It all started in a small upstairs room in Dublin’s Twisted Pepper in July 2009 with a feisty discussion on radio.
It has featured a galaxy of guests from Nile Rodgers, Joe Duffy, Paul Morley, Miriam O’Callaghan and Lenny Abrahamson to Bill O’Herlihy, Rosanna Davison, Brian Kerr, Paul Muldoon, Guillem Balagae and dozens (nay, hundreds) more.
It has hosted talks in a hardware shop in Dingle, an artist’s kitchen in Donegal, a thatched cottage in Derry, a former bomb shelter in London and in festival tents and rooms all over Ireland from the Electric Picnic to the Galway Arts Festival to the Make A Move hip-hop festival in Limerick.
It has featured discussions on books, food, campaigning, Madonna, photography, football, media, politics, TV, climate change, new businesses, feminism (in conjunction with our friends at The Anti Room), craft beers, the Swedish House Mafia, running, masculinity, David Bowie, technology, new businesses and umpteen more things.
What is it? It is Banter. And it’s about to turn 50.
For our 50th Banter outing, Anyone buying or selling a ticket?, we’ve decided to take a look at the hot button issue of the summer: the Irish festival and outdoor live music scene. There has never been so many festivals and big outdoor shows on the agenda. Even the aul’ lads who know everything about everything are saying they can’t recall a time of such plenty when it comes to live music – and they remember Lisdoonvarna, Feile and the first Witnness. You could literally spend every weekend between now and September going to shows in the open air or in tents. You would have a whale of a time, but you’d also be broke.
Bon Jovi at Slane, summer 2013
Before the season gets underway in earnest, we’ve gathered some of the people behind our favourite events to get their read on how things are going out there and punters’ reaction to their events. Are there enough punters to go around? Who will be the winners and losers this summer? And is there anything missing from the schedule (aside from a big heavy metal festival for the agri-metal fans from Sligo)?
The panel: Declan Forde (Forbidden Fruit & POD Concerts), Avril Stanley (Body & Soul) & Leagues O’Toole (Aiken Promotions & Harmonic). The guest list blagger: Jim Carroll.
The details: Banter 50 will take place at our spiritual home in the main room of the Twisted Pepper (Middle Abbey St., Dublin 1) on Monday May 20. Doors open 7.30pm and the Bantering gets underway at 8pm sharp. As always, there will be a discussion followed by an audience Q&A. Tickets are available here (price does not include Ticketmaster fees, rebates or advances).