A 44th Festival of Firsts

The 44th annual Liberties Festival was a great success in 2014. It was a festival of firsts in many ways. We hosted our first international guest, Shane Bitney Crone who joined us from LA, and programmed our first LGBTQ event. We got all fancy using iPads for check-in during our ticketed events. We programmed a diversity of new workshops for all ages, all free of charge, including Liberties In Bloom where young and old together created 150 hanging baskets to enhance the area. Our photographic exhibition, Liberties Inked, received huge acclaim and Nighthawks at the Guinness Storehouse was our best yet! 

There were so many moments of happiness and entertainment, facilitated by skilled and generous contributors, workshop organisers and performers. Thank you all.

Thank you, as always, to our wonderful sponsors and to the vibrant local community for your support. Thank you to the fantastic team of volunteers, such an important part of the Festival. Huge thanks to everyone who attended an event in 2014. We’re already looking forward to July 2015!

To view a selection of fun photos from Liberties Festival 2014, please click here to visit our Facebook page.

You can also enjoy Festival TV‘s excellent series of programmes featuring interviews with Festival performers and organisers, and local community members; reports from events; walks around the area; and coverage from workshops to bring back your happy memories or, if you couldn’t be there, to enjoy a taste of Liberties Festival 2014.

The series was first broadcast on UPC throughout the Festival. You can now watch it on YouTube here.

Liberties Festival TV are looking a TV Presenter

Screen Shot 2014-07-02 at 12.29.50Fancy doing some TV presenting in Dublin’s lively Liberties this summer? Festival TV will be broadcasting onto Dublin Community Television (DCTV) from the Liberties Festival in July, and we’re looking for a volunteer to front our daily fifteen-minute highlights show. You’ll be working with a team of fellow volunteers, supervised by an experienced crew, in our South Earl Street studio in the heart of Dublin’s Liberties.

No experience is necessary, just a desire to learn, an ability to communicate with an audience, and a commitment to the following dates:

Monday July 14th

Tuesday July 15th

Wednesday July 16th

Thursday July 17th

Saturday July 19th

Sunday July 20th

If you want to get involved, simply send a link to a short audition video to festivaltvseries@gmail.com by Tuesday July 8th at  2 p.m.

All episodes will be broadcast on DCTV CH 802 on the UPC Digital network and made available online on our youtube channel here where you can watch the three episodes we have already made in Drimnagh.

Nighthawks @ the Guinness Storehouse on Saturday 19 July

Nighthawks @ the Guinness Storehouse has become a Liberties Festival highlight. This is our fourth time to partner with the brilliant Nighthawks team who also run a monthly sell-out event in the Cobalt Café and regularly stage performances at venues around the country and at other festivals including Electric Picnic, Flatlakes and more.

Screen Shot 2014-07-02 at 11.33.22Returning to the Festival for the fourth year, Nighthawks at the Guinness Storehouse has become a summer highlight in Dublin. Seven brilliant acts will perform this year. There’s music from One Horse Pony, Clara Rose and Shane Hennessy. There’s comedy from Kevin Gildea and John Colleary. And there’s literature from Colm Keegan and Donal Ryan. That’s a magic line-up in a wonderful venue.

Doors @ 8.00pm | Starts @ 8.30pm | Ends @ 11.45pm approx.

john collearykevin gildea

The admission price also includes complementary canapés and a free self-guided tour of the Guinness Storehouse. As always, you can count on the Liberties for a real bargain!

Guinness StorehouseThe Guinness Storehouse is rated as Ireland’s No 1 visitor attraction and our annual gig there offers the chance to experience it in a whole new way. Get there at 8pm to view some of the exhibits. Venue doors open at 8.15pm. Gig starts at 8.30pm in the characterful 5th level Arthur’s Bar with stunning city views.

Tickets only €17. Get them here now.

Fully accessible, and full bar.

