May 31, 2024 3 min read

Spotlight: Irish DJs and producers at AVA Belfast

Audio visual arts festival AVA Belfast kicks off today, celebrating its tenth anniversary. We caught up with three DJs and producers playing the event, Shampain, Reger and Holly Lester. They told us the acts they’re looking forward to and recalled some of the best moment from past AVA festivals

Spotlight: Irish DJs and producers at AVA Belfast

AVA is an audio visual arts festival that celebrates, amplifies and develops the strong current of electronic music and digital visual arts from Northern Ireland and Ireland. This year AVA returns to Belfast with a stacked lineup of artists across the weekend, boasting everything from tear-out 140 to heady techno and electro. 

To celebrate the tenth anniversary of AVA Belfast commencing today, here's our pick of some of the best rising Irish DJ and producers playing and their own top recommendations and moments at the festival. Make sure to check out their sets if you're there.

AVA Festival 2024 | 31 May + 1 June, Belfast
Audio–Visual–Arts. AVA Festival returns to Belfast, Northern Ireland on 31.5 + 1.06.2024 - Final Release Tickets are on sale now.


Cóilí Collins aka Shampain boasts an impressive resumé as a DJ, label boss, documentarian and more recently… barber? Co-founder of label G-Town alongside fellow Galway local Kettama, Shampain is exporting the unique sounds of the West Coast high-energy techno and breaks to the wider electronic scene. 

Last year he collaborated with TG4 to head-up an eight part Irish language documentary series exploring some of the island’s most important subcultures such as drag culture, queer punk, Limerick hip hop and the Sunil Sharpe-fronted Give Us The Night campaign, which is lobbying for later licensing hours in Ireland.

“I’m really looking forward to AVA, it’s probably the only festival in Belfast I haven’t played yet and it’s also ages since I’ve played in Belfast”, he says. “I think it’s going to be really fun and I’m also really excited to be playing ahead of Bitter Babe who is a legend! AVA stands out because it’s always kept a healthy measure of cool music, current music and local music so to be somewhere along those lines at home is always a nice feeling”.

👉 If you’re at AVA Belfast today, make sure to catch Shampain at Pumphouse at 4:15pm 
🎧 Listen to Shampain’s AVA Festival mix below


Reger is the moniker of Belfast-based DJ and producer Robbie McCammon. Likened to "a young, Irish Ben UFO", judging by the 21 year old's slim build and specs, this comparison presumably had as much to do with his physical attributes as it did his tune selection and flair for digging. His evolving music and style skillfully combine the energetic elements of bass, techno, and harder broken-beat sounds with the softer influences of ambient and jazz.

“Tough choice”, he says when asked who not to miss at this year’s AVA Belfast. “We’ve got a stacked roster of world-class local talent. We’re really spoiled. I’m gonna vouch for our very own Timmy Stewart, who’s just wrapped up his 30 Years of DJing party. Then there’s the unstoppable Dublin selector that is Ema. This woman is genuinely one of the best DJs I’ve had the pleasure of seeing, really smashing it in the likes of Fabric, Open Ground, Tengu, I could list so many amazing clubs. Last, but certainly not least, Sloucho’s live set on Boiler Room. He is onto something very special. He sent me some of his debut album last summer for a BBC mix I was working on and I was truly astonished by his talent. His debut Boiler Room will be a very memorable one, I’m sure!”

👉 If you’re at AVA Belfast today, catch Reger at The Lookout at 3pm
🎧 Listen to Reger’s 2023 AVA Festival mix below

Holly Lester 

Originally hailing from rural Northern Ireland, Holly Lester has been busy carving her niche in the world of house and techno since emerging from England’s north-west dance scene at the start of the last decade. With a penchant for old school sounds, expect to hear early French house slammers and forgotten Detroit classics interlaced with her unique approach to modern day house.

“Too many moments to count”, she says of her favourite AVA Belfast memories. “Being at various friends’ Boiler Room shows over the years and seeing them absolutely kill it, spending way too much time in the green room catching up with so many pals and old faces, watching Dave Tester own the stage in those insane platform boots, Julian Simmons opening Swoose’s Boiler Room last year, Call Super closing with Tony De Vit in 2019… Oh and the ‘secret’ afterparty last year definitely deserves a mention although not technically part of the festival!”

👉 If you’re at AVA Belfast tomorrow, catch Holly Lester at Lavery’s 
🎧 Listen to a recent mix from Holly below

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