Words: Ellen Kenny
The protest against the closure of the O’Connell Street beer garden has now expanded into a large music and cultural event.
Activists and musicians are holding the Rock for Culture protest against the demolition of one of Dublin’s most iconic beer gardens. The protest will take place on August 11 at 18:00 outside the Holiday Inn Express.
In June, Dublin City Council sanctioned the demolition of the beer garden shared by pubs Fibber Magees, The Living Room and Murray’s. This was to allow the Holiday Inn Express to to develop a six-storey extension of 89 new hotel rooms.
Plans to protest against the closure of another iconic landmark soon followed the announcement. While there were initially plans to protest at An Bord Pleanála, the new Rock for Culture demonstration promises a much larger demonstration.
Taking place right outside the Holiday Inn Express, Rock for Culture will feature speakers and advocates, a live band, Ireland’s top drag and burlesque performers, as well as a resident DJ.
Rock for Culture founder Saturn WölfflöW will speak at today’s event. She told District Magazine, “you don’t have to be a Fibbers head to attend this protest, this is just as much about the integrity of Dublin’s art infrastructure as it is this cultural institution.”
“We’ve lost too many venues and if we keep losing them, we’ll all be fighting to host events in the same hotel basement.”
Other speakers at today’s protest include Give Us the Night founder Sunil Sharpe. Rebel Telly founder James O’Toole and a representative from the Labour Party will also speak.
Punk and psych rock band The Deadlians will also perform at today’s protest. Collen Heavy of Sabotage DJ collective will play at the protest. Sabotage currently run alternative club nights in Fibber Magees every twice a month.
Other performers include drag queen Coco Ri and burlesque performer Cara Gold, both regular performers at Fibbers.
Rock for Culture also launched a petition following the announcement, which has now earned over 10,000 signatures.
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