Calvin Harris the star attraction as Limerick raises a glass

Alan Owens

Reporter:

Alan Owens

SCOTTISH DJ Calvin Harris induced scenes of near hysteria when he took to the stage at the ‘Big Top’ in Limerick’s Milk Market last Thursday as part of ‘Arthur’s Day 2011’ - but just an hour before he had played a ‘secret set’ in Mickey Martin’s pub for 40-odd lucky ticket holders.

SCOTTISH DJ Calvin Harris induced scenes of near hysteria when he took to the stage at the ‘Big Top’ in Limerick’s Milk Market last Thursday as part of ‘Arthur’s Day 2011’ - but just an hour before he had played a ‘secret set’ in Mickey Martin’s pub for 40-odd lucky ticket holders.

laying in Limerick along with Sharon Shannon, Royseven, The Feeling, Fight Like Apes and local heroes Fox Jaw Bounty Hunters as part of the Guinness sponsored event, Harris delighted punters in the Augustinian Lane pub by playing a 30 minute set an hour before he took to the stage in the Big Top.

The famous DJ played his set in Mickeys and at the Big Top before jetting off to Ibiza in his private jet from Shannon to play at the Amnesia nightclub, and a beaming Deirdre Martin, proprietor of the pub, could barely conceal her delight at having Harris play in Mickeys.

“This is unbelievable, we didn’t know until the very last minute that he was playing here, not until lunchtime today when they started wheeling his decks in,” she laughed. “It was heart-stopping. Obviously we had heard rumours that he was coming, but it wasn’t confirmed until today,” added Deirdre, revealing that Harris had eschewed Guinness for a rare type of tequila, which the bar luckily had in stock.

The other acts played in the other associated venues - Dolan’s, Jerry Flannery’s, Nancy Blakes and Flannery’s on Denmark Street - while other pubs around the city held their own celebration of ‘Arthur’.

The marketing event began life three years ago to mark the year - 1759 - when Arthur Guinness signed a lease on St. James’s Gate brewery in Dublin, but this was the first year Limerick was designated as an official venue, with the ‘Big Top’ the centrepoint of celebrations. Mick Dolan staged the event and proclaimed himself “delighted” with how it ran afterward.

A capacity crowd of some 1300 people packed into the venue to hear each of the bands play, with RTE broadcasting live from the venue and 2FM DJ Will Leahy acting as MC for the occasion.

Indeed, Milk Market manager David O’Brien claimed to the Leader afterward that “Limerick had the lion’s share of the live broadcast on RTE and outplayed the other venues, so Limerick is the real beneficiary of Arthur’s Day”.

“We got loads of feedback from the artists, they loved the acoustics, the venue, it was all positive,” he added.