic Festival

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One of Derry’s most celebrated music festivals will mark its tenth anniversary with some of the world’s best electronic dance acts when it starts next Wednesday.

Celtronic Electronic Dance festival started in Derry in 2001 when co-founder Gareth Stewart decided that he wanted to create an event that would help to promote and nurture local talent.

“I was attending a course at the Nerve Centre in 2001 when I went to my course tutor Tony Talbot and told him that I wanted to organise an event in Derry. I never thought that after 10 years the festival would still be going,” said Gareth.

The list of acts performing at this year’s festival include legendary Swedish techno DJ/Producer Jesper Dahlback and Ireland’s leading electronic music export Phil Kiernan.

“We have some of the biggest and best names from the world of electronic dance coming but the festival is also designed to showcase some of the best local talent too,” he explained.

The first Celtronic festival attracted well known performers such as David Holmes, Erol Alkan and Dave Clarke.

“The first festival was amazing and I’d say it was one of the highlights because we had an event that ran until six in the morning - it was an amazing night to say the least.”

Whilst Celtronic celebrates electronic dance music Gareth said that the festival is aimed at all generations and musical tastes.

“The festival is really welcoming and open to everyone,” he said. “One of our most popular events is called ‘Tots Rock’ - it’s where parents can bring their children along to the Gasyard on the Sunday afternoon and let them dance and listen to a bit of electronic dance music. One of the guys who helped to set-up Celtronic has brought his young daughter for the last few years and she dances for hours and hours - I’d even go as far as to say that she’s a better dancer than her daddy,” said Gareth laughing.

“The festival is just for adults - we want to included young people too and on Wednesday there’ll be an alcohol free event at the Nerve Centre for teenagers.”

Celtronic has attracted several thousand electronic dance music fans to Derry every year since 2001. The festival will also be one of the main events during Derry’s year as City of Culture in 2013.

“About half of the patrons at Celtronic are from outside Derry so the festival brings business for hotels, restaurants and bars. There’s a real buzz about Derry for the week that Celtronic is on and we try to use cultural venues to host the events.

“I can’t wait for it to start next week and hopefully we can look at developing it into an outdoor festival in the next few years.”

An access all events ticket costs £33 while nightly admission ranges from £6 - £13. Tickets are on sale now at The Nerve Centre Box Office and online at www.wegottickets.com. For more info, check the festival website, www.celtronicfestival.com.