- 10 Oct 18
The annual Dublin Bowie Festival returns for its fourth edition from Monday January 7th until Sunday January 13th and again, fans of the legendary singer are in for a treat with the week-long event set to celebrate 50 years of Space Oddity and the greatest Starman of our time.
An unbelievable line-up of musicians, photographers, artists, writers, DJs, designers and even an astronaut or two, are set to take over Dublin City for the jam packed festival which kicks off on January 7th, 2019.
To celebrate the 50th anniversary of Bowie’s ground-breaking Space Oddity album - along with the 1969 moon landing - the organisers of the festival have joined forces with Blackrock Castle Observatory, Dr Niamh Shaw and some of the country’s top astronauts and space experts to celebrate all things cosmos.
Kicking off the festival on Monday 7th of January is a real treat for Bowiephiles; a world premiere exclusive Festival performance of the Space Oddity album from start to finish (and Other songs from the Bowie Universe) by the I Heart Bowie ensemble alongside the renowned Trinity Orchestra and some very special guest singers in the hallowed National Concert Hall.
The festival is also associating with MCD as they host the Irish performance of A Bowie Celebration in The Olympia Theatre, Wednesday 9th of January. Comprising 5 key members of Bowie’s band over his long career - Mark Plati, Carmine Rojas, Earl Slick, Dubliner Gerry Leonard and Bowie's longest serving sidekick, pianist Mike Garson – A Bowie Celebration bring an unforgettable and critically acclaimed evening of Bowie songs with world-class vocalists and an ever rotating mix of hits and deep cuts. Gerry was our first guest of honour at DBF 16 and his continual championing of the Festival and background help is always much appreciated.
As Westworld's Evan Rachel Wood recently proclaimed on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon after having been guest featured on a number of shows on tour with the alumni band, "It's not a cover band. It's the actual band. It's as close as you're going to get to Bowie."
Other musical highlights include a thrilling double bill at The Grand Social on Friday, January 11th, featuring the dynamic Heroes From Mars and the only act on the planet that cover Bowie’s 1960’s material, The London Boys, while superb Irish tribute band Rebel Rebel headline The Academy on Saturday 12th.
Later that night the action resumes in The Grand Social for a midnight Space Masquerade Ball featuring those rum rogues of the Electric Picnic, The Salty Dog Allstars.
From Sweden we are delighted to welcome its most famous Jazz/Bossa Nova vocalist Miriam Aïda who will be showcasing her stunning new album - Loving The Alien – a 12 track reinterpretation of classic Bowie tracks in her own inimitable Bossa Nova style.
Visually we’ve procured some massive heavy hitters for DBF 19, including two photographers who have captured on film some of the most iconic images of 20th century culture. We are absolutely thrilled to have perhaps the most famous photographer ever associated with Bowie - Brian Duffy - exhibiting in the Ebow Gallery.
Duffy had an eight-year working relationship with Bowie and shot five key sessions over this period providing the creative concept as well as the photographic image for three album covers, including the 1973 Aladdin Sane (often nicknamed 'the Mona Lisa of pop and Bowie’s - and arguably Rock n Roll’s - most famous image), 1979’s Lodger and 1980s Scary Monsters (And Super Creeps).
The story of his life and work is documented in a BBC documentary titled The Man Who Shot the 60's and in 2013 Duffy was included in the Professional Photographer list of the 100 most influential photographers of all time. Duffy's input had a significant influence on the creation of Bowie's chameleon-like public image and we are proud and honoured to have this amazing body of work as part of the Festival.
From Canada we are delighted to welcome over the renowned Rolling Stone photographer John Rowlands for a visual presentation and discussion of his years working with Bowie. John was tour photographer for Bowie from 1974-78 and has captured some of his most iconic images, most notably ‘The Archer’ which was featured on Times Square this Summer, advertising the V&A’s worldwide mega-successful Bowie Is expo. John’s portfolio also includes photos of Elvis Presley, Bob Dylan, The Beatles, Jimi Hendrix, The Who, The Rolling Stones, The Beach Boys and many more legends of popular culture so this will be an unmissable event for those with any interest in the music of our times.
The festival will also have The Lighthouse Cinema involved again and their Bowie related program ticks all the boxes as Space lovers can enjoy seeing Bowie’s cult sci-fi classic Man Who Fell to Earth and the movie that inspired Bowie to introduce Major Tom to the universe, Stanley Kubrick's 2001 - A Space Odyssey. We’re particularly pleased that they are also screening Moon, the superb debut feature film of one Duncan Jones, Bowie’s son. For family fun it’s hard to beat the 80’s musical fantasy Labyrinth and its noon screening on Saturday 12th kicks off a family friendly day of activities in Smithfield Square that includes talks, workshops and experiments as we engage our inner scientist while gazing up at the stars from inside a Mobile Planetarium looking at The View from Major Toms Tin Can.
For their Space program, they'll be welcoming Dr Niamh Shaw on board to curate an amazing array of events based around humanity's quest to conquer Space. Dr Shaw is artist in residence at Blackrock Castle Observatory and brings scientific gravitas to our program with specially curated talks, workshops, Q&A’s and even comedy improv as we strive for knowledge of the mysteries of our solar system. We are delighted to be teaming up with wonderful Trinity Science Gallery for some of these events.
Last year's festival featured in excess of 8,000 with Bowie fans travelling from as far as Australia, the U.S and continental Europe & the UK to attend, along with thousands of Bowie lovers from all over Ireland. We are delighted to have the support of Dublin City Council and Visit Dublin for DBF 19 and are extremely grateful of the continued backing and expertise that they bring to the Festival.
Festival organiser John Brereton says that "DBF’19 is ready to launch to the stars as we celebrate these momentous anniversaries. We are particularly delighted to have lots of family friendly events in the program too so there's something there for everyone to enjoy"
More exciting events and ticket details will also be revealed at the launch. For further details check out www.dublinbowiefestival.ie