Here at Le Cool Towers, we’re daubing ourselves in tinsel, cranking up the Christmas tunes, and clock-watching for the spirited seasonal events to begin. We’ve interviewed the creative minds behind some of the most alternative events on in Dublin as part of New Year’s Eve Eve -henceforth known as #LoveDublin Day.
We spoke to Peter O'Brien, the pop-up event maestro who runs Happenings, and who was also involved in one of the highlights of 2013 - Upstart's Granby Park. He’ll be finishing the year on a high with New Year’s Thieves, a collaborative screening and gig with Nialler9. He regaled us with anecdotes of festive cheer, and told us what was next up for Happenings...
What makes a perfect Christmas for me? I'm a new Dad. It's going to be great to have a first Christmas with my son. My favourite Christmas tradition would have to be going for a Christmas swim at the 40 foot in Dun Laoghaire or at the Vico bathing place in Dalkey. I'm from that neck of the woods.
My best New Year's memory was this year gone (2012/2013). My partner was just about to give birth to our son Myles. Just realising it was all about to change. That was special. My most memorable NYE in Dublin was probably a party that we had in Dartmouth Square. It was just a big feck-off party and it was amazing.
For our New Year's resolutions we're going to be making an effort to live all around healthier lifestyles. Myles is growing and he will soon become very aware of our lives. It's important to lead a good example.
Dublin is going from strength to strength, all these things are happening that are so interesting and not just slap up boozy events. We're getting artistic and creative and I just think it's going to get better and better in 2014. We're going to be very busy with Happenings in 2014. We'll be doing six pop up events in Limerick which is the City of Culture next year. I'm in the process of putting them together. We're meeting Dublin City Council next week to talk about using their parks for all sorts of different events. We're going to be working with different events companies too. We really want to focus on instant events and lots more collaborations. We all want to work together, you don't just run your own creative ship.
The vision behind Happenings is that it's a mainstream concept where public space is used instantly and it just creates a great energy. The system that we live in tries to put everything into schedules and order but people enjoy themselves when things are spontaneous, just like being on holidays. It's bringing a spontaneity back into the culture of Dublin.
For more information about New Year's Thieves, a collaboration with Nialler9, see here.
Angela Dorgan is CEO of First Music Contact, and head honcho at Hard Working Class Heroes, Breaking Tunes and Music From Ireland. We spoke to her about 2014, raucous New Year's Eves, and what her favourite Christmas song is. (FYI, it's Bing Crosby and David Bowie's rendition of Little Drummer Boy/Peace on Earth.)
This New Year's Eve, I plan to deliver the NYE & The City Music Trail gigs for Hard Working Class Heroes. I'll be working on the 30th, but hopefully they will let me sneak off to Spain to ring in the New Year! My best friend lives there, so it's a tradition that we go every year. My best New Year's Eve memory is being at a party in Spain with friends who are like a second family to me. At midnight, everyone had to write out new year wishes on a piece of paper while eating a grape at every dong of the bell. I've never laughed so much - I nearly choked to death.
My most memorable New Year's Eve was when I had a gang over from New York. There was a big bunch of about ten of us out on Thomas Street after a gig in Vicar Street. We had a couple of whiskey flasks with us, and were all very giddy jumping, kissing and laughing.
In 2014, we have Hard Working Class Heroes and five international events with music from Ireland. We have big plans to globalise Breaking Tunes and also set up and curate a TV/online music channel. We’re also hoping to introduce a bursary scheme for musicians so that every year one act will get an album funded through Breaking Tunes. It will be very much be run by musicians for musicians.
Hard Working Class Heroes is a great way to give bands new audiences. I’m particularly excited about the gigs we’re putting on in the airport on the 30th December.
My New Year's resolution will be to work less, take more time off and not take everything so seriously. In Dublin, in 2014 we're going to come into our own. We have fostered a lot of creativity.
