PICK OF THE WEEK
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.