Help Musicians NI announces partnership with AVA festival

Help Musicians NI is pleased to announce the return to Northern Ireland’s premiere electronic dance music festival, seeing the partnership into its second year. AVA is an Audio Visual Arts Festival and Conference in Belfast that celebrates, amplifies and develops the strong current of electronic music and digital visual arts from Northern and Southern Ireland. AVA 2018 will be a two day event hosted on Friday 1st June (Conference) and Saturday 2nd June (Festival) in Belfast.

The AVA Conference is a free, open to all ages event, and is core to developing the industry, educating the next generation and promoting the amazing talent that exists in Ireland, both North and South. The festival works with emerging and established talent, both local and international artists, to host what is now the leading electronic music conference in Ireland, as well as hosting three emerging talent programmes throughout the year. The goal is to provide an opportunity for emerging and established artists, DJ’s, producers, managers, agents, labels, designers, visual artists, promoters and guests, to share their knowledge through a free daytime conference that progresses into the ticketed AVA Festival.

Feeding into HMUK’s ground breaking research on mental health in the music industry and the launch of the Music Minds Matter 24/7 dedicated mental health service and support line, Help Musicians NI’s partnership with AVA 2018 will see the charity underpin that focus with our hosted panel – The Electronic Music Industry, Mental Health & Wellbeing. Lead by Charlene Hegarty (Oh Yeah Music Centre), the panel will feature the force behind Music Minds Matter, Christine Brown (HMUK’s Director of NI); DJ, journalist and HMUK's ambassador at AVA Festival, Goldierocks; DJ Timmy Stewart, owner of Belfast’s Extended Play electronic music label; and Musician’s Union’s Caroline Sewell, in a discussion.

The 2nd year of Help Musicians NI’s partnership with AVA will be heralded by the release of an exclusive video, featuring Goldierocks, focusing on the challenges to mental wellbeing often associated with dance music and the nightlife industry and the Music Minds Matter service.

Keith Millar, Manager at Help Musicians NI, had this to say:

“Here at HMNI, we’re delighted to be partnering with AVA for a second year. Working with Northern Ireland’s foremost EDM festival allows us to continue to extend our reach beyond musicians into the globally successful genre. One which has recently been touched, both locally and internationally, by tragedy associated with the ongoing mental health challenges in the music industry. With this partnership, we hope to continue to build awareness of the support available through services like Music Minds Matter to those that need support within the dance music and nightlife community and the music industry as a whole.”

Goldierocks, HMUK's ambassador at AVA Festival said:

“It’s such a relief that mental health in the creative industries is finally getting the air time it deserves. A topic of conversation that is incredibly close to my heart (and always at the forefront of my mind). Let’s all strive to be happy and to quite simply live better. I’m excited, not just to represent for Help Musicians UK’s partnership with AVA festival, but it will also be my first visit to the city of Belfast!”

Emmett Costello, AVA, stated:

"As part of both Mental Health Awareness week and the AVA Festival & Conference, we are pleased to announce our charitable partnership with Help Musicians NI and Music Minds Matter. This is an incredible organisation and initiative to drive forward better wellbeing and mental health in musicians, DJs, music goers and those working within the industry. This initiative is really important to us, and we want to ensure those that need help, have access to it."

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