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John Lydon and Dark Space at the Project Arts Centre – In Dublin Feb 1979

This is probably my favourite cover of In Dublin magazine. It’s from Feb 1979 with an illustration by Patrick Brocklebank. Cover star John Lydon is holding up an In Dublin magazine with a cover featuring Bob Dylan. The Dylan version was planned to be the cover for but then Lydon’s Public Image Ltd announced a Dublin gig resulting in Dylan getting bumped.
Proper order too.
And it was no ordinary gig that Lydon and PIL were scheduled to play. It was “Dark Space’, an ambitious 24 hour indoor music & film festival at the Project Arts Centre.
PIL later pulled out of the gig, as did Throbbing Gristle forcing the Project to reduce admission price from £6 to £4. About 800 people attended the festival which ran continuously from 22:00 on the Friday night right through to Midnight on the Saturday 17th February. There were 2 stages for music, U2 still without a record release played 2 sets. Other acts included Rudi from Belfast, Virgin Prunes, DC Nien, The Attrix and the Mekons from the UK. Movies were shown right through the festival but  the cinema audio was often drowned out by the sound from the music stages.

No Ticketmaster or Eventbrite back then, though you could buy your tickets in Brown Thomas of all places.

This was a brave ambitious event by the Project Arts Centre, one of the few places in the late 1970s which provided a space to perform for upcoming young punk inspired bands and artists.





4 replies »

  1. “though you could buy your tickets in Brown Thomas, of all places”

    Hah! And Switzers too – not quite as upmarket as BT but not far off. Literally so.

    My mate’s brother’s 21st was on that weekend, in the Ashley Arms, Dundalk. Attendance mandatory. He (the bro) was actually a Dylan-head, so probably would have gone to the Project gig if the Big B had played. Student engineer, guitar, pipe – Floyd, Jethro Tull, all that stuff.

    Still, £6 was serious money, about €50 now. But then again, it did cover a whole day’s music, and some great bands (not actually including BD in that, never liked his stuff). £4 was pretty good for the BD-less gig, means he was worth £2. About £1.50 too much, i.m.o. ;-\


    • Hi Jaykay, no Dylan was never on the bill for this festival. (He was bumped from the In Dublin cover, because PIL were supposedly coming to town)
      Tickets we’re reduced to 4 from 6 because PIL pulled out.
      I wonder how much it cost to rent the Ashley Arms for the 21st?


      • My God, I totally mis-read it! Idiot! Of course BD wouldn’t have been in such a small place. Sheesh! And now that I think of it, Clapton played the Downtown in Dundalk in March 79. That was a big joint, and it was packed (did you go?). BD would have been even bigger, probably.

        The Ashley can’t have cost all that much, because my sister had her 21st there around the same time and neither she, nor Dad, were exactly flush with money! It was the part where they had the discos, not the actual bar itself, above the 2 cinemas. It snowed, as far as I recall, so some of her friends couldn’t make it.


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