Beatyard 2019 takes place at Dun Laoghaire Harbour this Saturday and Sunday, with Groove Armada, Chvrches, Jungle, Grandmaster Flash, Greg Wilson and a host of others set to keep the weekend rocking [get your tickets here].
It’s the fifth year that the festival has taken place in the south Dublin suburb, and as the organisers, Bodytonic, said in a statement earlier this week, it could be the last, citing ‘uncertainty’ over the future viability of the festival at its current location.
“We can’t operate here every year on uncertainty, or the idea that other events from abroad will get brought in and we get edged out – not after investing that amount of time and energy into it, and most of us are local to this area too,” Bodytonic said in a statement.
“That just doesn’t seem fair, so we need to consider and create some options. So, we’re putting an SOS call out for rescue – can anyone help us find a mooring for 2020?”
Wherever Beatyard ends up, it’s certain to be a resounding success, with the festival having attracted some of the biggest names in the music business in recent years, not to mention a passionate, up-for-it crowd.
Here are some of our standout performances from over the past four years*… no doubt this weekend will make plenty of new memories. 🙂
Barrington Levy, Beatyard 2015
With stellar acts such as Neneh Cherry and Public Service Broadcasting getting the Sunday afternoon off to a storming start at Beatyard 2015, it was over to reggae legend Barrington Levy to take things to the next level, with backup from the best-dressed support MC we’ve seen this side of Kingston.
When Levy dropped the classic Here I Come, we swear you could hear the vibrations on the other side of Dublin Bay.
Altogether now… “I’m broad, I’m broad, I’m broader than Broadway..!”
Morcheeba, Beatyard 2017
Morcheeba’s Skye Edwards has one of those voices that whisks you away to sandy shorelines, and while the weather for their main stage performance was anything but summery – think dark clouds and smatterings of rain – the moment that the sun bathed the crowd in a glorious sunset, during the classic Rome Wasn’t Built In A Day, will do down as one of our favourite moments of this or any other festival. Pure bliss.
Orbital, Beatyard 2018
As followers of this website will know, Orbital are our all-time number one dance act, so to have them playing just down the road from 909originals HQ was something particularly special.
Kicking off with a rare outing for Lush 3.1, and closing with perennial fave Doctor Who, this was a rollicking ride through 30-odd years of the Hartnoll brothers’ back catalogue.
Craig Charles, Beatyard 2015
To some (ourselves included, most of the time), he will always be Lister from Red Dwarf, but Craig Charles is also the custodian of the Craig Charles Funk & Soul Show on BBC 6 Music, and a master when it comes to selecting both classic and contemporary soul, jazz, roots and funk cuts.
As the rain teemed down on the brave souls gathered around the main stage for festival closer Four Tet, those packed into the neighbouring tent were treated to an unforgettable experience.
Air, Beatyard 2017
Long before 909originals came into existence, we compiled a list of artists past and present ‘we wish we had seen’, and Air positioned somewhere near the summit. Thus, when the French maestros announced they were announcing a 20th anniversary tour, Beatyard pulled off quite a coup in bringing them to Dun Laoghaire.
There were plenty of highs – Kelly Watch The Stars followed by Sexy Boy! – and moments of peaceful serenity (Remember, Playground Love), but the closing La Femme d’Argent just took our breath away, a ten-minute plus jam of epic proportions.
Share your memories in the comments below! 🙂
*[Honourable mentions: George Clinton and Parliament Funkadelic (Beatyard 2016), Fish Go Deep (Beatyard 2017), Public Service Broadcasting (Beatyard 2015), Sugarhill Gang (Beatyard 2018), Daniel Avery (Beatyard 2018), Boney M (yes, seriously! – Beatyard 2016)… plus many more that we were too drunk to remember. Good times.]