Over the weekend, while the world got ready for Donald Trump to take the hot seat, we and all those that went to the Ones To Watch music festival in Dublin’s iconic venue, Whelan’s, were treated with a trump card of what Ireland has up its sleeve, musically!

Somebody said to me recently, the advantages of someone like Mr. Trump being president is that it will have a positive affect on the development and quantity of great art. To put it frankly, the crazier the times we live in, the better the art that is produced. So, thanks to the madness of Trump in power, we will all have the pleasure of enjoying great movies, awesome music and poignant literature. Well, at least there’s that, eh!

It’s as though the world, or at least Ireland, has already been preparing itself for this ‘Trump Tower of Terror’ to come! The music on display over the past four nights at Whelan’s was beyond anything we have known in Ireland for some time now. Yes, we have always punched above our weight when it comes to the talent that this tiny country produces but what was evident at the weekend was not only the stark evolution of musicianship, but the energy that was on show.

In case you missed the festival here’s a playlist we put together! Go discover and share on to support the artists.

It was as though a revolution was in the air and all these bands and solo artists had something to get off their chest. Perhaps the upheaval of the world, from economic downturns, the constant threat of Global warming and terrorism looming over our heads has already sparked the music uprising.

We’re not the first to remark on this and we surely won’t be the last. But lately we are enjoying some kind of musical renaissance in this country. One not just localized to Dublin either. It’s a national phenomenon that we hope the radio stations and music industry in general will pick up on and support before we’ve missed this opportunity.

For the first time in musical history we can enjoy a plethora of choice. With bands and solo artists of all types of genres to choose from the fan is indeed well taken care of these days. There is something for everyone so it seems, from Hip Hop to Rock, Indie to Pop and Soul to Blue Grass and much more in between.

Yet, in this golden era of artistic expression here in Ireland it’s ironic considering that the vast majority of fans are not paying for music. Yes there is a slight vinyl revival but nothing to get all excited about. While digital downloads are nearing a thing of the past, streaming subscription services are on the rise but most people still opt for the free version.

When it comes to live music it isn’t that much different. Digital’s finger prints seems to extend out here into the real world too. There is a growing trend of ‘free’ or low cost gigs popping up more than ever. It’s as though people’s expectations of getting recorded music for free is now affecting the price they are willing to pay to go to live gigs.

When is all said and done one has to wonder about the survival of art in general. If nobody is willing to pay for it, how will bands like those we witnessed at the weekend continue to create all that great music we enjoyed at Whelan’s Ones To Watch?

In a time of Trump, we definitely need inspiring music more than ever! …maybe that somebody that spoke of the Trump effect is right after all? Maybe out of the chaotic ashes a creative sphinx is born? If that is the case, get ready Ireland for even more awesome music! Now all we need is enough people willing to pay for it.

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