Music writer Ailish Brennan has a look ahead to ‘Higher Vision’, Ireland’s newest music festival taking over Bellurgan Park in county Louth on St. Patricks Day.

In early December social media platforms became awash with black and white squiggles almost overnight as music fans across various different forums began to wonder what exactly was going on. Since these vague beginnings things have become far more clear. On March 17th, a most celebrated day in the Irish calendar, the masses will descend on Bellurgan Park in Louth for a ‘celebration of the Island’s talents’ with big name acts coming from far and wide to showcase their talents and help festival goers reach ‘an elevated sense of reality’. Since the first act announcement of techno duo Dense & Pika on December 9th the festival has grown to a line-up now in excess of 60 acts from local collectives to massive names like Julio Bashmore, I Hate Models and Phil Kiernan who, as anyone who has seen his Boiler Room from AVA Festival in Belfast last year will know, brings a level of enjoyment to DJing that is hard to match.

The huge line-up filled with acts known the world over, headed by Belfast native Ejeca, is complimented by a strong local line-up with acts such as DJ Deece and Dan Stritch being familiar to attendees as they can be seen supporting the biggest names in the business every weekend up and down the country. You also have some of the best collectives the country has to offer bringing their own unique flavour of dance music to the table from the DJs of Carbon nightclub in Galway to Dublin’s own Welcome DJs. As a part of the Welcome collective, former UCD student and Belfield FM regular during his time in the college Jack Colley, who plays under his alias Baliboc, is looking to stamp his own unique brand of ‘club music’ on the St. Patrick’s Day event. The young DJ will be looking to delve deep into his extensive collection and move away from the better known songs that people will expect on the day such as Julio Bashmore’s ‘Au Seve’ and Dense & Pika’s ‘Colt’. He is hoping his more ‘unconventional’ style of music, compared to the well-known dance music headliners, will ‘change people’s perceptions’. He gets great satisfaction from offering a different style of music which he hopes can be appreciated by the wider audience he will be playing to on St. Patrick’s Day. The Raheny native has also pointed to Irishman Bobofunk’s set as one not to miss as he will bring massive energy to the decks that was evident at his impromptu 6am set at Life Festival last year which was praised as being one of the best of the festival.

Higher Vision will not only showcase the wonderful and often under-appreciated talent we have on the island but will also serve to showcase ‘how international acts move and inspire us’. With the likes of Dimitri from Paris bringing his funky disco sound and Fjaak showcasing their live techno performance straight from a recent show in Berlin’s infamous Berghain. There will be something for everyone at one of the most highly anticipated festivals in Ireland and as people seek to escape the hectic nature of Dublin and Temple Bar on St. Patrick’s Day they will be able to find refuge in the beautiful, leafy surroundings of Bellurgan Park. With a smart marketing campaign and a solid business plan bringing an accessible BYOB event to Ireland’s national holiday, and with plenty of gourmet food options and chill out areas around the site to take a break from the dancing, Higher Vision is certainly not to be missed.


Ailish Brennan  |  Music Writer