Celtronic 2011 - still Ireland’s largest, best dance music festival

The Celtronic crowd celebrate the opening night of the 2011 dance festival at Sandinos on Wednesday.
The Celtronic crowd celebrate the opening night of the 2011 dance festival at Sandinos on Wednesday.

Celtronic continues with Derry’s clubbers continuing to celebrate Ireland’s largest dance music festival.

The eleventh incarnation of Celtronic is already set to outdo the line up which attracted some 3, 500 revellers into pubs and clubs in 2010. The opening night on Wednesday already attracted a capacity crowd to Sandinos thanks to the talents of Phil Kieran, Will Saul and Jesper Dahlback, who delighting the party goers.

The 2011 bill is a much expanded programme from last year. Organiser Gareth Stewart told The Journal: “We try to increase what’s on offer year on year. Last year he had 3, 500 clubbers, this year we are hoping to top the 4000 mark.”

The line up includes more than big tunes and nightly raves. This morning, for example, from 10am to 5pm, the Nerve Centre hosts a music industry debate. Entitled, ‘Showcase: The Business of Music,’ the conference will see a series of discussions and presentations from some of Ireland’s most exciting music industry businesses. And it isn’t only those over 18 which Celtronic caters for as The Gasyard Centre is to play host to ‘Tots Rock,’ an electronic music event for babies and children aged 0-4 on Sunday afternoon, festivities commence at 3pm and run to 5pm.

Celtronic 2011 offers a more compact programme than 2001 also. Unlike that first year, which ran over a whopping eight nights, the 2011 bill runs over five.

“I think it works better in the new, more condensed format,” said festival organiser Gareth. The highlight for me this year will be at The Nerve Centre. Carl Craig is bringing his record collection to offer us an Irish exclusive. He is one of the most important figures in dance/electronica music history. To mark the significance of the occasion the gig will be broadcast live on BBC Radio Ulster.”

“Craig has promised us an Irish exclusive. Considering his only other festival appearances this summer will be in front of 10, 000 plus fans it is a big coup for us to secure his talents.”

Carl Craig is viewed as one of the most influential figures in electronic music and has been for the for the last 20 years. He is a creative visionary, an electronic music icon, an esteemed Grammy-nominated composer, not to mention a world-class DJ to boot. The lineup also features Planet E and Cocoon regulars Psycatron, Deep Fried Funk DJs, Lowendisko DJs, Distinctive DJs and Isodisco DJs. Mr. Stewart also recommended the Ulrich Schnauss gig at An Culturlann, Great James Street this evening: “The German electronic maestro will be playing live alongside local acts, Arkeye and Vincent O’Callaghan.”

Following Saturday’s free afternoon event at Masons, the party moves to St Columbs Hall, Orchard St for an evening with ‘Leftfield’ artist Luke Vibert. Support comes from Planet Mu artist, Boxcutter, The Crimson Underground, Ryan Vail and more.

Celtronic festival favourite Tom Middleton returns to close the festival on Sunday evening. Alongside Belgian disco/electro maestro, The Magician, formerly of ‘Aeroplane’ and local heroes Jean Luc and Dollface from La Musique.

An access all events ticket will cost £33 while nightly admission ranges from £6 - £13. For more info, check the festival website, www.celtronicfestival.com