Gig Guide

Interview with Peter O’Brien and Simon O’Rielly – Music Minds Festival

Interview with Peter O’Brien and Simon O’Rielly – Music Minds Festival

We had the chance to put some questions to the founders and co-creators of the Music Minds Festival which will take place in Doolin, Co. Clare on the 19th of January. You can see the results below.

“Music Minds 2019 is a one day multi-genre festival of workshops, live shows, guest speakers, debates and films for those interested in advancing music, its lineage and its rapidly changing vista through technology. This will take place at Hotel Doolin on the 19th of January 2019 from 1pm through till late with workshops, panel discussions and demonstrations, followed by evening live performances, DJs and screenings.”

How did you get into organising events? Was it always something you were interested in?

Peter – I fell into events by chance really, I was a professional sportman and I gave it up in my 30s with no plan. Then a few weeks later I saw Rodrigo y Gabriella (a now world famous mexican guitar duo) busking on Grafton Street, they were incredible and I approached them. I offered to help them get themselves out there as I had time and my father was very connected in the music scene, he was a Jazz pianist called Professor Peter O’Brien. It went really well organizing loads of gigs and within a year we had gone from Grafton Street to Vicar Street, that was the start of it and I have been involved in all kinds of events since, from music festivals like Another Love Story and now Music Minds to large scale public events like Happenings Open Air Cinema and Yoga and Conferences and many social cause campaign projects in the areas of Climate Change and Mental Health and Well Being.

This is a new festival. What was the inspiration for it? It seems quite unique in its emphasis?

Simon – I was running my own gigs playing ambient music in the West of Ireland and could see that people here have an interest in alternative music and how it is made, people would come up to me after gigs and ask all about gear and what things do.  I thought it would be great to have an event that would combine both. Living in the west of Ireland means you watch from afar at amazing festivals and events around the world. I would look at events like Moogfest and Ableton events in Berlin and wish there were ones similar in the west of Ireland, so I approached Peter and we came up with the Idea for Music Minds.

What sort of audience are you expecting? Is it people involved in the arts or just the regular gig going public?

Simon – We are hoping that we get both, people in the arts and the general public for the night-time gigs. I think the way we have the workshops structured anybody could go along and get something out of them.  In this day and age, technology means there are so many transferable skills across the arts and further that people can learn from the workflows of many different fields and incorporate it into their own discipline.

Doolin is a lovely part of the world. Why was it chosen as the location for this event?

Simon – Doolin is an amazing place, walking distance to the Cliffs of Moher and has obviously massive music heritage, The hotel where the festival is happening hosts The Doolin Folk festival and has a really cool layout. There is a great Barn and lots of different areas all centered around a courtyard that is really sheltered from the elements. The West of Ireland is at its most beautiful in winter, people can incorporate coming to the festival with seeing the Burren and the Cliffs of Moher etc.


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