2020 has been a really hard year, for so many people, for some many reasons. As we move into the cold winter months hoping that 2021 brings us something to find hope in, I hear people lamenting things they’ve missed out on. There have been so many cancelled events, I hear people talking about how they missed out on Electric Picnic and Body & Soul. It’s disappointing for sure.
While sitting in lockdown and planning your next year of debauchery to make up for a lost time, make sure to look at the festivals you may have been missing out on all along.
There is one festival above them all I will miss this year and I know I am not alone in feeling its absence. Dylstock is a festival like no other, which is fitting as it was inspired by a guy like no other.
Dylan passed away from leukaemia in 2010.
Dylstock began in 2010 in Fallons Bar in Kilcullen, eventually finding a home in the upstairs venue of O’Connells Bar. Dylan’s family and friends pulled together and organised a mini music festival in his honour. Each year donating its proceeds to a different charity. Fast forward ten years and for the first time since its inception, we find ourselves without a Dylstock.
If you asked anyone in Kilcullen they would probably tell you how they remember seeing Dylan walk through the town. Long hair and round sunglasses. Big Ozzy head on him. He had this walk and this presence. No matter how much time passed between meeting him, he was always his same old self. Writing this now seems so strange. There are so many people who loved him who could explain him in much better detail, but unexplainable seems strangely accurate.
It seems only right that in his memory his family and friends would create a music festival in his honour. A festival to celebrate weirdness, wondrousness and loud music. Over its ten years, Dylstock has donated the entirety of its earnings to various charities.
The main people behind the endeavour, Lee Murphy and Dylan’s mother Yvonne McSweeney have spent ten years organising this amazing festival with the help of an awesome community.
Walking into Dylstock has a feeling of walking into someone’s home and being handed a cup of tea and a shot of whiskey, everyone is welcome. It’s madness and mayhem, the music is loud and the crowd is the best company. It’s hard to walk into a community and feel welcome, yet Dylstock makes it easy.
When you’re making your musical map of 2021, make sure to put Dylstock Kilcullen, Co. Kildare top of the pile.
I have no doubt, whatever 2021 brings us – Dylstock will be back louder, bigger, stronger than ever before. I for one cannot wait for it.
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