Stevie G: Rod’s visit will liven up the city

In his weekly column Stevie G looks ahead to the city's major event this weekend, Rod Stewart's concert at Páirc Uí Chaoimh
Stevie G: Rod’s visit will liven up the city
Rod Stewart who plays Cork this weekend. (Photo by Peter Sanders/Redferns)

THIS weekend we will see Cork at its full potential.
The huge Rod Stewart gig at Páirc Uí Chaoimh will be at the crux of this, and though it’s unlikely to make as big an impact as last year’s Ed Sheeran trio of concerts, it will still have an impressive knock-on effect for the city and surrounding areas. Many bars, restaurants, and venues are putting on extra events to cope with the influx of visitors to Cork, and it should really add to the buzz around the city.

One of these venues, Crawford and Co, have been very enterprising with some of the events they have been hosting lately, and they are on the Páirc Uí Chaoimh side of town, so they should be busy this Saturday.

To help celebrate, they are putting on a northern soul all-day event with a barbecue and a who’s who of terrific DJs.

Long before he was a mainstream pop star, Rod Stewart was forging out a career with the likes of Jeff Beck and of course The Faces, and his ‘Rod the Mod’ moniker was well-earned.

His soulful roots are well documented and soul fans will be well looked after when it comes to this northern soul event in the Crawford. These soulful gems are being brought to you by some great spinners.

Phil Hope is one of Cork’s finest DJs — he has been running his Under a Plastic Cloud night for many years here, dropping rare and soulful gems from a box of his favourite 45s on the evening.

Two more wonderfully knowledgable record collectors and great DJs are John Byrne and Ian Fiasco, and they will both be in action too, on a night that runs late till 2am. Andrew Flynn runs the rhythm n’booze night in Limerick and he will be bringing a lovely collection of rn’b classics, while Jo Doran and Elvis Beetham from the Time Machine in Westport will complete a heavyweight line-up of soul aficionados and tune selectors.

There are many other bars and venues running Rod Stewart related events next weekend, but overall the knock-on effect for Cork will be great. It’s similar when it comes to the Live at the Marquee and Independent Park series of events that take place in Cork in June. Sold-out acts such as Versatile are already planning an after-party, which should help generate more of a buzz in the city centre, and similarly there are events taking place after Independent park gigs such as Liam Gallagher and Lauryn Hill.

These festivals are crucial not just for the bars in the surrounding areas but for the city itself and Cork in the summertime is a pretty great place to party!

It’s also Africa Week in Cork at the moment and this means we have yet another opportunity to celebrate Cork City’s diversity with a great gig in the park.

This time Fitzgerald’s Park is the venue on Saturday afternoon and there will be a big variety of artists, singers, and dancers performing at a free family-friendly event where everyone is invited. This is just one out of many culturally rich events which have been running in Cork all week celebrating the African diaspora, and Africa Week has gone from strength to strength every year.

Over in Dali later that evening, myself, DJ Grillz, and Chedder will be hosting our own after-party at Taboo, mixing up dancehall, afro-beats, hip-hop, and soul.

This Sunday, Cork is also hosting something quite different with a club night for adults with intellectual disabilities taking place at the Kino.

Jerry Mulcahy, who has special needs himself, will be the main DJ on the night, which kicks off from 8pm. Jerry’s father Alan is organising the event with Ernest Cantillon and the aim is to create a safe space for people with special needs to enjoy Cork’s social scene.

I’m hitting the decks there myself and can’t wait to check it out. The venue has full wheelchair access and toilets and there will be a bar with drink and coffee available too, as well as security to help anyone who needs assistance. Well done to the organisers for trying something so innovative and inclusive!

There are similar events happening around the country and I can see this being the first of many such events in Cork City.

Music is a great way of connecting people and breaking down barriers, so this sounds like a great idea to me!

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