PICK OF THE WEEK

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - MUSIC REVIEWS - Lau­rence Mackin

QUAR­TER BLOCK PARTY It’s all very well jet­ting off to fes­ti­vals in sun­nier climes, with ma­jor-name head­lin­ers el­bow­ing each other for space on the come­back trail. But not all fes­ti­vals can rely on such deep pock­ets, and of­ten just as im­por­tant to have a good sense of what you’re hop­ing to cre­ate as who you want hold­ing up the bill.

Cork’s Quar­ter Block Party is an in­trigu­ing of­fer­ing. Put to­gether by Makeshift En­sem­ble and South­ern Hos­pi­tal­ity Board, it prefers to think of it­self as a se­ries of unique events rather than one rolling fes­ti­val. For three days, it takes over Cork’s North and South Main Streets with a vi­brant ar­ray of tal­ent dur­ing what’s tra­di­tion­ally a qui­eter time of year.

The or­gan­is­ers have run the fes­ti­val along themes, and this year it’s a heart­warm­ing Youth and Rev­o­lu­tion. The aim is to build an au­di­ence over sev­eral years, and it’s easy to imag­ine QBP de­vel­op­ing the same sort of re­peat busi­ness that the likes of the larger arts fes­ti­vals and Other Voices now rou­tinely ex­pect.

There will be gigs in pubs, clubs and churches, art, food, pop-up shops and the odd “cel­e­bra­tory protest”. Per­haps it’s the clever tim­ing, or maybe they just talk a great game, but the or­gan­is­ers have got pretty much ev­ery good band in Ire­land play­ing. Among those to be found in the south­west this week­end are Damsel, Ta­los, Somerville, Joni, Spook of the Thirteenth Lock, Bas­civille, Paddy Hanna, Bitch Fal­con, Donal Di­neen, Mel­ty­brains? (above) and oh so many more.

There will also be a dis­cus­sion with Cul­tural Free­lancers Ire­land on equal­ity in the arts, a Ja­vanese Game­lan work­shop, Po­ets of the Rev­o­lu­tion, and Sing Along So­cial will be giv­ing Abba Gold the once over. Don’t let that last one put you off, it’s not manda­tory.

A week­end ticket for all events is ¤40 with day tick­ets just un­der ¤20. See quar­terblock­party.com.

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