Celtronic 2020 – Together:Apart – virtually!

Celtronic 2020 – Together:Apart started last night.  It will celebrate 20 years of electronic dance music.  For the next six days and nights, more than 60 artists from across the world will come together to celebrate 20 years of Ireland’s leading electronic music festival, Celtronic.  For the last 20 years, music fans from Derry and across Ireland and beyond have looked forward to the end of June.  It has become the favourite time of year for electronic music enthusiasts.  A time to dance with friends and like-minded people, stay out late, and celebrate dance music culture.


The organisers say they are disappointed at the necessary postponement of Celtronic 2020.  “The current health crisis continues and this means that we need to remain apart as a dance music community for the foreseeable future.  We still want to mark 20 years of Celtronic, however. Today we announce a Celtronic for the times that we currently live in. Celtronic 2020 – Together:Apart will take place online and on your radio over six days and nights from Tuesday 30 June until Sunday 5 July.  Join us from your living room, your bedroom, your garden or your workplace, alone or with your family and a few friends.  Listen to and watch some of the amazing local and national electronic music emerging from Ireland. Stream exclusive performances from some of our favourite international artists.  Check out some of the recently discovered mixes from the last 20 years of Celtronic.

Opening night

The first evening of music kicked off with the cinematic, John Carpenteresque soundscapes of Vincent.  This is followed by the first in the series, Sounds From A Lost Dancefloor, with The Fully Automatic Model performing live from St Columb’s Hall.  At 10.30pm, streaming for the first time was an amazing set from the late Andrew Weatherall recorded upstairs at Masons Bar, Derry in January 2009.  The night’s streaming closed with The Songs That Andrew Taught Us.  This was a really special selection of music, crafted with love by Andrew Weatherall’s close friend David Holmes.

Wednesday 1 July

Tonight, Wednesday 1 July, is an action packed night of music featuring some of Ireland’s finest electronic music artists.  Aaron Thomas and Autumns will perform live shows from St Columb’s Hall.  Hotly tipped artists Porphyry and Paddy Mulcahy will send  live performances from their hometowns of Derry and Limerick City.  The festival welcomes the return of Boxcutter, a Celtronic regular and one of Ireland’s most innovative artists.  Wednesday’s lineup is completed by Hago Vara who comes out of retirement, again,  for the 20th anniversary of the festival.

Thursday 2 July

Thursday 2 July is a virtual who’s who of the hottest young talent in the country with nine hours of non-stop brilliant music.  There will be a live film from Irish artists, ArvoParty. Caolán Cartin from Acid Flex is set to be the next breakthrough artist from Derry to make it internationally. Looking forward to his debut performance at St Columb’s Hall alongside Myler who will shake St Columbs Hall to its core with his no-nonsense hard techno. 

Celtronic Studios

Celtronic Studios will host sets from SLKTA and Steve from Osilate as well as Shay & GRRD from BEKUZ and Ethan from InFlux Derry.   They have been putting on some of the best parties in Derry in recent years introducing the city to acts like DJ Seinfeld, Denis Sulta, Mall Grab/Jordon Alexander, Mella Dee and Peggy Gou.  Jack Boyd continues to impress dancers all over the country and beyond with his techno selections while HOTLINE have been destroying dance floors in Belfast on a full time basis.

It’s the Weekend!  Friday 3 July 

On Friday night you will possibly have the most fun you will ever have without leaving the house with more than 11 hours of the best electronic music in the world.  There will be live shows from three of the country’s most promising young artists,   Optmst, Nazir and Joe O’Hagan.  Chaz Harley dusts off the headphones for a special set from Celtronic Studios alongside Osilate’s Jordan Villa.  

Francesco Tristano

Celtronic favourite Francesco Tristano will send a very special live set from his home in Barcelona while residents from Belfast’s finest club night, Twitch Belfast, make their Celtronic debut.  DJ, broadcaster and Irish internet pioneer, Nialler9, will play a set celebrating the best new Irish electronic music.  The Cyclist, Buz Ludzha has played brilliant live sets over the years at Celtronic. We are looking forward to hearing and seeing what he sends from his current base in Liverpool. 

Sounds From A Lost Dancefloor

Sounds From A Lost Dancefloor will see Darren Allen, Underlying Form, premiere tracks from his forthcoming debut album alongside Phil Kieran performing his amazing Life Cycling album.  This was released last year on Mano Le Tough’s Maeve Recordings.  To finish the night, Celtronic will dig into the archives for Carl Craig’s memorable set from The Nerve Centre in 2011.  Worth staying up late for!

Saturday 4 July

Saturday 4 July at Celtronic 2020 – Together:Apart, is a 16-hour dance that runs from 1.30pm – 5.00am.  There will be performances from Gerd Janson, Move D @DavidMoufang, @orla_cd, from Sets and Michael Mc Elroy.  Streaming will be Mark Jennings (Deep Fried Funk), Andrew Devine, Gareth Greer and a set from the Celtronic archive from the brilliant Bill Brewster

The centrepiece of the day is Lock In Beats.  This is an eight hour spectacular from 7pm – 3am.  It will be available for viewing/listening on TV, Radio and mobile devices courtesy of Celtronic’s ongoing partnership with BBC Radio Ulster and BBC Radio Foyle.

Lock In Beats

Lock In Beats at Celtronic 2020 will feature performances from Phil Kieran and Space Dimension Controller from St Columbs Hall.  DJ sets from Caoimhe Moreland, Queen & Disco and Holly Lester.  Archive sets from Radioactive Man, Andrew Weatherall and Dave Clarke.  Special guest mixes from three of Celtronic’s favourite guests, Gerd Janson, Move D and Derry’s finest Or:la.  They will stream this from their homes in Germany for the occasion.  Day five comes to an end at 5am following a set from Circulation recorded at Derry’s first legal all-nighter Nerve Centre back in 2001.

Grand finale – Closing night

Celtronic 2020 – Together:Apart will come to a close on Sunday 5 July.  Celtronic veteran and all round legend, Boomshakalak, will kick off the final day with a selection of reggae, funk, soul and ska before local legends Queen & Disco stream a two hour set from their studio in Derry city centre.  Space Dimension Controller will play the final show in the Sounds from a Lost Dancefloor series from St Columb’s Hall.  We then dig into the archives for a final time.  Chicago house legend Marshall Jefferson’s set from Celtronic 2001 will be streamed.  Also streaming will be Move D’s festival closing set from 2017.  Eamon Harkin of Mister Saturday Night and Nowadays fame brings the festival to a close with a two hour set.  This will be live from his home in New York for his hometown of Derry.

Joy and togetherness

Celtronic hope that this year’s virtual festival will bring some joy to music lovers during this covid-19 pandemic.   “Nothing that we do will replace or replicate the beautiful togetherness and unity experienced, dancing to the best electronic music in the world, in a dark room, with a massive sound system, surrounded by friends and crew.  We hope that Celtronic 2020 – Together:Apart will provide some joy and bring us all together while we remain apart.” 

You can stream all performances on the following platforms:











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Niall Ó Brolcháin
is a journalist based in Derry in the North of Ireland. He is an Irish speaker with a BA (Hons) degree in Irish Language and Literature and a Master's degree in International Journalism: Hostile Environment Reporting. Passionate about local, national and international human, cultural, language and equality rights, he has extensive experience telling rich stories in words, photo and video both in Ireland and Palestine. email: niallb.babylon@gmail.com

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