Posts Tagged ‘ 2012 ’

A Year in Brief: Part Two


Part two of NIB’s yearly round-up because 2013 was just too good! (Read part one here).

Dublin’s new bridge, crossing the Liffey at Marlborough Street and connecting Luas lines on each side of the river, was on the lookout for a name. A list of 85 possibilities was suggested by the public which was then shortlisted by Dublin City Council to 17. Some suggestions in a comments thread on The Times website included: Bosco Bridge; Daniel Day Luas Bridge (nice); Da Plain People O’Ireland Bridge; Jedward Bridge; and NIB favourite, the Feckin’ Bridge. Continue reading

White House Down


After The Day after Tomorrow, 2012 and Independence Day director Roland Emmerich has now decided it’s time to blow up the White House from within. No natural disasters or aliens needed, this time a handful of terrorists and a few corrupt politicians is all it takes. But of course there is a hero to hand to save the day.

John Cale (Channing Tatum) calls in a few favours and interviews for a job as secret service agent. Unlucky for him agent Finnerty (Maggie Gyllenhaal) is not only sceptical of his abilities but knows him from his not so dashing past. Trying to not disappoint more women in his life Cale takes his angry teenage daughter Emily (Joey King) on a tour of the White House and of course politics obsessed Emily bumps into the President (Jamie Foxx). Continue reading

Irish Rugby : A Year In Review

Leinster_LeoCullen_ChrisWhiAs they always tend to be, this calendar year of rugby for Irish teams was a seriously mixed bag of highs and lows. The year kick started with some massive turnouts in the Heineken from all provinces, with six wins from eight over rounds five and six, including two massive wins from Ulster over Leicester and Munster over Northampton, as well as the magic night in the Sportsground where lowly Connacht proved they could compete with an attritional elimination of Harlequins. The most under performing of the provinces over the two weeks was arguably Leinster, but they had massive days ahead of them. The Rabo also provided some excitement with Ulster fighting for a place in the top 4 and all the rest trying to catch Leinster and their massive margin. Once again it was only Ospreys who could fell the Blue giants, and they would of course go on to do it again. Munster had to live with a shock loss to Aironi away from home and for the remainder of the normal league looked a little hit and miss, winning in Cork against Glasgow by 14 points less than they should have and drawing against Scarlets. They had qualification in the bag for both knock outs however, job done. Ulster kept business as usual, except for their April losses against all three provinces. Each one deserved to the victor however, especially Connacht. Connacht finished last season’s league in the same vein as they have begun their European campaign this season. In the final weeks of the Rabo they notched up wins over Ulster and Aironi, a narrow loss to Munster as well as a draw against Glasgow. Their finest hour of the domestic league came with their emphatic win over Dragons though, the game that this current season may be measured against.

Then of course we had the resumption of the Heineken and the fixtures for Irish fans were mouthwatering, particularly due to meeting of Munster and Ulster in Limerick. Few gave it to the men in white, fielding mostly the same fifteen that had turned out for their biggest victories of the season, Munster surely had to have this one due to squad depth over anything else. But nobody could have predicted the wunderkind that is Craig Gilroy doing what he did. His try stands as one of the finest individual efforts ever seen in this competition, made all the more amazing by the fact that there is at least three occasions upon watching replays where one would say he should have passed the ball. But no, not Gilroy. He sees the line, the rest does itself. His miracle try proved decisive in a hard fought victory for the Ulstermen, and credit to Munster who fought valiantly having won their pool unbeaten and exorcised the demons of the season before. But it was Ulster’s day, one that sent them all the way to a final they had craved for 13 years. Leinster had an easier ride it has to be said, thumping Cardiff in the Aviva in a game that was over by half time and featured the now famous “psychic” pass from Sexton to Fitzgerald that had Will Greenwood drooling in the sky studio. Their battle was yet to come though. The Heineken Cup semi finals were surely one of the biggest Irish highlights of the Irish rugby year. Ulster had an arguably easier draw welcoming Edinburgh to the Aviva, a team that realistically had made it as far as they did with a serious rub of the green. As it turned out Ulster were possibly not as clinical as they could have been, though the result was never much in doubt thanks to a try from Wannenburg and the boot of Pienaar, though a late score from Edinburgh set up a final few minutes of expert defence from Ulster.

