Countdown to festival season begins

Live at the Marquee has recently announced the line-up to their One Day dance event in June, so things are hotting up, says Stevie G in his Downtown column
Countdown to festival season begins

Sonny Fodera will be the headline act on One Day at Live at the Marquee.

The post-Covid-19 clubbing environment is unstable, but there remains a huge appetite for electronic music, whether it be house, techno, hip-hop, dancehall, drum ’n’bass or various global styles (afrobeats/amapiano/brazilian funk/reggaeton etc). The festival countdown is also in full swing and Live at the Marquee have recently announced the line-up to their One Day dance event in June.

This event has brought many big-house acts to Cork over the years, and this year’s line-up features more huge names. Sonny Fodera, who has sold out the 3Arena this weekend, is the headliner, accompanied by Soldardo, LF System, Dave Treacy, and Jen Payne. Expect lots of banging house music at an event that runs on Saturday, June 24, down at the Marquee in Blackrock.

Live at the Marquee also has Jenny Greene and the RTÉ Orchestra doing their regular show on June 23 and UK Rapper Aitch has a sold-out show there on June 7. This is the first rap show there in a while, and, hopefully, a sign of what’s to come from a venue that once hosted Kanye, 50 Cent, Snoop, and Jay Z.

Meanwhile, Independent Park also hosts two huge dance events this June. On June 21, Chemical Brothers will play their eagerly awaited and twice-postponed show here, while The Prodigy land in Cork a week later. Both acts have been playing in Cork and Ireland regularly for about 30 years now, and both have huge followings here. These are two of dance musics biggest names and it’s great to have them back in Cork playing in front of huge audiences.

Any of these shows at Independent Park and the Marquee help attract big numbers to Cork and the knock-on effect for smaller operators and independent late night events is often good too. Again, it all points to the logic of our much-talked-about events centre hosting these gigs regularly, but recent positive news is going to be taken with a pinch of salt by a Cork public used to being let down by promises every few months. Hopefully, it will happen, but in the meanwhile, we will have to make do with these summer events.

Our club scene is doing its best to keep things moving, too, but, as I mentioned earlier, there’s still a lot of uncertainty, but there are plenty of promoters and DJs trying to run nights, as always. In the summer, much of the focus will turn to the larger music festivals, and, even here, there have been a few changes, with Longitude, traditionally one of Ireland’s biggest festivals, now moving from a three- to a two-day event in July. The line-up is still stacked with huge hip-hop and dance names and Travis Scott, MK, Calvin Harris, Lil Uzi Vert and Glorilla, plus many more, are on the bill.

One of the most exciting festival line-ups this summer comes at Body and Soul, in Meath, where Hennessy are celebrating 50 years of hip-hop culture with a bunch of great names, new and old, representing all aspects of the culture. Denise Chaila, Kojaque, Nightmares on Wax, Daddy of Massive Attack, Fabio & Grooverider, Gemma Dunleavy, Aby Coulibaly, Negro Impacto, JyellowL, Strange Boy, DJ Mek, RiRa, and many more are joining a line-up that includes performances, talks, and all elements of hip-hop culture.

I’ll be bringing a selection of Cork’s best new talent to the party, too, with Minnie Marley, Yesunia, AbbieLee, King Koko and Alicia joining my Sound System for a very special set. Elsewhere, the festival already includes Kneecap, The Blessed Madonna, Beth Orton, Giles Peterson, Tinariwen, and many more great acts! Body and Soul has always been one of the country’s best festivals and it runs late June in Ballinlough Castle.

Life Festival, in May, has got Amelie Lens, Belters Only, Carl Cox, Mall Grab, Patrick Topping, Obskur and many more dance acts, while Sea Sessions brings Kasabian, Becky Hill, Cian Ducrot, and others to Donegal. Beyond the Pale has Grace Jones and another great line-up, while Forbidden Fruit, Kaleidoscope, and others are vying for attention too. In future weeks, I’ll preview Indiependence, All Together Now, and the Electric Picnic!

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