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In Review: 2017

In Review: 2017

Ticket Arena writers | Reviews

Another fine year of music is drawing to a close, and for our team at Ticket Arena it’s been a pretty wild ride. Dancing our way through dingy basements, festival fields and idyllic beaches in search of the very best of the best, we’ve had a healthy number of musical experiences to remember in 2017, giving us ample ammunition for a full attack of nostalgia.

From techno in Croatia to grime in Yorkshire, bass in Bristol or a mad night in Manchester, our writers have been sampling the sonic spoils of a music scene that seems to be getting better with every passing month, and though there’s still plenty to look forward to as 2017 bids its farewell, we thought we’d take the time to look back on a grand year of parties, live music and festivals. Here are a few favourites from the twelve months just passed.

Hidden x So Flute - DJ Sprinkles

Saturday 21st January
Hidden, Manchester

“Genderfluid activist, artist and owner of Comatonse Recordings, Sprinkles brings with her a depth of emotion, understanding and diversity when she plays her chord wrenching and jazz infused club sets.”

Sophie Roberts

Relic Launch - Jane Fitz
Wednesday 22nd February
Wire, Leeds

“Her choice of records didn’t disappoint either, meandering through ambient, cosmic melodies, and drifting seamlessly into realms of more heavy hypnotic beats like Human Machine’s ‘Drone’. Jane Fitz could attract the most musically clued-up crowd there is and still have them walk away with most of her tunes unrecognized, contributing to the authenticity and uniqueness of the experience.”

Marigold Warner

Jagwar Ma at O2 Ritz Manchester
Saturday 18th March
O2 Ritz Manchester

“Without focusing too much on Manchester and its influence on Jagwar’s music, the band showed a clear appreciation for the native fans who found their melodies so appealing. Noel Gallagher made the point in 2013 that “The future of the galaxy depends on the Jagwar Ma record”, and whether that was an exaggeration or not, let’s hope that the four year gap we endured between albums one and two isn’t replicated. We need bands like this: no frills, just alternative dance to lose yourself to.”

Joe Alexander

Butter Side Up - Call Super
Friday 19th May
Wire, Leeds

“His 4 hour set twisted and turned between quirkier, slightly more unknown selections and more upbeat fist pumping tracks all joined together in a way that made you appreciate the every tune, whilst eagerly anticipating the next one. As closing time approached and the crowd had thinned out, leaving behind only the dedicated few, the blissful sounds of Orbital’s ‘Belfast’ filled the room and provided a fitting end to what had been an excellent night.”

Sam Rogan

Farr Festival 2017
13th-16th July
Bygrave Woods, Baldock

“In the increasingly commoditized era of festivals, in which attendance nods towards status symbolism, it is immensely reassuring to know that a festival like Farr exists. Curated by music lovers for music lovers, it is everything a festival can and should be; a manageable, picturesque, liberating retreat for people - young and old - wanting to escape for a barnstormer of a weekend, and somewhere I already can’t wait to revisit.”

Luke Bird



elrow Town London Closing Ceremony
19th-20th August
Olympic Park, London

“The sheer scale of production, down to the details of the characters and actors popping up amongst the crowd, to the enormous creatures dispersed amongst the day-festival goers, made the day a captivating affair. elrow successfully executed the imaginative spectacle, illuminating London in the last weeks of summer. The props and the visuals are vital, but the party vibe being achieved is at elrow’s core.”

Georgina Walker

Kiss Me Again PRIDE special with Wes Baggaley
Sunday 27th August
Soup Kitchen, Manchester

“Nights like Kiss Me Again thrive on the connection that they create between strangers, breaking down barriers with relentless charm, implicit openness and an unyielding devotion to creating environments where people can be as they want to be. It is that palpable sense of freedom that pushes a party to become more than a sum of its parts, and it is that that makes Kiss Me Again’s atmosphere special. House music was born in the LGBT spaces of New York, Chicago and Detroit, and in an industry where the nuances of context is all too often overlooked, Manchester’s Kiss Me Again acts as a stark reminder that dance music is, at its very roots, a small taste of absolute freedom.”