The real tension was across the seas though, Le Crunch indeed. The Leinster Clermont rivalry has become a joy to behold over the last few years, both teams seeming to endlessly run into each other in the Heineken and until this season Leinster always had a tendency to come away victorious. Their last victory over the French giants was this fixture, moved to Bordeaux and thus keeping Clermont unbeaten for now 51 ganes in Stade Marcel Michelin. Leinster arrived in the finest form they have ever been in to date, Clermont had just come off hammering Saracens away from home in the Quarter Final. Clermont stayed true to their class and held a deserved 12-6 lead after a first half where Leinster did look slightly sluggish. Then came an exhilarating ten minutes as the second half resumed with Rob Kearney doing what he does best, slicing defenders in two to offload for Healy to score a most important try. Kearney followed up his incredible display with a monster drop goal from the half way line and with a Sexton penalty, Leinster led 19-15. What followed was a shut up shop from the visitors and Clermont couldn’t seem to find a way forward. Then, that moment. Fofana stretched an arm over, Wayne Barnes went upstairs. For all the world it looked like the TMO could give it, inconclusive as it seemed. Save for that split second where it was clear enough anyway, that the ball had hit ground before receiving downward pressure. Scrum Leinster. Surely it was over? Not in a game like this as Clermont found themselves with a penalty. What followed was a flurry of tap and go as the French sought the try they wanted so badly, Barnes incurred the wrath of the crowd with what seemed like endless advantage, Leinster defended for their lives whilst Leo Cullen received a merciless attack at the posts, one which went on for an age and wasn’t noted by a citing commissioner. All until Sean O’Brien put rhe doubters at bay with a magnificent poach that led to Clermont holding on, penalty Leinster, on to Twickenham.

To be fair the final was slightly anti climatic after the displays in the knock outs. That isn’t to take away from either side, but for Irish fans it wasn’t exactly ideal to have two Irish sides in the game. Win for Leinster and they secure the glorious two in a row at the expense of Ulster. Win for Ulster and they finally follow up on the glorious team of 1999 that brought the cup to Ireland for the first time, but again at the expense of Leinster. As it played out it was Leinster who wanted it more, leaving the scoreboard looking grossly against Ulster and their talent, though the truth is they were in the game for much longer. By the final whistle it had come down to championship calibre and Leinster just had more. Paddy Jackson versus Jonathan Sexton was the pitch of the day and unfortunately for him, Jackson just didn’t have one of his better days. Thankfully he has composed himself in the Heineken much better and once more looks like the promising prospect he is, but on the day Sexton and Leinster won out. It was however still a great day for Irish rugby as a whole, with ample funds headed back into the system as a result of both teams progress, as well as Connacht once again securing qualification.

