Music promoter shares the importance of creating spaces for queer artists ahead of Indie Night concert

The gig will raise funds for The Switchboard, Ireland's longest-running LGBTQ+ charity.

Split screen of three artists who are playing the first Indie Night concert. Left is Lisa McGrath, middle is Nancy Kate and right is Ylroy.
Image: Lisa McGrath / Nancy Kate / Ylroy by @mono.lids

On March 26, Indie Night, a brand-new independent music show, is launching in Dublin. The gig is being headlined by alternative folk artist Nancy Kate, who will be supported by singer-songwriters Ylroy and Lisa McGrath.

Ahead of the event, Indie Night promoter Michael Runswick shares the importance of creating spaces for queer musicians.

Queer art is a wonderful thing. Growing up in Baldoyle, I didn’t have much exposure to queer art/people, but I can still remember the first time I listened to artists such as George Michael and was inspired to hear someone like me making such powerful music.

Listening to queer artists changed me and allowed me to finally find refuge in the fact that there were creative people like me out there. From the age of seven, I was singing in choirs; it allowed me to escape regular life and get lost in the music. Later I began writing my own music in secondary school and eventually, I would go on to study commercial music and songwriting at BIMM.

Growing up, I found it hard to fit in. I always felt like I was missing something that everyone else naturally understood. Being queer in an all-boys school, I didn’t want to draw attention to myself or stand too far out from the crowd. I found it easier to say what I was feeling through the lyrics of my songs. I can’t count the amount of voice notes that I’ve created where the only way I could express myself was by singing something new into my phone.

In college, while I was still performing and writing my own music, I could see my own experiences mirrored in the songs and lyrics of the other queer students. I saw that queer art and artists have a unique perspective which is evocative and powerful, but I knew that these artists were the least likely to be heard. They weren’t ‘mainstream’. They didn’t have ‘the look’, the connections, the ‘right message’.

I was raised in a very busy household and quickly learned that it’s important to make space for yourself and others. So, towards the end of my college days, I shifted my focus to concentrate on getting these queer artists heard. I planned and ran six queer-specific nights in 2023 with themes like Indie Night Electronic, Acoustic, Discover, Pop, Rock and Alternative.

Now I am 22 years old, out of college and taking my biggest risk to date. March 26, 2024, is my first professional work as a promoter. Nancy Kate is headlining with support from special guests Ylroy and Lisa McGrath. Each of these artists is amazing but together, they will put forward an incredible show that you will not want to miss.



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I have partnered with The Switchboard for this event and a portion of sales will be donated to them after the gig for the amazing work they do for the community.

I hope as many people as possible get tickets to this and come along to listen to these amazingly talented artists. Queer art and queer artists will only survive if our community comes out and supports them.

They have incredible stories to tell, and these stories should be heard by as many people as possible.



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Tickets for Indie Night presents: Nancy Kate with special guests: Ylroy – Lisa McGrath are on sale now via Eventbrite – get yours here!

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