Katie Laffan

Hard Working Class Heroes turns 15

27 September 2017
3 min read

Fans of fresh, new sounds from up-and-coming Irish artists are in for a very special treat.

One of the most important events on the Irish music calendar takes place this month in Dublin City with the 15th Annual Hard Working Class Heroes festival set to celebrate independent Irish music in fine style.

This yearly event for live music aficionados began life in 2003 as a single-venue showcase featuring 40 home-grown bands from Dublin and its surrounds. Its aim was simple: to show off the very best of Ireland’s emerging musical talent through live performance in a community atmosphere.

As its popularity has grown, Hard Working Class Heroes has blossomed into a major industry event complete with a one-day conference that routinely attracts an influential roster of speakers and attendees from home and abroad.

International agents, festival bookers, record labels, publishers, managers, event curators, journalists, editors, radio DJs and tastemakers also descend on the event exclusively in search of exciting new Irish acts.

Hard Working Class Heroes

The number of bands vying for a spot on the stellar lineup has grown enormously as a result; last year’s festival saw more than 60 performances per day in a host of venues across the city over three jam-packed nights. Many of Ireland’s best-known acts have taken part in Hard Working Class Heroes, from Hozier, Jape, and The Coronas to Le Galaxie, The Strypes, Saint Sister and recent Choice Music Prize winners Rusangano Family.

With a nationwide focus on all the creative talent this country has to offer, there’s never been a better time to showcase the very best. So this year, the festival’s switching things up, featuring just 50 competitively-selected acts playing across only two nights of the festival. And if you can't be there in person, Creative Ireland's Facebook page will be live streaming three events over Friday and Saturday.

Live Streaming on Creative Ireland's Facebook

  • The Dream Team, Friday 29th September, 3pm - 3.50pm
  • Keynote interview with Rough Trade founder Geoff Travis, Friday 29th September, 5pm to 6pm
  • Festival with a Difference, Saturday 30th September, 3pm - 3.50pm

Catch electrifying solo artists like style-bending producer/DJ Bantum and “ArtSoul” queen Loah, dance-pop powerhouse SOULÉ, two-time RTÉ Choice Music Prize-nominee Daithí and sensational 16-year-old singer/songwriter Curtis Walsh.

There’s contemporary folk from The Ocelots and irresistible electronic from up-and-coming acts like Sleep Thieves and Wastefellow.

Unique takes on the pop genre will hit the stage courtesy of bands like Æ MAK, Floor Staff, Elm and Outsider, and there’ll be plenty of foot-stomping rock from the likes of Bitch Falcon, Swimmers Jackson and Fontaines. This is just to name a few of the names on 2017’s incredible line-up, which really has to be seen to be believed.

Hard Working Class Heroes takes place September 28 - 30 and is supported by Creative Ireland, the Arts Council, Culture Ireland and Fáilte Ireland.