If you’re just getting over the hangover of festival PR blitzes bombarding you with every minute detail of their weekenders, Boxed Off seems to have crept up out of nowhere.
The all-day dance event at the Fairyhouse Racecourse in Meath sold out in August without much fanfare, around the time we were already getting a comedown from the Picnic coverage even before the tents had been put up at Stradbally.
It seems the tickets have sold on the back of goodwill word of mouth from last year, as well as some cheeky idea that we’re hanging on to the dregs of summer, raving in the former Oxegen haunt.
Now in its second edition after last year’s opener in mid-September, the comfortable sell-out is another vote of confidence in the Dublin techno scene. Granted, we’ve lost a lot of smaller iconic clubs like Twisted Pepper and Kennedy’s on Westland Row, but blockbuster techno nights at District 8 and other big-name showcases at Pygmalion and leftfield nights curated by Out To Lunch is sure to trickle down into the next tier of underground DJs and promoters.
After kicking off in 2015 with a majority of international names on the poster — with Nina Kraviz, Andhim, Patrick Topping and Daniel Avery among local acts — Boxed Off took a bit of a gamble this year by mostly showcasing Irish DJs.
It’s true, they’ve secured hard-hitting, shape-shifting techno from Berlin’s Rodhad and Len Faki, London producers Waze & Odyssey and Boddika and Swiss beats from Deetron, Hacket of Manchester’s Warehouse Project and Lemmy Ashton of Leeds institution Bugged Out!.
But the vast majority are Irish DJs over the six stages — Archetype, Bedlam, Toast, Kinetic, VIP and Marakii.
Archetype headliner Kolsch may have the most on-fire record of anyone on the bill, as he’s doing a victory lap with his latest Kompact release, the lush, brassy Grey.
The half-Irish/Half-German maestro is clashing with Len Faki, who’s finishing off the Bedlam stage after Rodhad, which will surely be the most intense, pummelling few hours of the festival from the two Berliners.
Elsewhere, the VIP Stage has a three-hour relay of three of Ireland’s top dance music promoters — Hidden Agenda, Bodytonic and Galway’s Electric Garden DJs.
The Techno & Cans collective have been throwing some of the most irreverent parties in the capital in Hangar recently, and they might find it hard to resist playing all the bangers at the early-ish time of 9pm on the Kinetic stage, but hundreds will be sticking around after for a live set from Dublin veteran Hybrasil.
And with a load of the acts being rounded up for after-parties back in the city centre, don’t be fooled by the midnight curfew.
District 8 is hosting Len Faki until the early hours, with tickets already sold out. Don’t miss out though, Boddika is headlining the Button Factory for €18.
For all other details, including the all-important transport advice, see boxedoff.ie.