Fireworks at the Gasworks!

Stage set for spectacular Daytripper
Michelle Heffernan Reports

From August 24th through to the 26th, the Daytripper Music Festival returns to The Gasworks in Waterford city centre for a cracking three days of pop, soul, funk and electric dance music.
With the likes of Rudimental, Basement Jaxx, Sister Sledge , Mack Fleetwood and King Kong Company flocking to the Waterside, Daytripper 2018 looks set to be one of the best yet.
Festival co-owner Mick O’Keeffe is delighted by the manner in which a small idea has turned into a festival which is now garnering international recognition.”We are more in it for buzz,” says Mick, on why he began such a huge and costly music project. “It’s one of the hardest industries to make a profit in, but we just love seeing the excitement it generates around the place.” Having worked in clubs and entertainment in Waterford for years, Mick and his colleague Ciaran O’Neill were saddened by a trend which saw less and less top acts coming to the Deise for venue shows, particularly international acts. Together with Paul Jackman, Ciaran O Neill and Clem Jacob, Mick decided to start an annual music festival for the city “as a way of attracting top level acts to come here once a year and create a real buzz over one weekend”. Certainly Mick and his colleagues have delivered on what may have seemed an impossibly large scale project. Since the festival’s inception in 2012 Waterford has welcomed major names in the music industry such as Madness, Paloma Faith, Kaiser Chiefs, The Darkness, UB40 and Clean Bandit just last year. In order to create an inclusive, communal music event, Mick and his crew strive each year to present a festival line-up that encompasses a full spectrum of musical styles. “When booking acts I look not only for quality bands that have a reputation for putting on a great show, but also aim to present a different type of line up each day, so all ages, demographics and music styles are catered for.”

Iconic soul duo Sister Sledge play Daytripper on Friday, August 24th.

Iconic soul duo Sister Sledge play Daytripper on Friday, August 24th.

It appears that the 2018 line-up has cleverly combined acts famous for soul, funk, dance and pop to entice a full cross section of Waterford music fans.
The iconic 80s soul duo Sister Sledge will begin the funky themed Friday night, performing much-loved soul anthems such as “We Are Family or “Lost In Music”
“I’m particularly proud to feature Sister Sledge” Mick says, “as they are such an iconic female act. They are coming with a full six-piece band and Bruno Mars holds them in so much respect, he is featuring them as his Special Guests in Marlay Park this month.” Sister Sledge will be joined on stage by Heather Small of M People, another renowned ’soul sista’, who achieved success in the 90s with hits like “Moving on Up” or “One Night in Heaven”. Waterford’s own funk soul brothers, Thank Funk will continue to keep the crowd grooving with greatest funk hits from Chic, Stevie Wonder or Michael Jackson, while the night will culminate with Europe’s top Fleetwood Mac Tribute Band, ‘Mack Fleetwood’.
International dance act Basement Jaxx play Daytripper Saturday, August 25th.

International dance act Basement Jaxx play Daytripper Saturday, August 25th.

On Saturday night, August 25th, the stage will undergo an electro transformation, blasting the iconic dance beats of superstar act Basement Jaxx.
Waterford’s own hometown heroes King Kong Company will take the stage for one of their unbeatable love performances, with much loved dance DJ Jenny Greene completing the Saturday bill. “The line up for Saturday of Basement Jaxx, King Kong Company, Jenny Greene, Johnny Moy and Billy Scurry is going to make me and an awful lot of dance music fans happy,” said Mick. “The fact that Daytripper is a massive homecoming show for King Kong Company after all their recent success, will make the Saturday show even more special.”
Mercury Prize nominees Rudimental play Daytripper on Sunday, August 26th.

Mercury Prize nominees Rudimental play Daytripper on Sunday, August 26th.

Sunday, August 26th will finish out the weekend on a high with UK chart toppers Rudimental. Having enjoyed massive success with Ed Sheeran on “Lay it All on Me” and “Bloodstream”, they are set to smash the Sunday stage with hits like “Waiting All Night” or their more recent hit, “These Days”. Very mysteriously, a “Special Guest” is joining the Sunday line-up, but cannot be announce until later in the summer due to the artist’s contractual obligations. No hints are being dropped by Mick on this alluring mystery act, though he can confirm “It is someone that has had five Top 10 hits in the last three years”In terms of location, Mick and the Daytripper crew are particularly pleased with the Gasworks site as their festival venue going forward.
“The best venue we’ve had is defiantly the current one at the Gasworks,” Mick says. “Bolton Street was a great place to start and we had three good years there but the move out to the RSC in 2016 did not work so well, as people had got used to having somewhere central and close to the pubs and restaurants in the city centre.” The Waterside arena is “just a great location,” Mick underlines. “It’s so central and just down the road from the city’s main entertainment district at the Apple Market. Everyone has a great view of the stage and there’s plenty of room for good bar and food facilities and some seating at the back.”

Undoubtedly the Daytripper line-up this August will generate serious buzz in our city centre, with a line-up that appeals from ages 12 to 70. Will the Festival expand even further in the future? “Our goal is to just keep it going really” Mick concludes. “It would be great if the proposed North Quay and Michael Street developments do bring the jobs and increased population to the city after the tough 10 years we have had. We’ve had some amazing acts visit Waterford over the last 5 years and I will do my best to keep them coming our way. It would be nice to be sipping a glass of champagne in Summer 2022 for Year 10 of Daytripper.” Any special acts in mind for future shows? “Who’s to say Paul McCartney won’t hear that I named a music festival after one of his songs and pay us a visit,” Mick laughs. Now that would be a sell out show! Count me in for Daytripper 2018 – and beyond.

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