MUSIC festivals aren’t just about strummin’, they’re about spinnin’ too.
Electronic music will once again make up the rhythmical backbone of August’s Mannifest festival, and dance music headquarters will be the newly-conceived Manntronica tent.
Manntronica, the Mannifest Dance Community 2012, aims to bring the all the dance elements of the festival together under one roof, and the DJ line-up promises the best of Manx talent, sprinkled with some big visiting names, playing styles from house to hip hop, drum and bass to techno.
With all that in mind, the prize of a prime Manntronica slot in the soon to be staged DJ competition should be a particularly juicy carrot to aspiring DJs.
Potential entrants should see Brian Rooney at HMV, or contact him or co-competition organiser Christian Clague through Facebook. Or, better yet, post a recent mix on the Manntronica Facebook page with the tag ‘DJ comp entry mix’.
There will be a string of heats (depending on the number of enteries) starting at Jabberwocky on May 4, followed by a final; winners will score a support slot for the Manntronica headliners on either Friday or Saturday night, depending on which best matches their style.
The headline DJs have been arranged, but for now the Manntronica guys are keeping names close to their chest.
For DJs new to the scene, the competition is a chance to break through and play a prime festival slot, a journey that often takes much longer than the few months the competition is held over.
‘It’s a fast-track from the bedroom to be doing a warm-up set for a big DJ,’ said Christian. ‘Anyone can enter, whether they’ve been playing two years or two weeks. We’ll welcome people who are confident enough to show us their skills.’
A judging panel will scrutinise each show. The Facebook group stipulates that ‘the competition winner will have to show a high technical understanding of “spinning the wheels of steel”, but also create a suitable set that will complement what Mannifest and Manntronica represent both to festival-goers and other acts, so bear that in mind!’. Does Christian have any further advice on the judging criteria?
‘We’re looking for ability, but also creativity in mixing’ he said. ‘Someone who isn’t following others and sounds a bit different.’
Christian added: ‘All genres, from hardcore to hip-hop are welcome. Everyone will have an equal chance as the judges are all from a range of styles, and we’ll swap them around so it’s fair.’
He acknowledged that ‘breaking through’ isn’t easy for young DJs, so even if DJs don’t progress past the heats, the experience will be valuable. He said: ‘Established nights use established DJs, so the competition heats are a chance to get in front of a crowd who are up for a party.’
Entries will be accepted until April 27, and the competition is only open to over 18s.
l Elsewhere, hats off to young rock’n’roll upstarts The Cosmos, who put in a solid set at The Crescent on Easter Sunday, even if it did get a little lively for some tastes. They stuck mostly to covers, but original track Take Off Your Mask sounded great. Keep it up lads.