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Why so few Irish acts at Glastonbury 2010?

Apr 16

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Friday, April 16, 2010  RssIcon

Glastonbury Pyramid StageThe lineup for Glastonbury 2010 was announced yesterday and it's a whopper (as you'd expect for  the 40th anniversary of the festival). Over the 3 days of the festival there are 285 different musical acts scheduled to perform (and that's not even counting the acts earmarked for the "Poetry and Words" stage).

Playing are Muse, U2, Vampire Weekend, Flaming Lips, Florence and the Machine, La Roux, Pet Shop Boys, Orbital, MGMT, Midlake, The xx, The National, Editors, Grizzly Bear and Broken Social Scene. And the list goes on...

[Aside: Having managed last Sunday morning to secure one of the last tickets to Glasto 2010, I do be terribly exicited]. 

However what's disappointing is the Irish delegation at the festival. Yes, U2 are headlining on the Pyramid stage on the Friday night (and could well deliver a highlight of the festival, it being their first time in over 20 years to deliver a full set without any visual gimmickery in front an outdoor crowd) but otherwise you have to dig very deep to find Irish acts.

As far as I can see there are, in addition to U2, only 8 other Irish acts in the entire lineup (or 9 if your definition of Irish stretches to including Rodrigo y Gabriela). And half of those (The Saw Doctors, Christy Moore, Brian Kennedy and Ash) could not credibly be held up as representative examples of where the Irish music scene is today. 

So what's the reason behind this? Well I have no clue. Is it that the more recent waves of Irish acts are not selling themselves hard enough to the Glasto promoters? Or are they doing so, but the promoters are not interested? Or does the best of Irish scene not cut the mustard for such a prestigious festival? Or some mix of the above? Any insights out there?

Here are the Irish acts confirmed so far for Glasto 2010:

  • U2
  • Two Door Cinema Club
  • Brian Kennedy
  • Julie Feeney
  • Ash
  • Christy Moore
  • Imelda May (who is actually playing two gigs at Glasto 2010)
  • The Saw Doctors
  • Fionn Regan

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2 comment(s) so far...


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Re: Why so few Irish acts at Glastonbury 2010?

I once heard a UK A&R man say that UK labels only come to Ireland looking for safe indie "rock" (of the type we're sadly all too familiar with), bland singer-songwriters or vacuous pop acts. He said no-one looks to Ireland for anything new, original or different. This could be your answer: they just don't rate us and I do agree that the line-up is not representative of the Irish music scene. But what is? The most exciting Irish "scene" to emerge is the Electro/Krautrock-influenced bands like Twinkranes, Darkroom Notes, Tiny Magnetic Pets, 202s etc. This is where it's at in 2010.

But who's listening when there's some indie bland/dull singer/songwriter playing in Whelan's who could be the next U2 after 30 years of searching, or the next Damian Rice.

Thrilling stuff indeed...

By Jasper on   Saturday, April 24, 2010
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Re: Why so few Irish acts at Glastonbury 2010?

Hey Eoghan. U2 for Glasto eh? Not really sure how to react to that one. Could go either way I reckon and will be interesting to see how the post-1990 songs that up to now have been so heavily dependent on electronic wizardry and giant (and sometimes vulgar) screens will come across on a comparatively bare stage.
Think they may 'just' have enough in their back catalogue to get away with it.....;p

By Ken on   Saturday, April 24, 2010

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