Numerous independent music festivals have emerged in recent years, but this November sees Galway witness it's inaugural 'What If, Why Not? Festival' on the 23rd and 24th.

What If, Why Not FestivalThe volunteer run Festival Team have created an innovative curated online platform allowing musicians collaborate with filmmakers and promote their music in a new way. This idea first came to founder and organiser Graham Clarke when he struggled to source a soundtrack for an adventure film he produced. From that came the idea to bring music and film together and have some fun in the process. By interweaving filmmakers, sportsmen and musicians, the festival will be "a celebration of our planet and all the people of it", Graham says.

This weekend there will be film screenings, talks by adventurers and filmmakers and workshops in the city’s Radisson Blu Hotel. Then Kelly’s, the Bierhaus and the Cellar Bar host live music from 10.30 on both nights. Musically, the What If, Why Not? Festival is aimed at emerging unsigned Irish music and boasts a diverse line up of acts. 

Friday night at the Cellar will feature a themed chilled out set. Daniel Scannell of Seaweed Jam Records (who will also play a live soundtrack to the short film Life Cinematic on Saturday night in the Radisson) 'opens' proceedings followed by local boys the Depravations, showcasing the harmonies and pop rock sensibilities of their Mosey EP. The night is then rounded off by headline act In The Willows. Finalists in this year’s Red Bull Bedroom Jam, they’re a highly rated six piece folk band who has performed at Castlepalooza and Indiependence.

Saturday night the same venue welcomes Protobaby. After touring with the Frank and Walters, the indie rockers are featured in this week’s Hot Press and bring strong vocals and pounding guitars with a sound likened to that of Editors and Interpol. Support is provided by energetic rockers Social Welfare.

The Kelly’s Live venue above the late bar of the same name will host gigs on Friday and Saturday. Friday night will see performances from Nicholas Timothy and Autonomous I. Singer-songwriter Timothy defies the cliché of such a title with a distinctive repertoire that sound like he hails from Georgia rather than Ballinrobe while Autonomous I, highly thought of by Duke Special among others, possess a truly eclectic sound ranging from electronica to funk to grunge.

On Saturday night, Kelly’s goes electronica with performances from local act Willow Sea and highly rated Dubliner producer Benny Smiles. Smiles may have first caught attention with his hilarious NCAD Girl but had shown more strings to his bow with his Sunshine/Moonlight EP.

Also on Saturday, the intimate environs of the Bierhaus (with its fine selection of craft beers) will see a set from electronica songsmith REID. Tickets for the gigs range from €5 - €6 with €3 concession to those attending the film festival. The REID gig is free!

For more details on the Festival and the concept visit WhatIfWhyNot

by Liam Carey @Bandpages


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