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    AVA Festival 2023: Belfast’s rave haven for homegrown talent

    Since 2015, AVA Festival has been a staple of the Northern Irish capital’s musical and social calendar. “It’s like a national holiday,” Belfast-born DJ NIKKI O grins, as the sun shines ahead of a weekend dubbed affectionately by locals as “techno Christmas”. For its ninth edition, the two-day event has returned to the site of the Titanic Slipways, where both the Titanic and Olympic ships were built. Now, 10,000 ravers are beginning to congregate for a weekend of round-the-clock NRG.

    Bass is in the air in Belfast long before the sound systems boot up though: from our Uber driver’s son, who we’re told was gifted a controller for his birthday, to the hotel clerk, a young local lad with an auburn fringe, who mixes…

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