The summer was a dark one for Irish fans, as we woke up with the sun still struggling to shine to watch three tests against the mighty All Blacks. Kidney turned heads with selections such as Zebo but unfortunately heads quickly turned away as Ireland were thumped 42 – 10 in a game where after the first two tries against them, they very much did seem to just give up. Kidney for once could not take all of the blame, though his selection still fielded some of it. Then came that spectacular second test. It was New Zealand’s return to Christchurch, so horrifically ravaged by an earthquake and now reopening for its mightiest sons. Ireland didn’t stand a chance if you asked anyone. Yet somehow, after forty minutes, Ireland led 10-9, New Zealand only managing to capitalise on Irish infringements whereas the visitors had a wonderfully taken try under their belt. Further kicks from Sexton and Carter saw the game at 19 apiece with precious little time on the clock. Then came the scrum, the scrum that somehow has gone unmentioned since this test, but the scrum that arguably cost Ireland the game. With the Kiwis down to 14,Ireland won a scrum at the opposition 22. If nothing else it would have meant game on for a drop goal from Sexton. The scrum engaged, and wheeled. Penalty New Zealand. In defense of himself later on Nigel Owens argued that the scrum had wheeled due to a sideways movement from the Irish pack, an illegal wheel essentially. Whether or not this was actually the case, upon viewing again and again it is in no way blindingly obvious. What is obvious is that Ireland’s scrum was clearly more dominant all game and nine times out of ten decisions like this favour the dominant pack. Yes, it stinks a little of the Irish fan crying for a gimme from the ref, so what? No big time grand stand win has ever come without at least one. As it played out however New Zealand escaped and with a second drop goal attempt from Carter secured the win. A week later Ireland would go on to an absolute hammering at 60 nil and the summer came to a close on a whimper, with dark days looming for Ireland. And so we arrive in more present surroundings, after a shaky early season Leinster are hanging on for dear life in Europe but still stand a mathematical chance of qualifying. So too Munster who have had similar on/off form. Ulster have lost only one game since the season began and are odds on favourites of the Celtic and English teams to win the tournament whilst Connacht have already doubled their rewards of last season with wins over Biarritz and Zebre. In the national camp we had an underwhelming performance against South Africa, a barnstorming but ludicrously uncapped game against Fiji and then something that looked somewhat like the complete package against Argentina where Ireland seemed to find some form of a spark and crucially stayed in the top 8 of the world rankings. All in all it has been a rough and tumble year for Irish rugby, reaching extreme highs and even more extreme lows. One thing is for sure though, nothing is done and dusted with yet and we will be there every step of the way to cover it for you.

The Top Five and Bottom Five Films of 2012

spideyIt’s that time of year again. The time when we all gather around our fireplaces with the people we love, think back over the past year and compile lists of our favourite things throughout the year. While it may take a few more weeks to finish my Top Five Lists of 2012 list one topic I am prepared to talk about is my favourite films of the year. At the same time I am a man who believes that one must acknowledge and learn from their mistakes and this year is anything if not rife with opportunities to learn. As such, I will also be listing what I consider to be the worst films of 2012. Keep in mind, however, that I am only including films I have seen on these lists, so while I’m sure that The Master has some of the best performances of the year and that Life of Pi is stunningly beautiful and life-affirming I can only see so many films in a year. So without further ado I give you my Top Five and Bottom Five Films of 2012

Top Five Films of 2012

5. Skyfall (Sam Mendes)
Well written and wonderfully acted, Skyfall‘s greatest success is its ability to justify the continued existence of James Bond in a world of technology, transparency and Jason Bourne-style action heroes. It is also worth noting that it is the only film released this year entertaining enough to make me feel compelled to go see it a second time.

4. Avengers Assemble (Joss Whedon)

There are films that actively encourage analytical thought. Films that make you want to sit and discuss their content, debating themes and the use of mise-en-scene. Then there are films that exist purely to entertain and Avengers Assemble succeeds in this regard with great aplomb. Action packed, hilarious and exciting in equal measures, this is a film that will keep your attention throughout. Any film in which you can say your favourite part is ‘the bit where Iron Man went into space’ is certainly a film that will entertain.

3. Holy Motors (Leos Carax)
I feel almost compelled to include a foreign language film in this list lest I fail to get a date to the annual Pretentious Film Critic’s Ball. Thankfully, Holy Motors, Leos Carax’s first feature film in 13 years, is a truly great film that genuinely deserves its spot on this list. One of the most interesting films you will see this year, Holy Motors offers a unique study of modern cinema. This is fuelled in no small part by the wonderful performance, and indeed performances, of Denis Lavant. If you want to see a film this year that not only thinks outside the box but also gazes into the box the whole time then look no further than Holy Motors.

2. Looper (Rian Johnson)

Looper is by no means a perfect film. You can complain about it being overly long or having skittish pacing. That being said, the interesting discourse with the problems of time travel, both physically and ethically, featured in this film is enough to get it a place on this list. This is complemented by the weight of the performances in the film, alongside the world that director Rian Johnson creates, a dystopian future that feels real enough to add tangible weight to the film.

