A look at all the highs and lows of music in Dublin in 2019 – Dublin Gazette

Posted: December 27, 2019 at 1:45 pm


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It can feel like a step forward and a step back in the current Dublin music scene.

A great band appears; a venue closes. A new festival appears, an old one like Beatyard threatens to disappear off the map.

As culture fights an ongoing battle for space and affordability in our increasingly cluttered city, here are our nods at the best (and worst) of music events from 2019

Beyond a few stand-outs, Rock music is not all that fashionable right now we live in the era of immaculate production values, autotuning, boisterous Hip-Hop and one-off-hits.

The scene has always been strong, however, and is really on the rise in Ireland at the moment.

Theres always been Slane, of course, but the introduction of next summers Sunstroke a first Rock and Metal-specific festival in some time is a big moment.

There are some great gigs on the horizon, too.

While the cultural landscape of cities has always changed, the slow death of some of Dublins key venues is really quite pervasive.

The Tivoli, which closed its doors early in 2019, was arguably at its highest ebb when it did so.

Like the original Bernard Shaw pub, which has relocated but will struggle to regain its original status, itll be replaced by a hotel.

Beatyard, a casual, summery festival in Dun Laoghaire, was once a summer highlight and looks likely to depart from next summer, too.

See festivals in particular, but also big gigs selling out time after time.

Ive been creating the gig listings for this publication all year, and the number of sold-out shows in Dublin is astonishing; the demand is consistently huge.

Electric Picnic expanded, and still sells out. Other festivals arent too far behind, and there are more and more of them.

Irelands appetite for music is astonishing.

Sure, tours are the main way that musicians make their money now, and thats much of the reason why tickets are so disproportionately expensive compared to a decade ago.

With tickets in the three-figure price range not unheard of today, though, its hard not to feel its all got a little bit elitist and out of hand for the average gig-goer.

Thats not a good thing.

For many years, there was no vinyl production facility in Ireland, which especially for relatively small productions made the reality of producing vinyl records more difficult for Irish acts.

Dublin Vinyl established itself a couple of years ago, but 2019 has definitely been their best yet, with the launch of subscription service, Loves Vinyl, and, shortly, a new Vinyl Hub online store.

Not a big deal to the consumer, perhaps, but its huge for the industry in a time of vinyl revival.

Yes, simple common sense tells you that when you reach a certain age, people who grew up as part of your life (in this case, musically), start to die, but thereve been some major losses in music this year, ones that its hard to contemplate a music scene without.

Keith Flint of groundbreaking ravers The Prodigy stands out, as does experimental legend Scott Walker.

More locally, we suffered the loss of Danny Doyle, whos Rare Ould Times still resonates with heft in the city.

The likely loss of Beatyard in particular is a damaging one, but there are already rumours it might be replaced by something equally impressive in Dun Laoghaire.

A little more firmly booked in are Sunstroke, a new Rock festival, and a Dublin version of Brightons brilliant new-music showcase, The Great Escape, both of which should offer lots of colour.

Its a bright looking year ahead, and who knows what else 2020 might bring

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A look at all the highs and lows of music in Dublin in 2019 - Dublin Gazette

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December 27th, 2019 at 1:45 pm

Posted in Bernard Shaw