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The Complex, Dublin City

July 27th – 30th, 2023

MusicTown 2023 – A Dublin City Council Initiative

MusicTown happens all under one roof this year. A broad sweep of the infinite spectrum of music-makers resident in Ireland descend on The Complex in Dublin City on the last weekend of July, 27th – 30th, for an essential inspection and celebration of the state of Irish music in 2023.

This line-up isn’t just a snapshot of music in Ireland, it’s a reflection of the diversity of Irish life itself.

MusicTown originated in 2015, an initiative from Dublin City Council Arts Officer Ray Yeates to create a platform where all the different styles, tribes and genres of music performed in Dublin could exist side by side on one programme. Over the past seven years the programme has travelled all over the city from studios to parks to churches to concert halls. It has spawned essential collaborations not just amongst musicians but work that has crossbred across theatre, dance, literature and visual art. MusicTown even defied COVID for two years presenting exciting programmes of live-streamed performances and original music films exclusively online.

This year the programme is evolving again, condensing into a weekend experience and unlike all previous years, housed within the one building, The Complex in Dublin’s Smithfield district. “In previous years we’ve had more sprawling programmes, but this year, as music in Dublin rapidly spreads its wings post pandemic we wanted to offer a more intense snapshot of what it looks like,” comments MusicTown Creative Director, Leagues O’Toole. “As our identities as performers, producers, as people change, so too does the framework by which we identify music. We are gradually transcending traditional genres. As the rigid identities that once dictated music dissolve we are experiencing a new level of diversity. Each of the 30+ artists performing over the weekend will present their own personal and unique genre, an expression of their story, their dreams and struggles.”

MusicTown 2023 welcomes three esteemed guest curators this year, the Improvised Music Company (IMC), Dublin Digital Radio & Crash Ensemble.

The IMC have specialised in all things jazz and improv since 1991. As part of this year’s weekender, the IMC will be launching their exciting new venue The Cooler, a former Fyffes banana-ripening unit housed in The Complex building, amidst the fruit and vegetable market area of Dublin’s North inner city.

The Crash Ensemble return to MusicTown with three really special and highly intimate performances in the Gallery space performing the Irish premiere of Glassworks by Philip Glass.

Dublin Digital Radio is a wholly independent and subscription-funded award-winning online community radio station pumping out alternative music, art, and politics since 2016. As long-time supporters of experimental and left-of-field music and local scenes we have invited them to curate a special afternoon on Sunday which features three very unique artists.

“We invited IMC, DDR and Crash this year because, in creative terms, they are essential services who have been contributing diverse ideas and precious resources to the music landscape in Dublin for many years,” explains Leagues. “The overall programme is our attempt to freezeframe what is happening culturally amongst innovative artists across generations.”

Tickets for all shows while last available

The full line-up features:

Anna Mieke / Adrian Crowley / Natalia Beylis & Eimear Reidy / Aoife Wolf

Junior Brother / girlfriend. / Paddy Hanna / Elaine Malone / Pebbledash

Glassworks, Philip Glass (Irish Premiere) – Crash Ensemble

Qbanaa / Tomike / Moondiver / Emmy Shigeta

Izumi Kimura / Dana Masters Band / Zaska / H-Ci

gush / Ria Rua / ALYXIS / I Dreamed I Dream

Péist / Ian Nyquist / E the Artist

Carole Nelson Trio / Michael Buckley Quartet

Paddy Keenan (accompanied by John Francis Flynn & Alan Burke) / Poor Creature / Iona Zajac

MusicTown is a Dublin City Council Arts initiative programmed and produced by Foggy Notions. Original artwork by Paul Guinan.