1. Moonrise Kingdom (Wes Anderson)

Director Wes Anderson really ups his game with what is easily one of his best live-action films. Moonrise Kingdom retains his trademark quirkiness, humour and colourful aesthetics but where the film truly excels is in the way it can melt the heart of even the coldest cynic, creating a sense of humanity that allows you to connect with the characters in a way that Anderson has never really succeeded in in his previous attempts. It is this mixed with the all-around stellar performances by the ensemble cast that bags Moonrise Kingdom the top spot on my Top Five Films of 2012 list.

Bottom Five Films of 2012

5. John Carter (Andrew Stanton)
Why might a film fail financially? It might have characters so ludicrous that the audience can never truly connect with them, it might have an incomprehensible plot that makes the film generally inaccessible to anyone or it might be based on such a niche and poorly written source material that the studio has no desire to adequately market the film. Or perhaps, like John Carter, it falls foul of all these pitfalls. There is a reason why this film is now recognised as the biggest box office flop of all time, and that reason is that John Carter is just a very bad film.

4. Liberal Arts (Josh Radnor)

Liberal Arts is a true example of an emerging subgenre of filmmaking that can best be described as pseudo-intellectual, cliché-ridden indie movie nonsense. While the film clearly thinks it is a lot cleverer and funnier than it actually is I would almost be willing to ignore this were it not for the film’s complete and utter lack of subtlety. Liberal Arts is a film that beats you over the head with its themes until you beg for death and then afterwards asks for a nice pat on the back for being so clever as to have themes in the first place.

3. Ruby Sparks (Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris)

Listing my complaints about this film would be like just copy and pasting my views on Liberal Arts. The key difference with Ruby Sparks is that it goes out of its way to have a horrendously quirky plot and unlikeable characters while at the same time failing to approach what could have been an interesting subject matter, the ability to exert complete control over your partner, with any degree of tangible depth.

2. The Amazing Spider-Man (Marc Webb)

This is a film whose only entertainment value is how laughably bad it is. With the worst use of 3D I have ever been forced to sit through and ridiculous scenes such as the one where Spiderman learns how to use his powers in an afternoon by re-enacting the warehouse dance scene in Footloose, or the overly dramatic slapstick scene involving cranes, the ironically named The Amazing Spider-Man is, simply put, one of the worst superhero films of all time. And yes, that does include Daredevil.

1. About Cherry (Stephen Elliot)

About Cherry is a truly deplorable film. Claiming to tell the tale of a young girl who empowers herself through her involvement with the porn industry I might have been able to buy into this premise had the eponymous Cherry not been portrayed as a hapless child with no autonomy who gets into porn by accident and stays in porn because its simpler than taking control of her own life. The film also features a number of pointless star-studded cameos including a grossly under-used Dev Patel as the voice of reason who is chided by Cherry every time he talks sense and James Franco who, likely in preparation for his role in the upcoming Oz the Great and Powerful performs his great disappearing act and just vanishes from the film halfway through. To be honest, however, I doubt you will be able to keep watching the film up until that point.

And with that the year that was 2012 comes to an end, not with a bang but with an exasperated sigh. Now we can start to look forward to 2013, the first year I have been genuinely excited for in a long time. With so many great films to be released I’m not sure what I want to see most of all. Perhaps I should make a list.

-David O’Neill

News in Brief-Leave It Ouh Granny Joins Jedward In Panto

keep-calm-and-leave-it-ouhIf you’re reading this the world hasn’t ended – yet, anyway – and it’s nearly Christmas!

Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer had a very shiny nose, and if you ever saw it, you would even say it glows. But actually “Rudolph’s nose is red because it is richly supplied with red blood cells, comprises a highly dense microcirculation, and is anatomically and physiologically adapted for reindeer to carry out their strenuous annual flying duties for Santa Claus.” This finding comes courtesy of a paper by physiologist Can Ince from Erasmus University in Rotterdam. “Using hand-held vital video microscopy used for imaging human nasal microcirculation in health, interventions and disease, we were able to solve an age-old mystery,” Prof Ince said.

