AVA London 2024: Rewind

AVA London 2024 was a homage to cutting-edge electronic music artists and the creative industry.

The seventh outing of AVA London has been a testament to the strength of the current creative community – uniting the world’s brightest minds for discussions, keynote talks, workshops and audiovisual club shows across three days. In a time of constant evolution, rapidly changing technology, and new ways of working for the music and arts industries – AVA was a vital node for the industry, artists and appreciators to come together. 

Taking place from 29th Feb – 2nd March, AVA took over The British Library and The Standard on Thursday, with Friday spread across KOKO and HERE at Outernet. Over 500 audience members soaked up 40 sessions and 100 speakers & artists across three days. Pre-conference on Thursday, AVA kicked off with a breakfast session bringing 30 international festivals and promoters to one table to dig deep on the current climate for festivals and for the future in the inaugural AVA Forum. Moving to the opening keynote, Brian Eno inspired the audience, diving into topics of sustainability and the art of giving back, in partnership with his EarthPercent charity which encourages artists and those within creative industries to pledge small percentages for purpose-driven projects.


A key highlight from Thursday’s event included Resident Advisor’s live RA Exchange with Charli XCX, exploring the professional party girl’s creative process and how her edgy pop productions have gained her notoriety. Staying true to herself as an artist, Charli XCX has been a definitive name in recent years. Cultural platform Trippin hosted two panels exploring topics including Micro Scenes to Global Trends, and Curating Contemporary Culture. Known for their carefully curated insights into culture across the globe, the team hosted these two panels that delved into questions around authenticity, hype, connection and more. 

The ‘Requeering Dancefloors’ discussion focussed on how queer artists, promoters and parties are moving forward to create new, safe and dynamic spaces to connect. French legend Laurent Garnier sat down with acclaimed journalist Séamas O’Reilly to go deep on his process of discovery, and a look at how he has managed to stay one of the globe’s most relevant and influential artists across thirty years. Listening to over 500 tracks a day, Laurent is more passionate and driven than ever. Resident Advisor also hosted workshops with revered Colombian electronic label TraTraTrax and Foundation FM.

For the second conference day, Elijah opened with an interactive keynote session based on his yellow square project – based on the topic of ‘If You Love Music, You Should Learn How To DJ.’ Opening up to discussion to the crowd, Elijah touched on topics from barriers to entry for musicians, putting the fun back into DJing and creating, and seeing DJ culture with a new perspective.

Founder of Metallic Inc and Homecoming Festival Grace Ladoja also showcased why she is a legend in the industry – a creator who has garnered respect globally for her work creating stories for brands such as Supreme and artists including Skepta and Sarz, Grace was recognised with an MBE in 2018 for her outstanding services to music. Other talks from the second day at Koko included a panel on The Future of International Nightlife featuring some of the scenes most crucial names, including Amy Lamé (London Night Czar), Lutz Leichsenring, (Berlin Club Commission), Judy Griffith (fabric), Amy Van-Baaren (RA) this talk will be hosted by Georgia Taglietti (AFEM). The final panel of the second day bought together a group of industry experts who have influenced the music industry in some way. 

Leading UK artist development agency One House curated a series of talks covering topics between working sustainably with artists, navigating brand partnerships and technology, iconic nightclub fabric hosted a talk with their team looking at their future and next moves after 25 years in the game. On top of that two huge festival brands – Sonar and Mutek sat down to discuss the current festival landscape.

AVA London moved into their night programme with two sold-out shows at KOKO Camden and Outernet with Marlon Hoffstadt aka DJ Daddy Trance, Or:la B2B Spray, DJ AYA, Sloucho and more. Friday’s KOKO show saw emerging Irish artist Aika Mal open proceedings before a highly anticipated B2B from the renowned selectors Danielle and Amaliah. Or:la and Spray joined forces for a debut peak time B2B before AVA stalwart DJ Boring closed out night one. On Saturday night, Irish breakthrough artist Sloucho blew the audience away with his dynamic live A/V show, followed up by the Irish-born, Berlin-based Radiant Records label head Byron Yeates. DJ AYA then took control with a powerful mix of percussion, breaks and techno before headliner Marlon Hoffsdtadt aka DJ Daddy Trance sent the crowd crazy with high energy, trance-infused set of original material supported by a live visual show from Pitch Studios.

AVA are proud to have been able to deliver this year’s music and digital arts focussed conference. An ambitious, but necessary project that was focussed on education & the present – a crucial meeting of minds for the industry and a space for new relationships and ideas to flourish.

To end the conference on a special note, Donna Grantis (the legendary guitarist known for her work with Prince) closed out the second conference day with an intimate and heartfelt performance in KOKO’s main space.

“Everything we consider to be a deep transcendental experience is actually an act of surrender. I always enjoy seeing people surfing, it’s about surrendering to the wave and taking back control. It’s a great life skill to learn” – Brian Eno

“DJs are music journalists. Wouldn’t it be useful if a music review said that this song would go well with another song?” – Elijah

“What is art without conviction? It’s crap.” – Charli XCX

“The press model. With the decline of traditional alt media, festivals in a weird way are one of the last places that you can go and are representative of culture in large numbers.” – Paul Sónar

“By merging both sides of the stage AVA London brought inspiration and aspiration to artists, industry and audience for the future. Our intention is to push the boundaries of these art forms and I’m excited to see where we are taking this.” – Sarah McBriar, Founder AVA Festival

Photography by Khris Cowley @asianprovocateur for Here & Now @wearehereandnow













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