Taking a look inside one of the best spots around for underground music,
District 8.

Once upon a time, down a small, dusty Dublin side street there was a theatre named Tivoli.

This theatre has had many purposes in the past, but on August 15th, 2014 those purposes would all be forced into the shadow of what it is best known for now, District 8.

At first you could easily mistake it for some sort of setting from a sci-fi novel or a different dimension of sorts, which some people claim it is, but District 8 is a music venue, created by a group of music-loving pioneers, who have opted to take the Tivoli theatre, re-brand it and turn it into a hub for underground music in Dublin.

Kerri Chandler, Huxley and Skream are just a few of the big name DJs that have visited the Francis street night spot this year, selling out almost on a weekly basis and proving to be a hit with clubbers who listen to house and techno religiously, yet this didn’t happen overnight.

It took a contingent of knowledgeable, dedicated music loving party goers, to make District 8 what it is today and one member of that District 8 contingent is Shaun Darcy.

While the beats are banging across the District 8 dance floor, Shaun is usually busy pulling the strings behind the scenes, making sure things run smoothly, which makes him the perfect person to tell the story of how District 8 managed to become what it is today.

Artwork in District 8's Smoking Area - (Credit Natalie Dyer)

Artwork in District 8’s Smoking Area – (Credit Natalie Dyer)

From the beginning of District 8, it was tough, according to Shaun, but he and the guys  running the show have learned lessons from gig to gig, picking up on their mistakes.

You’ll always make mistakes, the important thing is to learn from them and keep moving forward. As far as we’re concerned we’re still in very early days of District 8.

As they gained more and more experience things got better, having some immense nights along the way, but the one night that stood out for Shaun was the one that got the show on the road.

We’ve had so many great moments already it’s hard to choose. I think everybody has their own personal favourite. Mine was probably the launch night with Rodhad Kr!z and Rift. It was electric all night. Such an exciting moment for us all to see the club go off in that way on it’s opening night! .

With all the fun and excitement of seeing the clubbers becoming captivated by the music as the night wears on, Shaun highlighted the energy and effort it takes to organise something like this.

Everything that you have goes into it. By the end of it you’ll probably be a wreck, but if it goes well you’ll be very happy.

Besides the effort and energy used up by those organising things, Shaun went on to speak about how deciding what artist to book and how to coordinate things comes about, putting emphasis on communication and trust within the team.

There are a couple of people involved, all with different interests, but everybody involved is really good at what they do. So we just listen to each other and then most of the time it’s just trusting the people you work with. Nobody knows everything, so you have to trust each other.

District 8 has been going on over a year now and Shaun felt that looking towards the future,  they want to continue building on the success they’ve already had.

 “There are always plans to expand and do new, interesting things and we have some massive plans for the future, we can’t really tell you what though.”

The aim is to constantly push things forward. To deliver the best experience possible, to treat everybody with respect and to throw unreal parties.

But he didn’t stop there, making indications of things to come from District 8.

 There are always plans to expand and do new, interesting things and we have some massive plans for the future, we can’t really tell you what though.

With exciting plans for future and big acts consistently playing there, District 8 continues to lead the way as one of Dublin’s most popular venues for underground music and I’m sure ravers across the city are dying to see what the District 8 crew has in store for them.

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