Ten lords are leaping, nine ladies dancing, eight maids are milking, Eamon Gilmore’s swanning. According to Labour Senator John Whelan who accused his party leader Eamon Gilmore of being “out swanning around with Hilary Clinton” while he and other parliamentary colleagues were getting it in the neck from low-income working families. That’s going to be an awkward office Christmas party.

Grandma got run over by a reindeer but seven church goers in Limerick got clamped. A Parish Priest has given early Christmas presents to some of his parishioners after he bailed them out of their car clamping fines. The clamping occurred whilst the church goers were taking part in the annual carol concert in St Joseph’s Church, O’Connell Avenue, Limerick. After calling to the priest to express their concerns Fr Tom Mangan offered to pay the seven €100 fines.

Have yourself a merry little Christmas because with Bank of Ireland are to increasing their variable interest rate from 0.7% to 4% you’ll be paying it off till June. Enda Kenny said he “doesn’t like” the banks decision.

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas when you see the first ad for panto. No less than the Dublin Bus Jedward panto, imaginatively titled, Jedward and the Magic Lamp. And this year another Grimes is joining the gang. Granny, Ann Grimes – sadly no relation, shot to viral fame after interrupting a fight in Dublin with shouts of “ah here leave it ouh”. Now she is set to reprise her role breaking up a brawl in the Magic Lamp taking her celebrity to the next level, or another level anyway. The price of fame, a Jedward panto?

Whether you’ll be seeing Jedward or not News in Brief wishes you all a merry Christmas. Off now to drink gin and eat enormous amounts of chocolate coins. See you after Christmas for a look back at the year.

The Future of the Movie House

3D-pics-come-out-3d-28819473-1237-760The last few years have seen huge developments in the world of film. We have had the rise of 3D, the growth of IMAX and my local cinema has recently gotten slightly more comfortable seating. The Mayans believed that 2012 would be a time of change and development for humanity. As such the year 2012 should be seen as a time to look to what the future holds. On the other hand there are those who have interpreted the Mayan’s failure to produce an infinite calendar as evidence that civilization will collapse in on itself like an origami bird in a bath tub in just a few days. I, however, am an optimist so I am going to look at some of the ways that the world of film could change for the better in the next few years.

With the success of the film Avatar (Cameron, 2009) the use of 3D in films has raised exponentially in the last few years. There is something about the darkened images and the fact that we can now see beyond reasonable doubt that events in films occur on a three dimensional plane and not in some bizarre Mario-esque world where people can only move from side to side and not forwards and backwards that really seems to appeal to the cinema- going public. But the question has to be asked, where do we go after 3D? The answer can be found in visionary filmmaker Robert Rodriguez’s recent masterpiece, Spy Kids 4: All the Time in the World (2011). With this film Rodriguez managed to show the world that rather than the fourth dimension being an area of space it is, in fact, smell. With the success of Spy Kids 4 it’s obvious that the use of smell-o-vision is just going to skyrocket but I ask, why stop there? Why not allow films to convey every single sense a human being can experience. Except for touch. People get shot in films. That would be unpleasant to experience. But taste; now that’s something that can only add to our viewing experience. How can we truly understand the movie Pulp Fiction without knowing just how tasty a Big Kahuna Burger is? That’s the real future of cinema: Taste-o-vision!

If the last 20 years have shown us anything it’s that if film audiences are unhappy with the ending of a film they are more than willing to go out and completely change it themselves. Just look at esteemed actor Topher Grace’s recent attempts to recut the prequel trilogy of Star Wars into one single, coherent, Jar-Jar-less film, or the fan cut of Highlander 2  that removed every single mention of aliens despite them being an important plot point. Completely changing someone else’s artistic vision takes a lot of time, however, and this time is clearly very precious to the people who re-edit other people’s films. Why not cut out the middle-man altogether and just have audience choose their own ending for a film as they watch it. That way everyone is satisfied with the end product and in the end is that not the most important thing when it comes to making films? Who cares about artistic integrity when we can just pump a satisfying gruel directly into the mouths of a mass audience?

