Hard Working Class Heroes: Everything you need to know
It’s not just about the gigs: get stuck into some proper industry sessions at the weekend festival
Katie Laffan, one of the rising stars of Irish music, is performing at HWCH. Photograph: Dave Meehan
Hard Working Class Heroes is an annual, citywide music event that showcases some of the best bands and musicians in Ireland, while also hosting a series of talks, workshops and conversations with some big Irish and international names in the industry.
It’s been running since 2003, thanks to First Music Contact, and it’s an opportunity for music lovers to catch as many acts as they can without having to camp in a field. Agents , festival bookers, record labels, publishers, managers, event curators, journalists, editors and DJs from all over the world use this event as a way to window-shop for Irish acts. It’s one of those weekends that lets you dive right into the world of music. You’ll be living, breathing and eating tunes by the end of it.
Are tickets still available?
They are indeed. The ticket breakdown is as follows: Conference & Weekend Live Ticket €55; Weekend Live Ticket €35; Conference Ticket €25; Friday Night Ticket €25; Saturday Night Ticket €25. Single venue tickets will be available on the door of each venue for €12 on that night and student discounts are available with an official student card ID.
What time does everything kick off at?
The festival launches on Thursday, September 28th at 7pm in The Chocolate Factory with interviews with Key Music Management’s Richard Jones (Pixies, Agnes Obel) and the New Yorker’s John Seabrook.
The conversations and workshops run from 10am to 6pm (ish) on Friday and Saturday and the music kicks off at 7.15pm each night.
How do I get there? This is a citywide event so take note of what venues you plan on visiting and give yourself enough time to walk (or taxi it if payday was kind) to each gig. You can catch gigs in the Workman’s Club, Grand Social, Underground, Tramline and The Tara Building and the conferences and workshops will be held in The Chocolate Factory, which is just behind Cineworld on Parnell Street.
Any advice? Catch some of the daytime gigs and talks: don’t leave all of your fun for the nighttime. Make the most of your ticket and set aside some time in the mornings and afternoons.
At 2pm on Friday, Jim Carroll will be hosting The Artists Talk Back and you can hear Conor Adams (All Tvvins), Saoirse Duane (Wyvern Lingo) and Marcus Lambkin (Shit Robot) bemoan, praise and celebrate everything about being a musician.
At 11am on Saturday morning, Nialler9 will be hosting Where Does Music Writing Exist in 2017?, a workshop on music writing with Ryan Leas (Stereogum), Philip Harrison (the Guardian), Hilary Saunders (Paste Magazine) and Sean Adams (Drowned in Music) discussing the future and the state of music journalism. Gulp.
What about access? Unfortunately, the music venues in The Grand Social (upstairs) and The Underground (downstairs) do not have lifts so they are not wheelchair accessible.
Tramline is completely wheelchair accessible (low accessible bars, two accessible bathrooms) and the venue space in the Tara Building is on the ground level and it also has an accessible bathroom. While the venue in the Workman’s Club is also on the ground level, they have no wheelchair accessible bathroom. You will have to nip down to the Clarence for that.
What about security? With every music venue, bags may be searched upon entry so pack light to make sure you don’t hold up the queues. Anything considered as a weapon is prohibited. All gigs are over 18 but the conference open to all ages.