Double Brit Awards nominees Bicep have spoken of their excitement at playing their biggest festival homecoming show in Belfast next month.
London-based dance duo Matt McBriar and Andy Ferguson will bring their full festival experience to Titanic Slipways as part of this year’s AVA event, celebrating the best in local and international electronic music.
Bicep, Northern Ireland’s best-known electronic music export, received two Brit Award nominations in 2021 for British Group and Breakthrough Artist, following the release of their second album, Isles. It went to number two on the official UK charts.
Matt and Andy, who met at school and shared a love for electronic music, played two dates at the old Belfast Telegraph building late last year to packed crowds. But the couple said the AVA show would be something different – and very special.
“The AVA show will be the full viewing experience and the full performing experience, as opposed to the indoor club stuff,” Matt said.
“We’re going to do a 90-minute set of our entire album, plus a lot of new music that we’ve been working on, and we’re really excited to get there to do that. For this kind of underground scene, it’s quite rare to have such a line-up, especially in Belfast, so it should be quite special.
Andy added: “There is a real energy to the concerts in Belfast. The crowds get pretty crazy and are definitely a lot younger than what we’re used to here.
“It’s always amazing to play in Belfast, given that it’s our home town and we’ve been playing there for 10 years, building relationships with the public.
“It’s always exciting to see old faces, but it’s great to welcome new ones too every year.”
The couple, who rose to fame through party planning and blogging, said they can’t wait to see what other artists are on the bill.
And they praised the local electronic music scene, which they said was producing notable stars such as Kessler and Holly Lester.
“The AVA festival is full of amazing local talent heading to Europe and around the world,” Matt said.
“Everyone is booked all over the world. It wasn’t like that when we started and it’s great to see such a massive scene.
Bicep will be joined by artists including Mura Masa, Jon Hopkins, Biig Piig, Floorplan, I Hate Models, VTSS, Overmono, Gemma Dunleavy and Kessler for the two-day festival, which takes place June 3-4 at Titanic Slipways.
The duo also have a summer of upcoming festival dates, including a main slot closing Glastonbury’s West Holts stage.
“We’ve been going to Glastonbury for years, doing tiny DJ sets and building up to this headliner at West Holts,” Matt said.
“It’s going to be amazing – but AVA will also be special.”
For ticket details, visit avafestival.com/tickets. Weekend tickets start from £85.