Next week, we make the first proper live music line-up announcement for this year's Camden Crawl. Just to avoid the illusion that this blog is designed purely as a promotional tool, however (as if!), I wanted to talk about something completely different. I wanted to talk about Dublin.
The city of James Joyce and Molly Malone is a remarkable place. No one needs to be told that it is a cultural hotspot, full of talent quite out of proportion to its size. Musicians and artists of all stripes travel to Dublin not just from the other towns and villages of Ireland, but from all over the world. It has a special magic all its own.
When I first started toying with the idea of exporting the Camden Crawl model to like-minded communities, the Irish capital wasn't the obvious first step that it should have been. I spent two years going round the houses - looking at Paris, Manchester, Amsterdam, Glasgow and Madrid, before winding up in Dublin last summer.
Not only was it right because Ireland is experiencing a bit of a new music renaissance, with its own home-grown stable of brilliant acts, but it also possesses, to my immense satisfaction, a Camden Street - where, naturally, the most important live music venue sits!
The Camden Crawl Dublin will be held for the first time this year, on 11 May and 12 May, and rumble down from Lower Camden Street to Temple Bar near the banks of the Liffey. Along the route, our multiple venues will, as in London, play host to a mix of the very latest bands to established names. For those of you wondering if all this means precisely the same amount and kind of work I've been talking about in my last few posts about the London event: yes, it really, really does.
What's exciting about putting in all this extra work, though, is that we're creating a festival which already has its own character. Last week, we held the launch party for the event at Whelans, in Wexford Street. The place was full of exactly the kind of energy and creativity that I knew the Dublin event needed to celebrate, and the performances - from Irish band Tieranniesaur and London's representative James Yuill - were barn-storming. This is pretty much how the launch of a new festival should feel, and our curators were over the moon.
The model for the Dublin event is very much the same as the original: those curators represent the cream of Ireland's DJs, promoters and record labels, and each will host one of the 15 venues we have on our roster for the first year. So far, we've announced Becoming Real, Alarmist, Dutch Uncles, D/R/U/G/S, Clock Opera, Sert One, Last Days of 1984, We Are Losers and more - you can check out further information at the website.
If you'd told me 10 years ago that I would voluntarily be co-ordinating two festivals simultaneously, I would have thought I'd be doing four. That's how much I constantly underestimate how much hard work this all is!
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