This last possible development is, admittedly, the least likely of the three and is more of a pipe-dream to be quite honest: reasonable prices for tickets and food at the cinema. I know it sounds crazy but is it really such an unreasonable demand to not have to pay three euro for a bottle of water after having paid ten quid for a ticket to Ice Age 5: Space Age? I know it will probably never change, but a man can dream, right?

If the Mayans were right then hopefully we’ll be seeing these developments in film in the next few years. And if the people who post on internet forums are right and the world does end on Friday? Well I hope you’re as prepared for the impending zombie apocalypse as I am.

-David O’Neill

Tomorrowland 2012 – Romero,Guetta,Fatboy Slim & More Take Over Belgium

Rather than force anyone to wait until the end of this review in order to hear a verdict that will be obvious throughout the summary, I feel it’s better to lay my opinion on Tomorrowland out up front. It was epic. And that really is only the beginning of how to describe it. Epic covers everything though, the sheer scale of the event, the organisation, the acts and even the food! Anyone who has attended any Irish festival, as both myself and my girlfriend Sarah have several times, will just be amazed at the scale of the event. On the second day of proceedings we did two or three laps of the layout itself and were exhausted by it, it really is just never ending. The event comprises of 15 stages, encompassing over 400 acts and runs for three days. Comparisons with any other festival are pointless, not just in our collective opinion but also in that of the visitors from around the world we met whilst there. There simply is nothing like it. Upon entry to the gig you are greeted with what can only be described as Wonderland come to life. Staff members abound dressed in regal and fantasy outfits, props such as massive toadstools and water spurting flowers abound. Before you even come close to a stage the entire set up and representation of the recreation area in Boom is magical. What’s more is you then notice how relaxed the entire place is. There’s security alright, but they’re casually strolling around the venue, not much work around for them to do. Keep in mind that mere weeks before this we had been in attendance at the now infamous Swedish House Mafia concert in Phoenix Park and whilst I was personally adamant that the poor organisation played a major part in what transpired, there is also the case to be answered that everyone in attendance at Tomorrowland, that we saw anyway, was mostly interested in having a good time, nothing more.

First act up on our itinerary was John Digweed on the Carl Cox & Friends stage. Though Digweed himself was slightly disappointing (his set was a little too laid back for a middle of the day slot where some tempo was needed), the stage itself was incredible. Most who have seen videos or images from the gig will firstly note the stage with the sun face including moving eyes and video screens surrounding it, this is the stage in question. It transpired to be one of the coolest spots of the weekend, allowing us to grab some food and a drink, and just check out whoever may be playing at that time. Through the course of the weekend we caught Digweed, Ferry Corsten, Paul Van Dyk and more at this spot and for sound and comfort it was best by far. If I had only one gripe to mention it’s that not enough people ventured this direction during the day which led to unfortunately sparse crowds for the djs performing.

The next stage to pique our interest was the Q-Dance stage. This time around we were treated to Noisecontrollers and it was fun for a fleeting visit, although after a while it started to feel like being back in a teenage disco and we decided it was time to scarper. Still though, another great sign of how much variety is on offer at Tomorrowland.

On we went then to the Samsung Galaxy Secret Forest which was a gazebo placed out on a floating pier and seemed aimed towards anyone who wanted to chill out on the water, have a drink and take in the sun. It was a nice spot for retreat in the sweltering sun of the Friday let me tell you, as Belgium was reaching highs of thirty degrees on the first day of the festival!

Next stop was the main stage where we arrived in time to hear Thomas Gold finish off his set, a nice surprise it has to be said. Main stage it would be for the rest of the night, not including a few detours every so often to check out some other acts, and we were treated to Alleso, Fatboy Slim (who put in the set of the weekend it has to be said, showing all of his many years’ experience with large scale audiences) and Avicii, although the latter  it has to be said did not in any way live up to the hype his recent chart success created, with his set lacking cohesion in the transitions and he generally seemed out of his depth. All in all though as first days went it was a good one, and thankfully the weather was only to get cooler as the weekend went on.

