Musicians stick to the script for Arthur
IT takes a long-sighted man to take a 9,000-year lease on a brewery, but even Arthur Guinness could never have foreseen that more than 250 years later music stars from around the globe would one day gather in Dublin to commemorate his anniversary.
With Arthur's Day marking that signing back in 1759 at St James's Gate, it was appropriate then that celebrations began last night at the same St James's Gate Brewery at 17:59 as thousands of music fans raised a glass of the black stuff while Snow Patrol singer Gary Lightbody led a countdown.
"My job was to count backwards from 10 to 1. Maths was never my strong point but I'm glad to say I just managed it," the star said as he kicked off performances from 150 acts.
Bruxelles Bar in Dublin saw just one of them, playing host to a "secret gig" by The Script -- even bar owner Dave Egan had been unaware until lunchtime that the Irish band would perform. But at 8pm, that's what happened, as singer Danny O'Donoghue appeared on stage.
It was a similar scene in The Bank pub on Dame Street when Westlife performed an intimate show.
The ticket proceeds from all of last night's gigs go to the Arthur Guinness Fund.
Among other acts performing were Irish singer Imelda May, Scottish vocalist Paolo Nutini and actor Tim Robbins with his group Rogues Gallery, who played in the Oliver St John Gogarty in Temple Bar.