As we enter the first month of summer, thousands of people will gather in anticipation of this festival season. The first in several years without social distancing, emotions are sure to run high and fast – which makes this week’s news of updated line-ups, schedules and new music from artists all the more special. .
Abroad, we can mark the return of Primavera in Barcelona, one of the biggest festivals in Europe. And as always, the Music From Ireland team have made it their mission to see the country represented. Alongside international headliners like Dua Lipa, Gorillaz and The Strokes, Music From Ireland secured a showcase at Primavera Pro, the industry-led event that runs alongside the Spanish festival. This year Bobbi Arlo and Pretty Happy, among others, are longtime NW favorites. A career highlight for many of them, I’m sure.
Back home, things are heating up just as quickly at a number of our cultural sensations this summer. To start, Body&Soul has unveiled its full lineup for its festivities this year, which will take place June 17-19. Packed with international talent and local heroes like SPRINTS, Soda Blonde, Pillow Queens, Roísín Murphy and Smoothboi Ezra (among many others), the festival will showcase its talent over 13 stages and three days. Tickets are said to be nearly sold out, so make sure you have some while you can. Beyond the Pale, which we reported on last week, has also followed suit.
Along with the announcement of a new arena, The Big Romance Area, each day of the festival (June 10-12) received its breakdown of performers. My favorite is Saturday – how often do you see Aoife Nessa Frances and Bonobo share a stage?
This summer also sees the return of the legendary Live at the Docklands to Limerick. The show series, which went on hiatus after 2019, is set to return this year after receiving backing from local promoters Dolan’s. Taking place during the June bank holiday, highlights include RTÉ presenter and DJ Jenny green, Hermitage Green and international headliners The National making their Limerick debut.
Commenting on the return of the series, owner and booker Mick Dolan said: “The Live at the Docklands series will be about providing audiences with a spectacular audio-visual experience. The three concerts we have scheduled over the June bank holiday weekend will each offer a unique concert experience on the banks of the River Shannon. The hunger is there for the music and you can see it at every gig and we look forward to welcoming the public to Live at the Docklands.
And a rare piece of good news for Irish broadcasting these days comes in the news that longtime native advocate 8Radio will return to the FM dial this week. Based in Dublin, the station has often aired Ireland’s best and brightest artists. But what was once digital will make a temporary return, until July 3, to stream countywide. Their day-to-day support of native talent of all genres, coupled with their ongoing commitment to live entertainment, makes them one of Ireland’s premier institutions for the independent artist.
Speaking of independent artists, the spotlight is once again on some of the best releases of the week. As we head into summer, these release weeks will quiet down as festivals and holidays take precedence – but this week is proving just as popular and packed as its predecessors.
Starting this week, we see the return of producer Daithí, who teams up with songwriter Ailbhe Reddy in the stunning new track “Sunset.” The opening track from his anticipated third album ‘I’m Here Now’ is loaded with the producer’s pseudo-natural and electronic sounds, but is led by Reddy’s stunning vocals (reminiscent of his collaboration with Sheridan Tingue on the track Daydream ). Really stellar stuff from both.
Also of note, this week is the debut of new artist a boy in strings. Their debut single, ‘Stupid Like That’, has a mature pop pedigree but doesn’t take itself too seriously – the drums and beats happily jump around an electronic arrangement. The perfect piece to relax in the summer.
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