The Take

Crit­i­cal picks for the week ahead

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - DONALD CLARKE - LOUISEBRUT­ON ■ The Fi­nal District 8 Dance takes place at the Tivoli The­atre, Dublin, tonight. dis­tric­t8­dublin.com

Apartho­tel is a dirty word. As well as gob­bling up spa­ces that could be used for long-term and af­ford­able hous­ing, this type of ac­com­mo­da­tion is also de­vour­ing the venues that sup­port the na­tion’s live mu­sic scene. The lat­est vic­tim is the Tivoli The­atre in Dublin, the home to Christ­mas pan­tos and to the dance and techno (and ev­ery­thing in be­tween) club night District 8.

The fi­nal District 8 dance event will be the last time that the Tivoli serves as a club venue be­fore it’s turned into a 289-bed apartho­tel in the Lib­er­ties area of Dublin, re­duc­ing the num­ber of medi­um­sized mu­sic venues in Ire­land such as Whe­lan’s, that can fill the gap of play­ing to smaller venues be­fore go­ing on to play the ca­reer mile­stone venues like the Olympia The­atre or the 3Arena. On the bill for the night, it’s a mix of big in­ter­na­tional names like Ki­as­mos (that’s Ice­landic com­poser Óla­fur Ar­nalds and Janus Ras­mussen of the Faroe Is­lands) and the “baron of techno” Dave Clarke play­ing along­side cel­e­brated and adored lo­cal DJs such as Jon Hussey, Su­nil Sharpe, DJ Deece, Cailín and DJs from Hid­den Agenda – the live mu­sic pro­mo­tions com­pany be­hind District 8.

With two in­door stages and its large, sprawl­ing smok­ing area slash car park, the size and the lay­out of District 8 meant it was the per­fect fit for gigs, club nights and day-long par­ties. In re­cent years, the venue has worked with Mother, a queer disco and elec­tro club night, to mark his­toric days such as the over­whelm­ing Yes re­sult in 2015’s mar­riage ref­er­en­dum – now known as the an­nual Yes­ti­val event, which has seen per­for­mances from Peaches, Rub­ber­ban­dits, Ko­jaque, Le Galaxie, Dmitri from Paris and So­phie El­lis-Bex­tor – and it has been home to Mother’s an­nual Pride Block Party since 2015, bring­ing in an eclec­tic mix of per­for­mances from Swedish Euro­vi­sion 2012 win­ner Loreen, Bray’s Wyvern Lingo and Girls Aloud’s Na­dine Coyle, plus DJ sets from Stu­dio 54 leg­end Nicky Siano and Scis­sor Sis­ters’ Jake Shears and Ana Ma­tronic.

District 8 has used the Tivoli as a base since 2014. Past events read like a who’s who of the dance world from the last 30 years: Groove Ar­mada, Dead­mau5, Bi­cep, Camel­phat, Mano Le Tough, Todd Terje, Tiga, DJ Koze, Daniel Avery, Peggy Gou, John Tal­abot, Vi­talic, Boys Noize, Jeff Mills, Pan­tha Du Prince, Float­ing Points and To­tally Enor­mous Ex­tinct Di­nosaurs are just some of the head­lin­ers who have played to a full house here.

Pick­ing up from where the joint spa­ces of Har­court Street’s Craw­daddy and Tri­pod left off in 2012, Tivoli, District 8 and Hid­den Agenda filled that void. While smaller venues and late night bars host sweaty ses­sions and niche par­ties, the hum of Dublin night life is buzzing at a lower fre­quency thanks to high rents, ar­chaic li­cens­ing laws and re­stric­tive open­ing hours – not to men­tion venues be­ing con­verted into apartho­tels.

How­ever, as District 8 in­vites us in to dance one last time in the Tivoli, the Give Us the Night col­lec­tive are cam­paign­ing for pos­i­tive changes to nightlife in Ire­land for DJs, pro­duc­ers, per­form­ers, pro­mot­ers and hard­core and fair­weather mu­sic fans alike. This gig might be District 8’s fi­nal dance, but we’ve to make sure it’s not ours.

PHO­TO­GRAPH: JACK TOIBIN

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