Jim Carroll

Music, Life and everything else

Your to-do list at HWCH Convention 2015

What’s on the talking and thinking schedule at this year’s Hard Working Class Heroes’ event

Tue, Sep 15, 2015, 12:08


Apart from three nights of new Irish music acts playing in venues around the city, Dublin’s Hard Working Class Heroes festival also features two days of talking with a full suite of panels, workshops, discussions, interviews and what-not. I’ve been involved in programming the HWCH Convention since 2009 and it’s always kind of amazing every year to see a rough list of ideas and speakers build over a couple of months into an action-packed programme which covers a heck of a lot of bases.

The convention takes place at the National Digital Resource Centre (NDRC) on Dublin’s Crane Street in the middle of the Liberties on Friday and Saturday October 2 and 3, admission to the panels is free and you’ll find the full schedule here.

There’s a heck of a lot of interesting stuff on the agenda – and a lot of really interesting people in the mix – so here are a half-dozen panels which stick out like a thumb which has been hammered a few times by a mallet.

The artists talk back: this has been without a shadow of a doubt my favourite panel at HWCH Convention over the last couple of years as a couple of artists come together, sip some tea and talk about what’s on their mind. This year’s therapy session will feature Lewis Jackson (Enemies), Ollie Murphy (Hamsandwich), Sorcha Brennan (Sleep Thieves) and Michael Pope (Le Galaxie).

A dentist, a vet and an engineer walk into a gig: we rarely hear from the music fans who buy the tickets and come to the shows so we’ve decided to make amends by inviting Dermot Ferguson (the dentist), Síomha O’Leary (the vet) and Ronan Kearney (the engineer) to talk to us about how they decide on the bands to check out, where they go to find out about new music, the venues they like, the festivals they rate, what they like about Irish bands and, of course, what they don’t like.

The view from the top: when it comes to live music, Rob Hallett has done it all and then went back for more. As he prepares for a brave new world with Robomagic, we talk to the former AEG Live head honcho about his life in music, his view of the live music business, the potential for disruption in the sector and what he hopes to achieve with his new venture.

Getting on the road in Ireland: a workshop on touring the highways and byways of this fair land featuring Joe Kelly (Live at St Lukes, Cork), John Hennessy (Seoda Shows, Limerick) and Gugai (Roisin Dubh, Galway) with Jenny Wren from Body & Soul keeping those head-the-balls in line and getting them to make sense about fees, deposits and percentages.

Will the last music journalist out please turn off the lights? Music writing folks Jessica Hopper (Pitchfork), Hugh McIntyre (Forbes, Noisey, MTV), Dev Sherlock (Hype Machine) and Blaithnaid Healy (Mashable) talk frankly about what they do, what they will be doing and what they reckon is on the way

The tech inquistion: meet the music tech moguls because they sure as hell want to meet you. It’s worth remembering that music is as much a part of the equation of tech, yet it often feels as if tech is leading the conversation. We ask some would-be tech superstars a couple of questions, starting with ‘what’s in this for the bands?’ And nope, they can’t spend the time allocated on their elevator pitches or marketing BS.