Gardiner music runs gigs for those in need

Written by Caoimhe Ni Riagain, Front Woman, Gardiner Music.

(Posted To: CeolCaint, May 26th 2016)


We have been admirers of Rachel Masterson’s Ceol Caint website for some time now. She has been hugely supportive of Gardiner Music and likewise we have been hugely supportive of her initiative with Ceol Caint (to call a spade a spade we love her, we reckon she is going places and we are chuffed she likes us back).

Gardiner Music run gigs upstairs in Whelan’s Dublin. We mix unsigned UK bands with unsigned Irish bands and we promote both bands equally. We love our tunes, and we love our bands and we believe mixing two gig scenes in two different countries works…We also donate 10% of ticket proceeds to charity.

Next gig: The Tapestry supported by the Temps. (Upstairs @Whelan’s) June18

But some questions: Who is Gardiner Music?? Why are we doing it? What make us different from all the other music promoters in town?

Who is Gardiner Music?
Well essentially we are me. Caoimhe Ni Riagain, a woman with a passion for music and a real desire to link that with my passion for social justice,

Why are we doing it?
Primarily we love music and with that love, we would like to give something back.

We have linked in with two charity partners. The first is SVP, (to highlight the problem of family homelessness), the second is the Dublin Rape Crisis Centre. From a very young age, I felt that I had been born to further social justice issues…the reality was that as I grew up and entered the work arena, this passion got lost a little.

All this changed in 2010, as it was that year that I was attacked. That year I accessed the resources of the Dublin Rape Crisis Centre. That year, my life changed irreparably and there was no going back. I was determined, absolutely determined that my suffering would be put to good – and ultimately setting up Gardiner Music led me to return to my love of music and the social justice agenda that I felt I had been born with.

What makes us different?
We are promoters who promote. You do a gig for Gardiner Music, we will make sure you get noticed.

 The Indestructibility of Music

Our aim at Gardiner Music, is to promote music and to use this as a tool to create awareness of social justice and raise funds for charities where we can. We see music as a language people can engage with, possessing an ability to speak to people when conversation and negotiation no longer work.

Bob Marley said, “One good thing about music, when it hits you, you feel no pain”. Bullets on the other hand, when they hit you, they either injure you or you die.  On 3 December 1976, on a day when Bob Marley and the Wailers were due to play a free concert in Jamaica (as an attempt to ease tension between two warring political groups), gunmen marched their way into Bob Marley’s home, shooting round after round from automatic pistols. Bob Marley survived, and the concert went ahead two days later despite the fact that he had been shot. When asked why, Bob Marley responded, “The people who are trying to make this world worse aren’t taking a day off. How can I?”

It is likely that Bob Marley went ahead with the concert the next day because he believed music has the power to transcend violence. To quote a popular Californian band, from their song ‘Got the Power’,  “Just give yourself up to the rock ‘n roll song…its gonna keep you strong and keep you always winning”.

That popular California Band are Eagles of Death Metal. Despite their name, the Eagles of Death Metal are not a Death Metal band. They are fun, quirky, brave and just that little bit different. They played to a packed Olympia in Dublin on November 9th, and sold out the Bataclan Theatre in Paris on November 13th.

The events that unfolded in Paris at their gig are incomprehensible and horrific, and resulted in scores of people losing their lives. One wonders did the shooters pick this gig because of the fact the band had ‘Death Metal’ in their band name, did they pick the gig because they knew the theatre would be packed to capacity or did they pick it because they simply do not like people enjoying life and music?

We may never know, but one thing we do know for sure is that music is bulletproof. It will never be silenced, it is non-discriminatory and it will always be there as a tool to promote social justice and peace.

To paraphrase Bob Marley, if those perpetrating violence in the world aren’t taking a day off, how can music?

Our thoughts and prayers are with the loved ones of all of those who lost their lives  in Paris last Friday, 13.11.15.

Gardiner Music


(This article was also posted on CeolCaint, 16.11.15)