Last weekend we had the pleasure of attending the AVA Festival castle party at Narrow Water Castle in Warrenpoint. The event was one of a number of warm-up parties AVA are hosting in preparation for the festival’s third edition at the start of June (which we can not wait for) and featured a whopper lineup including New-York based collective Mister Saturday Night and rising techno artist Tijana T.
The event was organised in collaboration with local lads Clockwork, with their resident DJ Paddy Campbell also playing a set on the day in the basement stage. There was two stages on offer with the outdoor tent and inside the castle at the basement stage, so if you were feeling a house vibe you could head outside, or if you wanted to bang it out to some doof the basement had that too.
We arrived to Narrow water around half 5, and by this stage the event was in full swing with both stages packed out and everyone loving the tunes. The good weather added to the atmosphere of course with loads of people chilling on the banks outside enjoying a break, a bine or some food, and of course the tunes were pumping from the outdoor stage providing the perfect soundtrack for everyone.
As is to be expected from the AVA crew now, the attention to detail was class, and both the castle and outdoor stages were designed beautifully, and overall it was a really well organised event.
Of course, the most important part of the day was the tunes, and they did not disappoint. We caught most of Mister Saturday Night’s set, and as usual the lads packed a punch, bringing a mixed bag of house, disco and techno. We headed down to the basement to catch some of Clocwork’s set, and Paddy Campbell belted out a whopper set. Unleashing his wide knowledge of pounding techno upon the crowd, Paddy had the basement absolutely shaking, and there was plenty of yeoos coming from the crowd as his heavy duty style of techno went down an absolute treat.
As the sun went down and the vibe shifted, we caught some of Tijana T busting out the tunes back in the basement, and the crowd were really starting to get into things at this point. Without a doubt though the highlight though of the day has to have been Inside Moves DJs closing down the outdoor stage. After leaving the basement near the end of the night, we walked (sprinted) into the outdoor stage after hearing the french house classic So Much Love To Give from the pairing of Thomas Bangalter & DJ Falcon, otherwise known as Together. This is one of those tracks I (Raymond) grew up on and hadn’t heard in quite some time, so to hear it blaring through the Funktion One’s was a real treat, and as soon as I could hear it coming through the speakers from outside, I ran like a child at Christmas to fully take in the moment, and it was without a doubt one of the best moments I’ve ever had at any event.
After the crowd were roaring for one more tune, we were treated to the anthemic Point Of View from DB Boulevard, a dance-pop crossover hit which was the perfect closing tune to what had been a class day. With AVA just over a month away now this couldn’t have been a better warm up, and the castle party really whet our appetite’s for the main course at the start of June. With two days of music this time round, it could well be the festival of the year.