Irish DylanFest Spreads Its Wings to Culdaff, Greencastle and Derry

Irish DylanFest

The 13th annual festival of Bob Dylan music, Stuck Inside of Moville, the Irish DylanFest on the Lough is starting to spread through the surrounding area. For the first time it will take place in four different towns – Moville, Culdaff, Greencastle and Derry / LondonDerry. It takes place from August 22nd to 25th.

There will be 19 different gigs in 7 venues in 4 locations and it will go on for 4 days. Three of those venues will be in Moville, two in Culdaff, one in the quaint fishing village of Greencastle and one in Derry / Londonderry.

Bob Dylan an Icon

Said organiser Gerry McLaughlin, “The great thing about having a Dylan festival is that you don’t have to sell the man. You just need to let people know that it is on and they come.” In its first year, in 2007, news of it was on national radio.

A Canadian couple, who were touring Ireland and heard it, stopped at the next petrol station and asked “Where’s Moville?”, turned the car around and headed straight for it. Another guy came all the way from San Francisco for it. There have been many international visitors since.

Marriage Proposal at DylanFest on the Lough

At the next DylanFest a guy from Belfast proposed to his girlfriend from Derry by getting up before her on the last day of the festival, going to the sea Lough at low tide, collecting a whole load of white pebbles and stones and putting them on the sand saying “Marry Me”.

When the tide came in and covered the pebbles he took her down to the shore and said “What do you think?” She looked at the sky and said “It’s a beautiful day”. He said “No, look at the water”.

She did and she saw the message there. She said later “I thought that was very romantic someone putting that in the water for his girlfriend.” Her boyfriend said “No, it’s for you”. She accepted straight away and they did get married.

Edinburgh Fringe Festival Success

This year the DylanFest organiser has pulled off a coup by getting an act who sold out the Space Triplex complex  at last year’s Edinburgh Fringe festival to come and perform at this year’s DylanFest.

The show is called When Judas Meets John and looks at the lives and music of Bob Dylan and John Lennon and how they interacted and inspired each other.

Al Diesen Back at Moville DylanFest

Back again this year is arguably the best Dylan act in the world,  Al Diesan from Sardinia in Italy. Said organiser Gerry “He missed last year’s festival and some people didn’t come because of that”. He and his wife have to take 6 flights, four buses and two taxis to get to Moville and back again.

Virtuoso Guitarist Michael Thomas

Another performer is New Yorker, Michael Thomas, a virtuoso guitarist, who now lives in Portstewart on the other side of the salmon fishing Lough Foyle from Moville.

Michael used to play regularly with Henry McCullough who played in Paul McCartney’s band Wings, which he set up after The Beatles broke up. Henry was also the only Irishman to play at Woodstock.

Six DylanFest Gigs in Culdaff

Said organiser Gerry “last year we trialled one gig in Culdaff which is about 10 miles from Moville. It was a success and now there will be 6 gigs there. This year we are trialing a gig in Derry. Michael Thomas will be playing it, so we think it will be a success and more Derry pubs will want in next year.

But firstly this year’s festival. It opens and closes with Al Diesan on the Thursday and Sunday and with 17 more gigs scheduled in between to whet the appetite of any Dylan fan. They should not be disappointed.

For more info see DylanFest Moville on Facebook.

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