Remembering when Snow Patrol came to Dingle
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Remembering when Snow Patrol came to Dingle

SNOW PATROL have played live to thousands at some of the biggest venues in the world. 

Yet arguably their most magical performance took place in front of just 80 people inside a quaint 200-year-old church located in the quiet Irish town of Dingle. 

Described by organisers as a “musical pilgrimage for the mind and the soul” Ireland’s annual Other Voices festival has been weaving a spell over the world of music since 2002. 

There is simply nothing else out there quite like it with an eclectic variety of up-and-coming musicians and established stars invited to perform at St James’s Church and other venues around in the traditional fishing town of Dingle. 

While 80 lucky attendees have the privilege of watching the assorted performances live, Other Voices is also broadcast on TV and, in recent years, online, where fans can share in the special intimacy of this truly unique performance space. 

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Plenty of major performers have wowed as part of the Other Voices festival down the years with the likes of Elbow, Amy Winehouse and Damien Rice just a taste of what has been enjoyed to date. 

In December 2009, it was the turn of Snow Patrol, one of the most successful bands to ever come out of Northern Ireland and a group with a string of instantly recognisable hits. 

But there was something different about their performance that night. A raw, fresh, vulnerability to the vocals of lead singer Gary Lightbody while the lyrics to songs like Run and Chasing Cars were drawn into sharper focus. 

There was another noticeable difference about the Snow Patrol sound that night, with many of the group’s signature hits reworked with an orchestral accompaniment.  

That only served to add to the spectacle of the occasion and helped bring other, lesser-known songs from Snow Patrol’s extensive back catalogue to the fore. 

Notable highlights on a special night included the spellbinding Crack The Shutters as well as the underrated single You're All I Have. 

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Having started out in the mid-1990s, Snow Patrol had to work harder than most to achieve global success.

After years of blood, sweat and tears on the road, their appearance at Other Voices provided a moment of tranquil reflection and celebration at a dream realised. An unforgettable set, their performance was that of a band at the peak of their powers.

The performance was also notable for being the first in the world to be transmitted using “optical burst switching”, which allowed fans to watch the concert live at the nearby Benners Hotel and via smartphones, laptops and other personal devices. 

In 2009 the online broadcast represented a major breakthrough and a demonstration of the fact the Other Voices festival stands at the forefront of both music and technology. 

That continues on with this year’s edition of Other Voices, where it's needed now, more than ever.

While the coronavirus pandemic may have put paid to another night inside St James’s Church in Dingle, Other Voices will return with a special online event, filmed in the iconic surroundings of the Guinness Storehouse in Dublin and broadcast live on Facebook this coming Wednesday, December 16 from 8pm.

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Featuring a raft of familiar names alongside rising Irish stars, it promises to be another night to remember. 

Sign up to Other Voices: Home at the Guinness Storehouse event on Facebook now.

Information on all of the artists set to feature can be found on the Other Voices website