Spread out across the RDS in an impressive layout of hidden room after hidden room was 8 stages of music and art to feast upon for two days. The South Dublin suburb of Ballsbridge was an ideal home for Dublin’s newest winter festival and the first of it’s kind in genre line-ups. From the entrance you had this gigantic, flame bursting display of The Afterburner by Arcadia, with entrances to both The Shelbourne Hall and Main Hall beside it. Ample space to move around from stage to stage helped a lot, as the Industries hall played host to a Bulmers’ Bar, DJ stage, small stalls for Hotpress and more under the colourful shades of The Cubatron and Absolute Elektric collaboration.
Meanwhile out the back, you had the intimate and superbly lit Serpentine Hall, a room that was curated by Absolut again with Algorithm, a Dublin based creative company who added stunning visuals to acts like Georgia, Formation, Kerri Chandler, and Jeff Mills.
Also tucked away just beyond the Bulmer’s Lounge, where you could kick back and discuss what you and your mates had seen so far, or bump into Olaf Tyransen, Stuart Clark, or any other member of the Hotpress team who happened to be doing the same as many before entering the Concert Hall. A room which had seen the Dublin After Dark panels on both days shed light on a number of topics. One on venue licensing with the panel said the laws were too stringent and caused a lot of barriers to entry in the business. The Sunday line up focused on promotion, with many missing the days of fanzines and posters that adorned the walls of venues.
As for the Shelbourne Hall, Tiga, Todd Terje, and Flight Facilities gave the roof and crowd lifting performances on Saturday. Sunday was similar with an excellant set from Four Tet that ran over time, but nobody minded the continuing burst of indie-laiden beats. Jamie xx was different to what many would have expected perhaps, as his set at Forbidden Fruit earlier this year proved he does not like to dabble in a usual album playback style set, but rather infusing snippets of “In Colour” with 80s funk and other tracks.
In the Main Hall, Saturday’s delight by was capped with an excitable performance by Hot Chip. Sunday finished with a flourishing bunch of hits by Chic with Nile Rodgers and soon after Giorgio Moroder. Mark Ronson may have not given the big band treatment to Metropolis with a DJ set, but many enjoyed his ‘Uptown Funk’.