The Irish call it their unofficial national holiday, cobbled pavements are packed out with cheery folk of all ages and professions cheerily toasting ‘sláinte’ clinking a pints of the world famous dark creamy beer in memory of Arthur Guinness.
The international celebration of Arthur’s Day was kicked off with a worldwide toast ‘to Arthur’ at exactly 17.59 yesterday across Australia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and Jamaica to celebrate the remarkable life and legacy of Arthur Guinness.
A selection of venues across the city of Dublin were selected to host the toast, including The Olympia and The Hop Store, and other top secret ‘surprise’ gigs and a handful of pubs all over Dublin throughout the evening, with musicians not knowing which pub they were meant to be popping up in until the hour before!
Each venue across Dublin housed a stellar line up to boast the toast. We were lucky to have our 17.59 celebration in the Hop Store countdown courtesy of a slightly off-timed Rick Edwards and a wobbly Paolo Nutini who rose his glass and sunk it before performing his classic swoonful ballads such as Jenny don’t be hasty and Loving You followed by local well-tuned unknown Irish band, then a slightly off key performance by the Saturdays rounded of by a heartily received set from the Stereophonics.
Other highlights included a lovely personalised performance by Ed Sheeran, who performed his entire set acapella accompanied by 2 microphones and his humble guitar without a backing singer or band member in sight and got the crowd involved to provide the bridge for You need me I don’t need you. The Scissor Sisters rounded of a spectacular evening with a slightly emotionally performance to celebrate their 10 year anniversary in the business but bouncing with infectious energy nonetheless, with lead singer Jake Shears provocatively peeling of his rubber shirt and flinging it along with half drunken bottles of water into the screaming audience.
The Arthur Guinness fund isn’t just about guzzling a tasty brew, it is indeed a programme to support social entrepreneurs around the world, and was launched in 2009 to mark the 250th anniversary of the signing of the lease for the St James’s Gate Brewery, which aims to support social entrepreneurs globally with the skills and support required to bring a transformational change to communities everywhere.