Not Bad: new three-day DIY event showcasing West of Ireland music in Galway

Ireland’s music scene has been gifted an innovative live experience for supporting local indie acts, and supporting young people in music. Not Bad is a new music festival, that also aims to showcase music from the west with informal networking opportunities, and runs from November 29 to December 1, 2019, with each day fostering a different vibe and lineup of artists in three different venues. The three-day event is curated and hosted by a new voice in the local scene, Good Not Bad, with support from Creative Ireland, Galway City Arts Service, and Galway 2020 European Capital of Culture. The focus of the festival is to connect west coast music scenes and music lovers, and to provide opportunities for musicians and music lovers from different regions to meet, exchange ideas and experience some of the best original music the west coast has to offer.

Day One – November 29, The Black Gate

The opening night will take place in The Black Gate on Friday November 29th with performances from Eoin Dolan, Aul Boy, Field Trip, Sinéad Ann and New Pope.

Day Two – November 30, Aras na nGael

Not Bad​ takes over Aras na nGael for a day and night of indie music featuring MudBubble (Clare), Dott (Galway), Myles Manley (Sligo), Cruiser (Limerick), Arthuritis (Cork), Neptune M (Donegal), Dead Horse Jive (Galway), Archmotors (Kerry), Bury Me With My Money (Mayo) and NewDad (Galway).

Day Three – December 1, Nun’s Island Theatre

At 3pm, Livefeed, a Galway 2020 European Capital of Culture Project, will host an all-ages event in Nun’s Island Theatre showcasing youth music from Galway.

Good Not Bad may be a new name to remember, but its founder David Boland is a familiar face within the local music scene, having spent years in Galway as an Arts student, Music Technology student, a member of indie surf band The Depravations, and now as a songwriter under the name New Pope. He holds a degree in Digital Technology and a post-graduate certificate in Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Enterprise.

“From 2010 to 2017 I curated and promoted a night called Citóg. This weekly event showcased original acts from around the country and, through it, a collective called Citóg Records was formed. In recent years I co-founded an arts and mental health cooperative called An Áit Eile and became project manager of a Galway 2020 project called Livefeed for young people (13 – 18) interested in music performance, production and promotion. All of these things have led me to value community, creativity and cultural heritage very highly” – David Boland, Good Not Bad

What are the aims of Good Not Bad?

“Good Not Bad is a business I have set up to better manage myself and some of the projects I have been involved in over the last while. It is the result of about ten years of working with original musicians from all over Ireland and producing events, festivals and tours for organisations like the Róisín Dubh, An Áit Eile, Citóg Records, That’s Life, Culture Night, the Galway Fringe Festival and Galway 2020. The aim of Good Not Bad is to provide supports to original artists and help create a sustainable culture of original music on the west coast”

“I think there is a genuine need for a festival which showcases and connects artists from the west coast. It is a peripheral region with a unique history, landscape, mindset and cultural heritage and I think there is potential in creating more connections, not only between artists and audiences on the west coast, but with DIY music communities in other peripheral regions in Europe (for example Scotland, Norway, Iceland and Portugal)”

Do artists need to be unsigned to perform at the event?

“Not Bad is both a showcase of music from the west coast and an informal networking opportunity for artists and audience, so preference is given to those acts that I think will get something out of it and can also contribute something to others at the festival. If someone in Mayo is making great original music and also putting on shows in their hometown, or contributing to their local scene in some way, they would be a perfect fit for Not Bad. They don’t have to be unsigned, but great music, a DIY ethos and a desire to connect with other west coast music heads are essential”

Do you think that there are enough opportunities for independent artists in Ireland to perform at showcases?

“From an industry point of view, yes I think so – if you are showcasing at an industry event like Ireland Music Week or Eurosonic you’d better know exactly what you are doing and what you are selling or it’s a little pointless. FMC know that side of the industry inside out and do a great job of preparing Irish acts for those international events. I think we should focus on empowering local communities to support and showcase local talent and build local and regional audiences. What would really help is state support for DIY venues, rehearsal rooms and arts spaces to encourage more people to participate in grassroots culture. The best kind of music nights happen in these kind of spaces”

In your opinion, how healthy is Ireland’s music scene today?

“There is a quite brilliant support system of independent promoters, collectives, labels and local radio stations in this country but they are, generally speaking, over-worked and under appreciated. It would be nice if independent Irish music reached a wider audience and some of our most talented artists got some heavy radio rotation. Alas, corporate radio has no real incentive to push that way and most people will continue to be largely unaware that these purveyors of amazing alt-pop gems exist. It’s a shame”

Not Bad takes place from November 30 to December 1.

Tickets for Not Bad can be purchased online here:

Fore more details check out Good Not Bad on Facebook:

Spotify playlist for Not Bad – get familiar with the sounds of the west

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