Saturday we kicked things off back on the Carl Cox stage, which was now the Paul Van Dyk & Friends stage, starting our day with Ferry Corsten. He gave a solid set, throwing out the seemingly unwritten rule that the day time sets had to be laid back and chilled, as did Kyau & Albert before him. Both churned out up tempo hard hitting sets that set a good mood for the rest of the day. Hitting the main stage a bit earlier than the previous day then we took in Chuckie and Martin Solveig. Chuckie gave a solid showing, throwing out all the right lines to the masses in front of him, a sight to behold from the hilltop. Solveig capitalised on his set from the previous year with a powerful showing, although it has to be said he did wain slightly mid set, losing the crowd momentarily. Rain intervened and found us moving on so we wandered a bit only to return to main stage for Skrillex. Though we both agreed it wasn’t a set entirely to our tastes, there was no denying that the light show and involvement from the crowd made for an incredible sight around the packed main stage. What we didn’t do was hang around for Swedish House Mafia however, taking their appearance in Phoenix Park as enough for now. Instead we headed over to another of the many off the beaten track stages, Cocoon Heroes to see Sven Vath. It was Sarah’s call as I wasn’t familiar with him, but a call I’m glad she made as once again, the diversity of the event kicked in and from one minute experiencing the hyperactive adrenaline fuelled Skrillex set, we were then chilling out to a vastly different showing. Set under a large big top with a bitchin light show to couple it, Vath was another one of the nice surprises for myself and capped off night two well.

It’s at this point I should mention one issue with Tomorrowland and a word of warning for anyone planning to attend in future years. Unless changes are made soon, transport to and from the venue is a nightmare! Heading in the first two days, we had to endure more than an hour each time on a bus with zero air conditioning in sweltering heat. It is fair enough that Belgium wasn’t prepared for a freak heat wave, but that there wasn’t even open able windows on the buses was unbearable. Travelling back to Antwerp then the buses were very limited and though we tried to leave ahead of the crowd each night, the lack of buses meant we always ended up lost in the swarms trying to board. A small complaint, but an important one after having spent entire days, mostly on our feet, in attendance.

On then to the final night and we were main stage bound for the day. We started off with Nicky Romero, who is now firmly slotting in to my playlists for the time being, followed by Yves V who gave a serious set, mostly prompted by him having to squeeze it into an hour, with no time for lulls. Being a local boy helped too! Afrojack next then and he served as a fantastic warm up for the main event to come, Mr. David Guetta himself. Though it would be somewhat accurate to say that Guetta suffered from slight Avicci syndrome – more hype than proof – it can’t be denied that he drew the biggest crowd to the main stage we saw all weekend, the lower levels literally turning into a mash of people. His massive intro, which then dropped into Titanium, got a massive response and when he appeared on stage, headband camera included, he received a massive reception and it was clear why he is one of the top djs around at the moment. Unfortunately, just as he began to churn out some of his recent cross-over hits such as “Sweat”, the heavens opened. Not wanting to be fair weather fans we survived it as long as we could, but when you’re dressed for a summer festival, there’s only so much can be suffered! We decided it was time to head on, though at our own pace as we took in one or two more acts on the way out, then headed  once again for the rarest of buses. An early end; but a good one to what had been three incredible days of music.

All in all it has to be said that Tomorrowland has to be experienced to be believed. Even with all the waffle above, I couldn’t come anyway close to what we experienced in there. The entire thing is designed to leave you breathless and that’s exactly what it did. Any Irish revellers still lamenting the lack of Oxygen definitely need to look into making the trip to Belgium, though we would suggest camping or staying in Brussels which we found out all too late is actually twice as close to Boom as Antwerp. You live and learn!

Follow the link below for some pictures from the madness!