Renowned Dublin festival The Beatyard - now in its eleventh incarnation - is heading to the seaside this weekend. They'll be bringing fun, games, delicious food and a sublime line-up boasting the likes of Sister Sledge, Four Tet and Barrington Levy to Dun Laoghaire Harbour.
With the full timetable available now there's a lot of fantastic stuff happening over the course of the two days, and it's gonna be tricky to figure out where to spend your time. With that said, here are five Irish acts playing that we reckon are worth your while (especially when envisaging them with a Teddy's ice cream cone in hand).
Opening the Hidden Agenda Stage on Saturday afternoon, if you dig uplifting funky grooves and enticing African rhythms then RiZA are the perfect act to get your weekend started. The project of incredible Congolese guitarist Niwel Tsumbu, you should expect euphoric vibes from the five-piece, with some wonderfully elaborate guitar melodies as well as uplifting choruses in Tsumbu's native Lingala tongue. What's more, there are sunshine-y sweet accompanying vocals from veritable local stars Loah and Feather, and some super fun percussion to get you dancing.
If electronic dance is more your scene, however, then heading to the Wigwam Stage first thing on Saturday afternoon is perhaps a better shout. Fresh from her striking recent Boiler Room set, rising Dublin singer Gemma Dunleavy will be offering up her powerful, almost poppy vocals - sometimes strong and soulful, sometimes light and ethereal - over an array of shuddering, shimmering beats. She’s previously collaborated with the likes of CLU, Murlo and Frank B, and this set should be every bit as gorgeous and house-y as those names might suggest.
One of our Plec Picks for 2015, Meltybrains? have certainly delivered this year, perhaps most notably on latest release The Vine - a Kwes-produced slice of sheer tropical delight. They will hopefully be bringing that particular summery number along with their other weirdly wonderful soundscapes to their Saturday afternoon slot on the Hidden Agenda Stage. Look forward to one of the stranger sets you'll catch on the weekend, all captivating swathes of electronic sound, oddly distorted vocals and sublimely intricate rhythms. It's also going to be a lot of fun - it might not hurt to be prepared for a conga line.
I Am The Cosmos
Making futuristic, spacey music that seems to immerse your ears in glimmering pools of luscious light, Dublin duo I Am The Cosmos are playing Saturday afternoon on the Wigwam Stage. Their acclaimed debut album 'Monochrome' was out in 2013, and showcased smooth-like-chocolate vocals and twinkling lines of keyboard that have a distinctly East Asian flavour. If that record is anything to go by then we can look forward to beautifully propulsive electronic soundscapes with an eerily dark edge. This should be great.
Irish hip-hop is having something of a moment, and Rusangano Family - the sensational combined forces of MCs MuRli and God Knows, along with producer MynameisjOhn - are at the forefront of this. Based in West Ireland, the trio offer up energising beats sometimes juxtaposed with sweet flourishes of African melody, all topped with fast-paced, grimey delivery. Brash, intelligent and uninhibited, their Sunday night set on the Wigwam Stage is sure to be something else.
BONUS: Sim Simma
Not so much an act, but worth a mention to round things off. Our former interviewees have gone a little quiet of late, but this weekend will see them providing entertainment to the (self-explanatorily named) Eatyard area of the festival. Think Reggae Yoga, African Drumming, a Turban Headwear workshop and - of course - glorious tunes from the Sim Simma DJs, overseen by excellent MC Cian Finn. This will all culminate in a happy return to the Twisted Pepper on Sunday evening for an after party with the stupidly fun Horse Meat Disco - free for Beatyard attendees, €10 for others. It should be the perfect way to end what looks set to be a wonderful weekend by the sea.