CHSQ is the new name for the Festival held in Custom House Square; formally where Belsonic took place up until last year. As Belsonic already took place at Ormeau Park back in June, this is now a separate event with just as an eclectic range of performances.
The 9 different nights will take place during this month (August 2017) and spread out over 3 weeks, with the usual break of nights to accommodate those going to see DJ Tiesto and Muse at Vital.
CHSQ's lineup varies from DJ specific artists like Above & Beyond, Timmy Trumpet and Carl Cox; I never thought I would be mentioning these artists in the same breath, given the sheer difference in their DJ sets. Then you have some for the pop fans with Walking on Cars and Emeli Sande. Then somewhere in the middle of rock and pop, you have Kasabian. Foy Vance is one night I'm looking forward to because of his voice, but also because it's forecast to be sunny. Finally, there are Ocean Colour Scene who will draw a big crowd and Stiff Little Fingers who have already sold out!
The first night wasn't an easy introduction to CHSQ as there was a sold out crowd, but a DJ night no less. The DJ gigs always draw a big and crazy crowd, so it works for and against me. The photos will come thick and fast, as the crowd is younger and want nothing more than their photo taken, but just dealing with and navigating the crowd can be pretty damn hard.
Above and Beyond have played Belfast a lot recently, as I've covered them 4 times in as many years. So I'm familiar with their set and stage setup which helped a lot.
About halfway through their set, they will play a song entitled King for a Day which seems quite appropriate. They choose someone from the crowd to get on stage and kind of, I guess, pretend to be a DJ? It's essentially the crowd member(s) standing in front of the DJ decks and going nuts. They get to quickly meet the guys from A&B and it's always good for a few photo
This time they chose two women who were at the front of the crowd since the gig opened around 4 hours previous, which seems fair given that commitment! I got some great shots of the jumping around and clearly loving life with their temporary role as guest DJ's.