With most of us in lockdown, one man has organized an online Celtic music festival to keep us connected and content. Recently we spoke with event founder, and long-time curator of PaddyRock.com, Phil Duckworth about what audiences can expect with One Night Stand.
What are your own roots?
My roots are a confusing thing – On my father’s side it is English and Scottish. My mother’s side – I am not entirely sure to be honest. I usually abbreviate these conversations and say that I am Canadian because that is the truth of the matter.
What inspired you to put this online festival together?
Really, it is all about the well-being of people. The reality is this is a hard time and a lot of us are struggling with it both mentally and physically. I wanted to give people something fun and positive to turn their attention to – even if only for one day. Plus, with all live events cancelled for the foreseeable future, and this being the start of festival season, what better time? Let’s turn off the news, turn up some music and shut out the negativity. This is an event truly meant for the global community because we are all in this together.
Who is on the bill?
While I am still sorting out the running order and finalizing the performers it is looking like this so far: Mickey Spain, Mike Oberst of The Tillers, Raymond Coleman, Clovers Revenge, Sean Suttell, Sean O’Hooliagn, Mike Rivkee of Mickey Rickshaw and The Rumjacks, Bill Herring of 1916, Chris Barry of Grass Mud Horse, The Muckers, The Ramshackle Army, Handsome Young Strangers and The Mahones as the headlining act.
What are the challenges involved?
Because its on a global level I have to co-ordinate time zones versus audiences. Our Headliner won’t be going on until 12 am EDT, but that is what works best so people from the west coast, east coast, EU and Australia can all have the opportunity to tune in live. Plus, with a handful of performers from NZ, AU and China, I need to be accommodating of them as well. Nobody wants to get up at 4am to play a 30-minute set. And just getting people to tune in will be a challenge, however, hopefully with social media the event and streams will get shared and re-shared. I really want this to be a success, especially for all the fantastic musicians who have volunteered their time to perform.
What are the rewards?
I like being able to give people something to look forward to. I have always enjoyed a good party, and I am hoping I will be able to (virtually) bring a great one, loaded with heaps of craic for everyone out there. And I also hope I am able to help generate some tips for the artists – and maybe a few to keep Paddy Rock running for the next year or so – until thing return to normal we are able to all bounce back.
Will this be a regular event? Or a one-off?
If this goes well, I would absolutely consider doing more of them, possibly even regularly. A number of performers have expressed interest already in getting onboard with the next one, so we will see. With the reach Paddy Rock has it would be a great way to connect performers with each other and with fans from all over the world. Just because the venues are closed for now does not have to mean the music has to stop.
What are your thoughts on the impact that COVID-19 has had upon the Celtic community?
Personally, as it stands now, I am not confident about going back out into the world yet, and certainly not to shows. I am not a scientist and I don’t claim to know much in that regard, but I suspect we will be having events like this for the next year. If it keeps my family, myself and my friends safe, I will do what I have to – although I am certainly looking forward to the return of live music events, especially festivals! I hope this helps people appreciate live music a lot more when things open back up.
What do you have planned with Paddy Rock for the rest of the year?
Being our 20th Anniversary this year I wanted to do some really great things, but the year is not over yet. And while I now have a Streaming Radio running on the website, I would like to start regularly scheduled live shows, and maybe add some additional shows/presenters to the mix. Also, I am going to see where these virtual events can lead us – I have been seeing wonderful things all over the place recently, especially collaborations between artists and genres. It is proof that you can always make something positive out of something negative.