ION Festival: First acts and music partners announced

Fri 7th Feb

ION is not just a music festival. At least, not in the conventional sense. More than this though, ION will be an immersive holiday experience with local food, culture, relaxation and restorative encounters; a chance for like-minded global travellers to journey together to this beautiful, hidden place and celebrate the music they love as a community.

Showcasing the underground’s foremost selectors, ION will feature stages for dancing in the hazy sunshine by day and tinderbox raves by night and will have the untouched seclusion of the Ionian coastline, a paradisiacal backdrop for long and alternative sets by handpicked artists.

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Now, with all the building blocks in place for a week of dancing, connecting and exploring, it’s time to announce ION’s musical direction and the first wave of acts and music partners.

True to LWE’s status as creators of memorable house and techno parties in unique spaces, ION is a further commitment to putting dancefloor selectors in club-ready contexts. From the labyrinthine underground passageways of The Bunker to the isolated beach known as The Canyon, ION’s DJ lineup will deliver a week of intense dancefloor sessions. At ION though, that’s just one part of the musical story because all the artists have been picked for their 3D musicality.

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Across the week, these DJs, and many more still to be announced, will play multiple sets in conjunction with our select group of musical partners: Eat Your Own Ears, Half Baked, Junction 2, Krankbrother, Picnic and VBX. Sometimes they’ll do what they’re best known for, sometimes they’ll dive deep into their own passions and play extended and unexpected sets. Stay tuned for more details of our DJs’ appearances throughout the festival, but we promise that these events will be unrepeatable moments where the artists connect with ION’s community and share their personal loves.

Among those steeping themselves in the aquamarine of Dhërmi’s warm sea and clear sky will be one of Detroit techno’s founding fathers, a true pioneer of electronic music, Jeff Mills. From kickstarting Underground Resistance to working with orchestras, Jeff has done it all and remains one of the most versatile and intriguing figures in the underground. We are thrilled to welcome such a vibrant presence to perform at the very first ION.

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One of electronic music’s favourite duos, Maribou State, will also be heading to ION. Having exploded on the scene with their much adored ‘Portaits’ LP, the boys from the Shire lived up to all the hype with their highly acclaimed follow up album ‘Kingdoms in Colour’. The pair are now transitioning their incredible range of music knowledge and influences into their DJ sets. We can’t wait to see what they have in store for the very first edition of ION.

Helena Hauff will be one ION DJ who’s gone from tiny clubs to global stages but never lost her focus on the music. She’s known for neck-snapping acid and whip-crack electro, but Helena remains a devoted music fan with a deep love for the unexpected too.

Joining Helena is an artist whose own music reaches through the thin veneer of genre and explores electronic and analogue diversity, Daniel Avery. He’ll be bringing all the shades of his love for the stylish and dramatic.

Three DJs with stellar reputations for sonic eclecticism are the Hessle Audio trio of Ben UFO, Pangaea and Pearson Sound. We’re thrilled that all three will be playing at ION, in an array of sets which will cover their shared and individual loves for broken-up dancefloor tracks and hyper-modern world music. Techno heads already love Dax J for his uncompromisingly raw take on Berlin’s dark heart, so his place at ION will please those wanting a primal trip through the long night.

Rounding out ION’s first wave of artists are four selectors known as obsessive crate diggers and expert rescuers of forgotten house music gems. With a focus on subtle, lush tracks, Japan’s much-respected DJ Masda has a techno reputation with a groove-heavy twist.

Similarly textured and just as skilful in their selections are Nicolas Lutz, B.Traits and Voigtmann, three DJs who can perform versatile flips between rude, bumpy house and deep sensuality. Their styles will match ION’s varied landscapes and abundant range of experiences. Finalising the first wave of artists will be Altin Boshnjaku and Tomi GJ.

There will be much more to come as we get closer to taking our trip into the Ionian together.

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Altin Boshnjaku
B. Traits
Daniel Avery
Dax J
DJ Masda
Helena Hauff
Hessle Audio
Jeff Mills
Maribou State
Nicolas Lutz
Pearson Sound
Tomi GJ


Eat Your Own Ears
Half Baked
Junction 2