NYE & The City Music Trail, on the 30th December, where unusual venues all over the city - including the airport! - will play host to pop-up gigs. The Late David Turpin will be performing at The Gutter Bookshop, Tandem Felix in chic coffee spot Kaph, and Terminal 1 AND 2 at Dublin airport will be treated to gigs from the stellar likes of Come On Live Long, Ana Gog and Maud in Cahoots. For more information see here.
Naoise Nunn is the buzzing mind behind Leviathan and The Mindfield Arena at Electric Picnic. When it comes to ideas, ideologies, and quarrelsome questions, Nunn has got his finger on the pulse. We spoke to Naoise about his festive plans, and what awaits on the other side, 2014...
A perfect Christmas is made by friends and family; everyone being in a relaxed state of mind, and being able to talk for longer than usual. My most treasured Christmas tradition is going for long walks in Ballyduff, my home place.
My best New Year's Eve memory is Millennium Eve, 1999. My folks came up with the nice idea to have a party on the bridge in my home in South Kilkenny. My most memorable New Year's Eve was walking the Great South Wall from Sandymount. This year, I'm planning to go into the West. I'm not sure where yet, but I want to be in a small pub in the west of Ireland. My New Year's Resolution every year is to always be scheming. Like in Glengarry Glen Ross - ABC - Always Be Closing. For me, it's Always Be Scheming.
I'm very optimistic for Dublin in 2014. We're genuinely turning a corner. It will take a long time for everybody, but the worst is over.
There's a lot happening for Leviathan Ireland in 2014. We have the 20th Cat Laughs Festival, and I'm also organising the Mindfield Arena at Electric Picnic, which is all spoken word, cabaret and theatre. Over the Christmas period, I would recommend checking out the Leviathan Political Cabaret on the 30th December. It will be hosted by Gunther Gruhn - the sardonic alter-ego of Barry Murphy.
For more information on the Leviathan Political Cabaret and NYE Genius: A Day of Ideas, see here.
Niall Byrne, better known as Nialler9, is Ireland's most respected music blogger. This arbiter of musical taste is a music journalist, curator, and (he'd blush to hear us say it) a dab hand on the decks. This New Year's Eve Eve (30th December), Niall is collaborating with Happenings to bring you New Year's Thieves, a festive bonanza at the Sugar Club.
We confiscated Niall's record player for just about long enough to chat Chrimbo, not making New Year's Resolutions, and exciting times awaiting Dublin in 2014...
My most treasured Christmas tradition is putting up a tree like a real grown-up. The perfect Christmas is all about family, friends, and a super chill time doing nothing.
My best New Year's Eve memory is a night in Roisin Dubh,Galway, two years ago. The Cast Of Cheers pulled out a sax in their set. Le Galaxie showed why they are now playing the Olympia. There were good friends present. We partied til the morning. We met up for late breakfast. Bliss. I don't know what I'm going to do for New Year's Eve yet. That's the beauty of a night like that. Take it as it comes.
My most memorable New Year's Eve in Dublin? Now, that would be telling. But let's just say it involved a venue beginning with W and a long walk home where there were lots of house parties to be dropped into.
2014 has a lot in store for Nialler9. More events. More long hours spent listening to music. More everything. Maybe I'll finally grow up. I won't be making a New Year's resolution, though. There'll be none of that nonsense.
I see lots more creativity and collaboration for Dublin in 2014. More of Dublin establishing its own in coffee, food and music in particular. As for bands who are going to make huge strides in 2014, Hozier is an obvious one. A band from rural Limerick called Bleeding Heart Pigeons are less obvious.
For more information about New Year's Thieves, see here.
Dublin’s Three New Year’s Eve Festival is a four day event running from Dec. 29th – Jan. 1st and is sure to keep you on your festive toes from one year right through to the next. Find out more on the Three New Year’s Eve website and feel free to join in the online chatter over the festive season by using the #NYEDublin and #LoveDublin hashtags on ‘ye old’ Twitter.