Top acts for Arthur's Day....but probably not at a venue near you
BUY that man a pint! Whoever came up with the idea of Arthur's Day deserves a round of applause. Okay, so the shenanigans on September 27 really have little to do with the history of Guinness and are certainly the product of a clever marketing ploy, but the thousands who flock to free gigs all over the country this Thursday night will hardly give that a thought as they're downing pints of the black stuff.
Arthur's Day 2012 headliners include Mumford and Sons, Fun Lovin' Criminals, Primal Scream, Fatboy Slim, Mika, Professor Green, Ellie Goulding, Texas, Amy McDonald, Example and Tinie Tempah.
They are all lined up for surprise Arthur's Day gigs but the location won't be revealed until the night. Who plays where has been (kind of ) decided by the public voting for their local on guinness.com so, theoretically, you could walk into your local pub and find Mumford and Sons strumming their guitars in the corner.
I say theoretically because there's a catch that you won't find in the headlines on guinness.com or the multitude of press blurbs despatched in the run-up to the big day.
Thanks to a stipulation that decides how many acts play in certain regions, most of the headline artists will perform in Dublin, Cork and Belfast. According to the small print (the terms and conditions on guinness.com) four will play Dublin, two Cork, two Belfast, one Limerick City and one Galway. The one remaining headliner will perform somewhere in the rest of the country. Even then, there's no guarantee that if your local attracts the most votes, that single headliner will make an appearance there, because the pub will have to be assessed for its 'suitability to host one of the headlners'.
That's bad news on the headliners if you live in Wexford, Sligo, Dundalk or any other town outside the Pale. Still, there are 500 Arthur's Day music events happening around the country, so a good night out is almost guaranteed.
If you are in a band, then Arthur's Day has a trump card to play. Guinness have teamed up with Hot Press and 2fm for an Arthur's Day bands competition offering a great prize package that includes a special 'flip cover' of Hot Press including photo session and interview; a three-day recording session in RTE studios; the release of a single; a place on the Hot Press MIX course including consultation with industry experts; and thousands of euro worth of instruments and equipment. There are also prizes for regional winners.
To enter, bands who think they have what it takes to be the next big thing, must upload a track to the Play On The Day website and then play at one of the Arthur's Day gigs. Regional and national finals will take place in November.
To find out if there's an Arthur's Day event near you, visit www.guinness.com where little pints of Guinness on an interactive map will point you in the right direction.
These Guinness marketing gurus think of everything.