Event planner Bree O’Sullivan never expected that her dream of running intimate music gigs out of her own backyard would ever come true.
But after being made redundant she decided that this was the time to give it a shot. ‘I had a bit of a “think outside the box” conversation with a colleague, about life outside the corporate world,’ she says. ‘They asked what I’d do if I could just do what I love, and I said that would be listening to live music and having drinks with my friends.
‘You can’t really do that and get paid, but then I decided to use the redundancy money towards setting up this business.’
Backyard Events was established to support live local music, small businesses and raise money for charity. One year on and Bree has run a number of music events both from her own backyard and from other houses and event venues. The audience numbers range from 40 to 200, depending on the spot of choice. ‘It’s a very different vibe between the two,’ says Bree. ‘The smaller ones are definitely the most popular.’
‘It’s turned into something very rewarding because it gives local musicians a chance to play their music and have people listen to them. There’s a real community vibe, people opening their homes to host musicians. I always get asked how I find the bands and it really is just a case of going looking for them in pubs and clubs.’
Backyard Events will celebrate its first birthday on Saturday 16 September with an intimate gig featuring artists Winter Corner and Michael Dunstan. But Bree has plans for more in the future. ‘Going forward I’m looking at doing a folk-specific night or a soul one. We’ve already got a couple of artists coming from over East that we’d like to have involved as well.’
‘I thought it was fitting to have artists that I’d never even heard of a year ago on board. These performers both have an acoustic sound, are very chilled and relaxed, which is what you need if you’ve got people sitting right in front of them. They really don’t realise how good they are.’
Backyard Events 1st Birthday featuring Winter Corner and Michael Dunstan is on Saturday September 16. Find out more.