THE Canadian-run Indie Week has had a long association with Limerick, but the roots are about to get a lot deeper for City of Culture in 2014.
The music showcase festival, based in Toronto, will relocate to Limerick in April and feature 30 bands playing across four venues, with the chance to win a trip to Canada the prize on offer for one lucky group.
There are strong links between Limerick and Indie Week, with Leading Armies, who played at the launch of the forthcoming event - taking place in Limerick rather than Dublin for City of Culture - in the Blind Pig on Saturday, previous attendees at the Toronto showcase.
Likewise, local acts Vesta Varro and Walter Mitty and the Realists have attended and both won the top prize at the festival, while the first ever shows to take place outside Canada featured a Limerick date in Dolan’s Warehouse in 2008.
A mini-festival took place in Ireland in 2009, with Indie Week founder and director Darryl Hurs describing the link-up between Ireland and Canada as akin to a “cultural exchange”.
That exchange is to continue with Indie Week 2014 to take place across four city venues - Dolan’s, Bourke’s, Cobblestone Joe’s and The Blind Pig - from April 23-26.
The festival was secured by the voluntary Limerick Independent Music Committee, helped with funding from City of Culture.
“Locating Indie Week Ireland in Limerick, during City of Culture, will give Irish and international bands opportunities for synergy and offer music fans from Limerick and beyond a chance to celebrate this significant, international festival in a city that is hungry for a distinctive music festival,” said committee member Monica Spencer, who is joined in the group by Valerie Dolan of Dolan’s, musician Eoin Coughlan and UL sociologist Eoin Devereux.
Organisers of the Canadian showcase said the combination of Limerick’s “strong music scene” plus support from City of Culture had “enticed” them to set this year’s Irish event in Limerick, rather than Dublin, where it has been held for the past three years.
Independent bands seeking to “prove their credentials on the international stage” are invited to apply before the March 15 deadline.
The final line-up will be selected by Indie Week, while the winning Irish band will receive flights and accommodation to attend the Toronto showcase.