We talk to two of the guys behind ‘Happenings’ during a recent pop-up experience in Dublin.
It is said that the best way to get to know a city is to walk the streets. If you take to the streets of Dublin these days, you’ll notice that something is stirring. More and more people are reimagining the city. To the extent that you never quite know what to expect.
From little things like pop-up restaurants, surprise gigs and urban herb gardens to bigger projects like Granby Park and Street Feast. The city can literally transform before your eyes.
At the forefront of this movement is the Dublin based group ‘Happenings’, who from their little lock-up just off the banks of the Grand Canal have masterminded all sorts of magical events that pop up in places you’d least expect.
Happenings organisers, Peter O’Brien and Samuel Bishop feel strongly that Dublin is in the middle of a creative revolution. ‘When you talk to people around the city and see the stuff that’s happening. It’s very exciting. There is a real can-do vibe around the place’.
It was just this kind of attitude that led to the origins of ‘Happenings’. It all started in a little park in the leafy South Dublin village of Ranelagh . The owner wanted to turn it into a car park. Peter, Sam and a few others convinced him to hand over the keys.
Over the next few months they turned what was a little patch of grass into a sort of canvas. A venue for yoga sessions in the morning, picnics in the afternoon, theatrical performances in the evening and a lot more in between.
Since then, Happenings has become much more ambitious, rather than events in one little park, now the whole city is their playground. They have gone on to create events as diverse as open-air film screenings, exhibitions and impromptu parties all across the city.
One of the most exciting things about ‘Happenings’ isn’t just the experiences themselves, but how they’re organized. The guys developed a new model that allowed them to create events with just 36 hours notice.
Because of this new way of doing things, ‘Happenings’ is able to create experiences that take place at the drop of a hat. So keep an eye out the next time you’re in Dublin, you never know what these guys have up their sleeves. To keep in the loop follow them on Facebook for hints and last minute notice of their events.
As for where ‘Happenings’ goes next, the sky’s the limit according to Sam and Peter – Happenings by it’s nature is an organic thing, the types of events and the places where they happen constantly change as they collaborate with different people and groups – from parties on barges, to picnics on rooftops you never know what shape it’ll take next.
When we asked them if they have much planned for Dublin this Summer, we were met with a coy smile (the kind of smile that says, it’s going to be good). But if their past events are anything to go by, we have some very exciting times ahead.