I’ve always loved music.
I started playing piano when I was four, and I’ve picked up a few more instruments over the years. In school my friends were into music too and lots of them started playing in bands. (I played in some too but best not mention them.)
My most productive procrastination
When I was fifteen I was supposed to be studying for my Junior Cert exams but I’ve always been a procrastinator. Instead I decided to organise a concert for my friends bands to celebrate the end of exams.
I hired a big empty hall, I got some friends on board, and I started making flyers.
Who needs Adobe? Pritt stick and flyers is where it’s at.
I’ve since lost it but I drew a map of the venue, and listed everything I would need. From the cash box and table at the door, to the drum kit, PA system, down to the last XLR cable. I was determine it was going to be great.
And it went great
About 140 people showed up, paying €5-7 each so it was a nice tidy €800 revenue on the day. Unfortunately I had been a bit too lenient with expenses and profit shares so I only ended up taking home €125 but it was an amazing feeling.
Be careful making deals and don’t let the financials get away from you.
I could come up with something, from my brain, make it real, and people would give me money for it?
I was hooked.
Over the next twelve months I organised about 10 more gigs. I joined forces with some other young promoters and All-Ages Gigs Cork was born. (Does what it says on the tin I suppose?) We turned over about €7,000 in twelve months and had over a thousand people at our gigs.
Onwards and upwards
There were definitely a few challenges with running all-ages gigs. I was young and lots of people didn’t want to deal with me. Many venues either told us no, ignored us, or quotes an exorbitant rate as a polite way to tell us to f**k off.
We found a happy home in An Crúiscín Lán for most of that first year but it wasn’t ideal running underage gigs in a pub. I actually had parents calling me to ask was it alright for their kids to go, and me at 15 convincing them it was fine. Madness.
I was daydreaming of having our own venue, but it was just that — a daydream.