My Weekend: I started working on the Quarter Block Party festival six years ago... it's been going from strength to strength

Ruairí O’Donovan, artist and co-curator of next month’s Quarter Block Party festival
My Weekend: I started working on the Quarter Block Party festival six years ago... it's been going from strength to strength
Ruairi O’Donovan – artist and co- curator of Quarter Block Party festival

Ruairí O’Donovan, artist and co-curator of next month’s Quarter Block Party festival tells us how he spends his weekend and we find out about the upcoming festival



Tell us a little bit about yourself:

I’m an artist and a curator from Maryborough — I’m one of the team that produces Quarter Block Party every February in various venues around Cork city.

We are busy putting the final touches on this years’ festival, coming February 8 to 10. When I’m not working on the festival, I work as a choreographer. I split my time between west Cork, on Oileán Chléire, and on the road touring with shows. My family are from Ballyphehane and Turner’s Cross but I grew up in Ballincollig before we moved back into town.

I started working on the festival about six years ago and it’s been going from strength to strength.

We are all artists in our own right and I guess the festival is about showcasing the best experimental and contemporary music and performance.

It’s a bit of a love buzz for us for Cork as well — we love showing off all the great things the city has to offer.

Ruairi O’Donovan – artist and co- curator of Quarter Block Party festival.
Ruairi O’Donovan – artist and co- curator of Quarter Block Party festival.

What is your ideal way to spend a Friday night?

My ideal Friday night probably starts with a meal somewhere in town — I love Iyers or Miyazaki — so kicking off with that — then on to a show or a gig with friends and afterwards setting up in the corner of Arthur Maynes or Cahalane’s with a few drinks.

Lie ins or up with the lark.. which is it for you?

Up with the lark for me — life’s too short to spend it in bed.

Does work creep into your weekend at all?

I’m happy to say that in some ways it does — a lot of gigs and performances happen over the weekend so I’d be lying if I said going to those wasn’t an element of what I do.

I am getting better at switching off from the work emails at the weekend though.

If money was no object where would you head to on a weekend city break? And who would you bring with you?

I have a soft spot for Portugal and Greece — so either Athens or Faro for a weekend getaway, and it would have to be my boyfriend Gabriel on the trip with me.

Closer to home, is there some place you like to head to recharge the batteries?

When I’m not up in the city working I live down in west Cork on Oileán Chléire — Cape Clear island — so that’s really home at the moment. There is nothing like staring out at the Atlantic from one of the cliffs down there.

Do you like to catch up with family/friends at the weekend?

Weekends are all about friends and family — I try to see my niece and nephew Mila and Oliver, and the rest of the family when I can.

Ruairi O’Donovan – artist and co- curator of Quarter Block Party festival.
Ruairi O’Donovan – artist and co- curator of Quarter Block Party festival.

Do you get to indulge any hobbies? Even as a spectator?

I’ve just gone back to yoga after a good while not practicing so I am enjoying that — taking classes when I can or just throwing the mat out at home and stretching it out.

Entertain or be entertained? If it’s the latter do you have a signature dish?

As I am a performer by trade I like to be entertained — I’m not fussy about what someone prepares for me once the thought is there and the conversation is good.

We have so many places to eat out in Cork — where are your go to spots for coffee/lunch/special meal?

Coffee and tea has got to be Soma, the lads in there are always great banter; lunch, if the weather is good, you can’t beat Good Day Deli; and special mention for a treat or takeaway has to be My Goodness in the English Market — they do the best Vegan Snickers Bars and their Nachos are out of this world.

Sunday night comes around too fast ... how do you normally spend it?

At home, feet up, fire lit, good book or a movie.

What time does your alarm clock go off on Monday morning?

9am sharp - up and at ‘em!

ABOUT THE UPCOMING FESTIVAL

Quarter Block Party, February 8 to 10, runs in venues around Cork city, injecting a sense of excitement and laying down a cultural marker as the springtime begins to show its face.

As usual, the festival will sprawl through the city’s streets and venues with more than 50 music, art, and theatre performances.

Amble through a weekend wonderland of pop-up shows, public art events, and creative discussion in the shops, venues and outdoor spaces to discover some of the freshest high-calibre Irish and International artists.

Some exciting names on the bill include: The Bonk, Gyda Valtysdottir, Lemoncello, Myles Manley, John Francis Flynn, Rachel Lavelle, Acid Granny, Maija Sofia, Tonnta, Ping Pong Social and there’s so much more.

With both established and rising stars of the Irish music scene playing across the weekend as well as international performance artists, as ever the festival will be filled with some real world-class talent. Gain access to events through single event tickets, or with Bundle Passes (€25 plus booking fee for three shows).

Tickets on sale now at www.uticket.ie.

See quarterblockparty.com for full festival details

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