* 10% booking charge applies

Exclusive Film Screening for Liberties Festival 2014

The 44th annual Liberties Festival runs from Tuesday 15 to Saturday 19 July with an exciting programme of film, music, comedy, art and community events across Dublin’s historic Liberties area. This year the Festival is proud to present the premiere and only Irish screening of the multi-award winning, critically acclaimed documentary film Bridegroom and to welcome filmmaker and marriage equality activist, Shane Bitney Crone, to the Liberties from LA.

In 2012 on the first anniversary of his partner Tom Bridegroom’s death, Shane uploaded a short video about the anguish he was experiencing to YouTube, entitled It Could Happen To You. It quickly became viral and is now approaching 5 million views.  This led to the feature length film Bridegroom which was funded through Kickstarter and premiered at Tribeca Film Festival last year, with an introduction by Bill Clinton.

Bridegroom is a gripping documentation of Shane’s life with Tom and his devastating experience following Tom’s death in a tragic accident aged 29.  Tom’s family had refused to accept Tom’s sexuality or to acknowledge their relationship. Shane was denied hospital visits and other rights afforded to married and same-sex couples. He was threatened with violence by Tom’s family – who rapidly shut off contact with Shane – should he attend Tom’s funeral in his Indiana hometown.

Shane Bitney CroneBridegroom is both an intimate portrayal of a beautiful relationship and a powerful exploration of the tragic results of homophobia. It is heart breaking yet life affirming; funny, brave and forgiving. Produced and directed by Linda Bloodworth Thomason, the film has received critical acclaim and won numerous awards including Audience Awards for Best Documentary at the 2013 Tribeca Film Festival, the 2013 Toronto Inside Out Festival and the 2013 Little Rock Film Festival. It also won Outstanding Documentary Feature at the 2013 Outfest in LA and jointly received the 2014 GLAAD Media Award for Outstanding Documentary.

This free, exclusive and intimate Liberties Festival screening in the beautiful Wood Quay Venue will be followed by a Q&A with Shane Bitney Crone on his first ever visit to Ireland for the film’s Irish premiere.

Listing & Tickets

Bridegroom.  A Love Story. Unequaled. A film byLinda Bloodworth Thomason

Wednesday 16 July | Wood Quay Venue, Dublin City Council Civic Offices, Wood Quay, Dublin 8

Doors Open @ 6.30pm | Screening @ 7pm (81 mins) followed by Q&A with Shane Bitney Crone hosted by GAZE film Festival Programmer Emma Connors.

FREE – Booking essential on this link




Maser’s Portrait of Anne Devlin

Flooding a previously grey wall with colour and resonance in the acknowledgment of a heroic Liberties woman, Maser‘s portrait of Anne Devlin has people talking!

Completed yesterday on the corner of Meath Street and Carman’s Hall, this Liberties Festival 2012 commission has received an unanimously positive and joyful response from the local community and all passers-by.

Read more about the inspiration behind this beautiful artwork here.

Closing Day Video Highlights with Barren Carrousel

Thanks to the wonderful GERODEO Productions who created this video of The Barren Carrousel,  the breath-taking aerial acrobatics duo who closed a very successful Liberties Festival Dublin 2011 at our Family Funday in Newmarket Square.

And huge thanks to everyone who was a part of the Liberties Festival 2011. Sponsors, volunteers, performers, artists, crew, the local community, our audiences, our social media friends, and everyone who supported the Festival in so many ways – it couldn’t happen without you.

Enjoy the video and see you in 2012!



Liberties Man Leo Magee remembers Bang Bang

We just had to share this wonderful story from Liberties man, Leo Magee, who presents his tribute to ‘Bang Bang’, one of Dublin’s beloved characters who ‘shot’ people with a steel key which he called his ‘Colt 45, which he got off Hitler’. Leo works in Dublin City Archives, recently presented with Bang Bang’s key.

Thanks to Story Map Dublin who remember that our city’s history is happening all around us every day.

Do you remember Bang Bang?