Irish DylanFest Spreads Its Wings to Culdaff, Greencastle and Derry

Rosatos Bar Moville for the DylanFest on the Lough

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.

DylanFest in Culdaff – Welcome to the Swinging Sixties

DylanFest in Culdaff

There will be a DylanFest in Culdaff this year as well as Moville. It is the first time that Culdaff have really been in it.

We had a trial last year when McGrory’s asked for a Dylan act for the Saturday night. It was supposed to be the great Al Diesan playing. However, he had injured himself in a fall and had to pull out. Shaun Hiboy from Moville deputised.

McGuinness’s and McGrory’s Join DylanFest in Culdaff

Shaun must have done pretty well as McGrory’s decided to take acts on the Friday, Saturday and Sunday of this year’s DylanFest. Not only that but McGuinness’s Bar in Culdaff joined them in coming in for all three nights.

Indeed McGuinness’s are going to put their acts on in their Marquee.

And what acts they are.

Culdaff – DylanFest Programme of Events

Here’s the programme for he DylanFest in Culdaff during the festival.

Friday (Aug 23d)

9:30 – McGrory’s – Al Diesan

10:30 – McGuinness’s – Ryan O’Dochartaigh

Thursday (Aug 24th)

9:30 – McGrory’s – Cajum Moon

10:30 – McGuinness’s – The Dylanites (5-piece)

Sunday (Aug 25th)

9:30 – McGuiness’s – Michal Thomas

9:30 – McGroroy’s – Mr Jones

For further information on those acts click on DylanFest Music Acts

Europe’s Biggest Bob Dylan Festival Comes to Derry / Londonderry

Europe’s Biggest Bob Dylan Festival

A festival of music by the iconic music legend Bob Dylan will be coming to the Legenderry city in late August 2018. Venues are already being booked for it.

It is an extension of the festival that has been running in Moville, Donegal since 2007 called Stuck Inside of Moville, the DylanFest on the Lough.

Acts come from all over Europe to perform at it and Dylan fans come from all over the world to be there.

Said Tara Boehm, who has come over twice by herself from Philadelphia for

Tara Boehm

Tara Boehm

Moville’s DylanFest “The DylanFest is cool beans. It was an amazing experience with a new advernture around every corner. It’s great craic. Great cheer and an awesome experience all round. I made some great friends.  I’m bummed that  can’t make it this year”.

Stuck Inside of Moville

Said organiser Gerry McLaughlin “accommodation is booked for miles around in Moville for the DylanFest and so we thought that it would be time to expand it and L/Derry is the most obvious place to spread to.

“I’ve already had great help from L/Derry council and Visit Derry who already run so many great events in Derry like the Jazz Festival. It makes putting on the DylanFest a lot easier.

“We’ve already had great demand from venues who want to put it on. I’m told that a DylanFest will be very popular in L/Derry.”

Mayor of Derry

It seems that L/Derry is very much mlooking forward to it too.

Said the Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council, Councillor Maolíosa McHugh: “I am delighted that the popular DylanFest on the Lough is now extending itself down the Foyle and into Derry City for 2018.

“It is an event that has grown year on year since it began in 2007 and has attracted visitors and performers from all over the world to sample the North West’s famous hospitality and celebrate the work of one of the great songwriters of our time, Bob Dylan.

“We look forward to welcoming those visitors to our City and District in August, it is an event that I’m sure local people will come out and get involved in too and is part of a packed programme of events planned by Council for Summer 2018 including the Foyle Maritime Festival in July.”

Councillor Martin Farren

Said Donegal Councillor, Martin Farren, from Moville, who has seen 11 annual DylanFests on the Lough there, “I would like to take the opportunity to thank all of those who have been involved in putting together the DylanFest in Moville for the past 11 years and none more so than Gerry McLaughlin who came up with the idea 11 years ago. It has gone from strength to strength growing bigger every year.

“I would like to also take the opportunity to wish those who are organising the joint DylanFest in Moville and L/Derry, in 2008, every success and Moville is happy to be sharing this great event with the people of that great city of L/Derry.”

All Along the Watchtower

The L/Derry part of the DylanFest on the Foyle will be called All Along the Watchtower as many of the venues taking part are in Waterloo Street in the shadow of Derry’s Walls.

The words from All Along the Watchtower are an allusion from from the Bible (Isaiah) and are from Dylan’s Christian period. The title itself is derived from a passage in Isaiah:

They prepare the table, they spread the rugs, they eat, they drink. Arise, O princes; oil the shield! For thus the Lord said to me: “Go, set a watchman; let him announce what he sees. When he sees riders, horsemen in pairs, riders on donkeys, riders on camels, let him listen diligently, very diligently.” Then he who saw cried out: “Upon a watchtower I stand, O Lord, continually by day, and at my post I am stationed whole nights. And behold, here come riders, horsemen in pairs!” And he answered, “Fallen, fallen is Babylon; and all the carved images of her gods he has shattered to the ground.”
(Isaiah 21:5-9 ESV)

Isaiah 21 is a prophecy against Babylon, known widely for The Tower of Babel, which was built by man and intended to reach up to the Heavens.

Displeased by their intentions, God came down and scattered the formerly united people, creating a language barrier between them. This sets the tone for the song, which is ridden with Biblical and apocalyptic imagery.

Al Diesan from Sardinia in Italy

Among the acts already booked to come is Al Diesan from the island of Sardinia in Italy. He comes to the DylanFest on the Lough every year to play.

DylanFest 2016 - Al Diesan - Rosatos

DylanFest 2016 – Al Diesan – Rosatos

Al needs 6 planes to get here and back plus numerous taxis and buses just to play at the DylanFest.

Al goes to all the Dylan Festivals in Europe and last year went to the main one in America in California. He was the first non-American to play at it.

Said Al “Of all the Dylan festivals I play at the one in Moville is the most enjoyable. I am glad to hear that it has expanded to Derry. I played a gig once in Derry before when I came and look forward to doing so again.”

Visit Derry

Derry is becoming a major centre for music festivals.

Said Odhran Dunne, General Managerof Visit Derry.

The city is renowned for its fantastic festivals and events calendar and the Dylan Fest Music Festival will be a welcome addition to the busy summer 2018 programme. Events are a major driver of tourism business to the city, enhancing and complimenting the destination’s cultural offering to provide a LegenDerry experience for our visitors”.

The DylanFest on the Lough will take place in L/Derry and Moville from August 23rd to 27th on the bank holiday weekend. For more information see www.DylanFest.com or the Facebook page DylanFest Moville.

To see the DylanFest Acts available click on DylanFest Music Acts.

To see the venues involved so far click on DylanFest Venues.