Moving into its 5th year, AVA Conference is Ireland’s leading electronic music conference and industry network.

AVA Conference
The Mac
31 May 2019

The Conference is a free, open to all ages event, providing lectures, panels, workshops, skills development and networking opportunities. This is designed for local and travelling electronic, arts and music sector as well as students, wider creative professionals and enthusiasts. Previous keynotes have included Bicep, Larry Heard, Jeff Mills, KiNK, Juan Atkins and Leftfield.


  • The Black Madonna
  • Horse Meat Disco
  • Kevin Saunderson
  • Red Bull Music
  • Resident Advisor
  • Help Musicians
  • Pioneer DJ
  • Ableton
  • Akai Professional
  • Denon DJ
  • Mount Palomar: Modular Synth Workshop
  • PRS For Music
  • Musicians Union
  • SARC
  • AVA Pro
  • Record Fair
  • + more

The AVA Conference creates a platform for new music by supporting new artists and offering them free-of-charge access to established artists and industry professionals to listen, question and learn.

AVA has become the most important event for audio visual arts in the city. Not only does it help nurture the next generation of local artists, it has also created a platform to showcase Belfast to the rest of the world whilst making it a go-to destination for established international acts. As a DJ, it's a truly electric gig to play at and something I look forward to every year. Timmy Stewart

The conference is free and open to all ages to remove any barriers to accessibility, aiming to inspire and educate. The conference has grown substantially in the past four years. Similarly to the festival, the conference involves both local and international industry to develop the culture and bring people together.


Opening Keynote KEVIN SAUNDERSON Kevin Saunderson was there from the start. A true techno pioneer and original member of the Belleville three, he helped build the Detroit Techno sound. With a wide ranging back catalogue from Kreem, to Inner City, to E-Dancer, and over 6 million record sales under his belt - we are delighted to have him to AVA. Join us as we hear from a true master to discuss both his history and what is in store for the future. 10.00-10.45

RED BULL MUSIC ACADEMY LECTURE HORSE MEAT DISCO Since its inception sixteen years ago in a Soho basement, Horse Meat Disco has billed itself as “the queer party for everyone.” HMD’s reach and appeal now extends far beyond the the London scene, with RA calling it ‘the most important disco club night in the world’. They will be joined by Red Bull Music Academy’s Christine Kakaire to discuss all things Horse Meat Disco and beyond... 12.00-12.45

HELP MUSICIANS PRESENTS Health, Wealth & Career Longevity - Doing It Differently Join Help Musicians with a panel of funders, health & welfare specialists and electronic music creators as we negotiate the worlds of funding and well-being, key aspects of Help Musicians holistic approach and critical elements in a long and successful career. 13.00-13.45

CLOSING KEYNOTE RA EXCHANGE LIVE: THE BLACK MADONNA When the story of dance music in the 2010s comes to be told, few will match The Black Madonna for impact. Through messages of inclusivity and positivity – and holding people accountable when necessary – she has shifted the landscape. Before her headline performance, she will sit down for a live Resident Advisor Exchange with noted journalist Gabriel Szatan, discussing the next stages of her career, how audiences can keep this activist fire burning and the vital importance of logging off now and again to make real change happen. 15.00-16.00


ABLETON PRESENTS FINDING THE RIGHT PERFORMANCE SETUP Soma Records artist and Ableton Certified Trainer, Simon Stokes (AKA Petrichor) has been a key member of the techno community for years and has performed across the globe. Join him at AVA for a deep dive into his performance setup with Ableton Live 10 and Push 2 at its core. 11.00-11.45

TORAIZ PRESENTS TORAIZ SQUID MASTERCLASS In this session Toraiz demonstrator Sam Shepherd will be demonstrating the highly anticipated Toraiz SQUID. In conjunction with a wide range of synths, drums and samples, he will cover all of the Toraiz SQUID’s unique capabilities to show how you can create some twisted squelchy basslines and patterns to deliver an amazing performance. Certainly not a session to miss. 12.00-12.45

AKAI PROFESSIONAL PRESENTS THE FUTURE OF LIVE PRODUCTION Encouraging producers to move away from the mouse and use more tactile equipment to perform live, showcasing the Force and integration with DJ equipment. Hosted by product specialists Rob Dean and Matt Reay. 13.00-13.45

ABLETON PRESENTS INTRODUCTION TO CV TOOLS Join Ableton with one of our special guests at AVA to deep dive into new features, tools and devices. See how CV tools will change the way you look at your CV gear and Ableton Live 10. 14.00-14.45


PLAIN SAILING PRESENTS DIVERSIFYING THE CITY SOUNDSCAPE In this discussion Andrew Moore, Oisin O’Brien, Dena Anuksa and Phil Lucas will present ideas on how to push the diversity of sound within Belfast’s club nights and how we can help create sustainable and vibrant cultural hubs for our thriving creative community. 11.00-11.45

GIVE US THE NIGHT PRESENTS MOVING FORWARD WITH THE NIGHT TIME ECONOMY Hosted by Mark Gordon, and including Robbie Kitt, Timmy Stewart + more, this panel will aim to reframe the conversation surrounding nightlife, and will look to highlight the economic, societal and cultural benefits that a vibrant, thriving night time industry can bring. 12.00-12.45

PRS FOR MUSIC PRESENTS GETTING PAID FOR YOUR CREATIVITY Starting to think seriously about your career in music? Everything you need to know to get your business locked down and sustain a living. From downloads/streams to DJing to radio plays to vinyl and CD sales, how to ensure you are rewarded for the music you make and understanding all the different income streams. 13.00-13.45

HELP MUSICIANS PRESENTS INDUSTRY + INNOVATION IN ELECTRONIC MUSIC Join us for an interactive session to envision and forecast the future of the electronic music industry, to help us predict and identify the possible needs of creators for funders and educators. 14.00-14.45