We check in with the brains behind Belfast's hotly-tipped AVA Festival.
Most people start festivals with little more than a pipe dream and a love of music. Sarah McBriar was more prepared. Born in Belfast, she spent her twenties working behind the scenes at various events up and down the UK, including Manchester International Festival, The Warehouse Project and Glastonbury's Block 9. In 2013, she moved to London to complete an MA in Creative Production at Royal Central School Of Speech & Drama. As part of her final project, she developed a business plan for AVA, a new festival dedicated to showcasing electronic acts and visual artists from Northern Ireland. It launched in 2015 and enjoyed rapid success, partly due to McBriar's lifelong love of dance music and newfound industry acumen, and partly because young people in Belfast really know how to party. Later this month, AVA will celebrate its third edition, expanding from one to two days and hosting performances from the likes of Jeff Mills and Ben UFO, as well as a long list of locals. It's quickly grown into one of Europe's smartest young festivals, so we invited McBriar along to our London office to hear more of its story.
AVA Festival goes down from Friday June 2nd to Sunday the 4th.