Andrew Kemp

Dimensions Festival 2017
30th August - 3rd September
Fort Punta Christo, Croatia

“Ambling closer to the Fort itself brings The Garden into view. This is the first of several stages powered by Void and is at first, a little unassuming. That is until Theo Parrish was given eight hours to play on Saturday night. No one was ever going to come close to him on that stage, his usual jaw dropping mix of rough Chicago and Detroit with beautiful soul and dub effortlessly captivating the entire crowd for the duration. A notable moment when it was decided that he had actually played the greatest song of all time - look out for that on the ID groups.”

Ben Cannon

Run All Day
Saturday 9th September
Motion, Bristol

“As darkness descended on Motion, all attention turned to the front yard as revelers surrounded the marquee in anticipation of DnB supergroup SASASAS - a group who have proven a Zara Larrson track can be turned into hard-hitting jump up. With a sea of people on shoulders, Mackey Gee and Phantasy’s ‘Let it Shine’ opening provoked a raucous wave of cheers and set the electric tone of a performance littered with rewinds and hilariously catchy bars.”

Jake Hirst

Hospitality In The Park 2017
Saturday 23rd September
Finsbury Park, London

“Walking around the various stages you couldn’t escape the sense of overwhelming appreciation that some of the world’s biggest names in drum and bass were all in one place. All around faces were littered with beaming smiles, The Prototypes making no mistake in maintaining the most seismic and soul shattering soundtrack as the sun started to set.”

Jack Wynne



J Hus at O2 Academy Leeds
Tuesday 24th October
O2 Academy Leeds

“At only 21 years old, J Hus has not only managed to secure some impressive awards, release a stellar album and sell out the majority of a UK tour, but shows that he’s still been grafting as he debuts a brand new never-been-heard-before single before his finale of ‘Spirit’, ‘Friendly’ and ‘Did You See’ - there’s no wonder he wore an infectious and genuine smile throughout.”

Lorna Gray

Roots Manuva
Thursday 26th October
O2 Academy Leeds

“It’s crazy to think that Roots’ debut album Brand New Second Hand has aged to the point where, if it had been attending his gig at Leeds’ O2 Academy this October, it could have gone to the bar and got a round in…

Eighteen years have passed since Roots’ singular voice first announced itself on the UK music scene. Possessing a wit and charisma that immediately distinguished himself from his peers in the British hip-hop scene, he has also been unafraid to publicly wrestle with his demons through the medium of his music.”

John Hardy


(John Hardy was there to witness the litness as Roots Manuva returned to Leeds - Photo: Anthony Longstaff)

Brotherhood with Tama Sumo and Lakuti at Wire, Leeds
Friday 27th October
Wire, Leeds

“To end the night we had the pleasure of witnessing Luce bring the house down with one of the most enjoyable sets that I’ve ever personally witnessed. Whilst keeping the mixing to a minimum, she proved selections are all that essentially matters by moving deftly from numbers like Dennis F’s remix of Aaron Carl’s “My House”, to dark, pumping, acid in the form of Sarin’s “Control”.

If this party is anything to go on, Brotherhood is being taken in incredible new directions by George Hartshorn and with Tami and Luce at his side I cannot wait to see what the future has in store.”

Jack Harrop

Just Jack Halloween at Motion
Saturday 28th October
Motion, Bristol

“Journeying deeper into the evening DJ Harvey showed no signs of slowing down, subtly easing in acid numbers as though someone had spiked the punch, the crowd starting to feel a little something different before bam acid indulgence.”

Edward Bowyer


(It was a spooky affair at Motion as Just Jack did Halloween - Photo: Alastair Brookes)

Goldie at Bridgewater Hall, Manchester
Tuesday 14th November
Bridgewater Hall, Manchester

“The absolute highlight of the evening came when Goldie dedicated a part of his set to the late Marcus Intalex, Manchester’s very own drum and bass legend as well as one of the most respected figures in the scene. The hauntingly beautiful piano melody filled the auditorium and led us into the heaviest section of the night, this was where a perfectly crafted amen break was thrown at the audience so hard we were all nearly left with whiplash. A truly touching and genuinely emotional moment for every attendee.”

Francesca Melia

Badbadnotgood at O2 Ritz, Manchester
Thursday 16th November
O2 Ritz, Manchester

“Watching BadBadNotGood confirmed how true musicianship and incredible chemistry between members and the audience should be displayed. They’ve been tipped as innovators for a while now and we can only wait to see what’s next in store for these individuals.”

Raheel Khan

Quite some year, eh? Roll on 2018.

Main photo courtesy of Alastair Brookes and In:Motion

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