Preview: AVA Festival Returns To London

Clash speaks to the team on the ground...

Kicking off this Thursday, February 29th, AVA London is spread across three days, a festival aimed at celebrating, amplifying and developing electronic music, visual art and immersive technology. Growing bigger and bolder with each passing year, 2024’s edition promises over 100 artists and speakers, across 40 different sessions delivering London’s most dynamic conference outing for the digital arts & music industry, hosting keynotes and panels from Brian Eno, Charli XCX, Laurent Garnier, and Kenya Grace, among many others, curating a lineup while focusing on four main themes:ImpactCommunityFuture, and Creative Pathways

“We believe in not only promoting music and art, but fostering and inspiring creativity, and the impact this can have on people’s lives and culture,” Sarah McBriar, the founder of AVA Festival, and Conor McTeran, the festival’s programme manager, tell me. “Our events are not limited to those who follow this style of music or consider themselves artists or in the industry,” rather discussing this culture in a way that is more relevant to the city’s current landscape, highlighting that music events such as these “are crucial to bringing people together, of different walks of life, different opinions and perspectives, to unify them through music, art and a sense of belonging. This is so important in today’s society, where division is becoming more and more prevalent.”

Taking place across versatile central London venues such as The Standard, The British Library, KOKO, and Outernet, aiming to bring together diverse creative perspectives and voices together in one event, AVA has also curated a club programme with some of dance music’s highest in-demand artists such as Marlon Hoffstadt AKA Daddy Trance, DJ Boring, Or:La, Sloucho, and Amaliah. This comes alongside the all-new AVA Creators Forum initiative, devised “with a goal to inspire, creatively develop and professionally educate & connect,” a 10-day programme supported by Arts Council England, featuring interactive workshops and a feedback session with a special guest producer. 

Hoping that AVA “can inspire anyone interested in creativity, and wish to share a space with likeminded people,” McBriar and McTeran tell me this year has especially been planned with their four core themes at the front of their mind: “Promoting music and arts, which transcends today’s societal divisions, should be a priority in building local community and cultural connection to your local area and neighbours. Our programming is shaped according to this agenda, aiming to [cover] topics such as music’s role in the future of the planet, the ‘AI apocalypse’ to a series of workshops designed to nurture the next generation of artist talent.”

For more information, and access to tickets, check out their website. AVA Festival runs between February 29th – March 2nd.

Words: Bryson Edward Howe

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