Bodytonic is born out of the exasperation of not being able to get any gigs around Dublin, and so we decide to go punk DIY and throw our own parties with our friends all helping out from operating the cloakroom, designing the logo and playing music.
After a few years meandering around various spaces and places, the odd good gig, but many bad ones – 3 key events really launch Bodytonic into the public domain. Derrick Carter at The Redbox (our first big club show), a legendary beach party at Redrock Howth, and Bodytonic as a weekly house club every Friday, starts at Wax. These 3 events from May to October of 2003 totally changed the course of Bodytonic, and we then also added Scribble and Backlash to the list of weekly clubs we run, varying up the music and crowd profile of what we were doing.
Our longest running & biggest clubnight POGO launches at POD. We wet our feet in the festival world by hosting the Bodytonic arena at the first Electric Picnic; and Jacques Lu Cont plays our weekly Thursday club Backlash, selling out in advance & putting the night on the map for years to come.
We host, and fill, our first off-Sonar party in Barcelona. Laurent Garnier headlines our arena at The Electric Picnic – another real iconic Bodytonic moment. The ‘Live’ room opens at POGO allowing us to move into the world of booking live music. We open our first office. (In the spare room of Trev’s apartment.)
The Bernard Shaw
play a secret after-party until 6am) & our new office goes above the pub. We succeed in booking Carl Craig
to play Wax (tiny club, big name). Klaxons
play their first Irish gig at POGO. Trev starts the first Bodytonic Footie Tournament
The Ting Tings & Friendly Fires play their first Irish shows at POGO two weeks apart. Kormac releases his, and our, debut EP ‘Scratch Marchin’ on our Scribble label. We take our first trip to Lake of Stars festival in Africa. John starts the infamous car boot sale soirees in the Shaw.
The Twisted Pepper opens its doors (our biggest venture to date), Villagers play both his own & The Twisted Pepper’s first live gig. Fabio announces live on BBC Radio 1 that the Twisted Pepper is one of the best clubs in the world. Marcel Dettman and Ben Klock play for us & become BT favs. Fish Go Deep celebrate 20 years in our arena at EP.
Bodytonic host a night at Berlin’s legendary Berghain club. The Twisted Pepper is in DJ Mag‘s Top 100 clubs in the World. 3FE Coffee Shop launches within the Twisted Pepper (fronted by 4th in da World Barista Cup lad Colin Harmon). We curate and run the Airbound festival in Croatia with the Nightflight posse. Legendary hip-hop star Q-Tip of A Tribe Called Quest DJ‘s in the TP. Trev has the idea to start a talk series called Banter, and approaches Jim Carroll to host it, and Crego to produce it. Once Trev loses interest, Banter becomes successful.
Kormac releases his, and our, debut album ‘Word Play’ and plays at Glastonbury – an iconic moment for everyone involved. The Beatyard festival launches, the Big Blue Bus Pizza opens in the Bernard Shaw. Raver Cottage begins (growing our own mint for our cocktails for starters…). The Twisted Pepper wins Irish club of the year award. The recession kicks in hard, and it’s all back to the drawing board.
Elastic Witch Music Store & The Boxcutter Barbershop launch at the Twisted Pepper. The Beatyard is featured on RTE. We open our music studio. Mark Zuckerberg has a night out in the Twisted Pepper & Arcade Fire pop in for the coffee – not your average venue.
guests include Nile Rogers
& Bill O’Herlihy
. Kormac’s Big Band sell out shows all round Ireland & play main stage at both Electric Picnic and Body&Soul
festivals. The Twisted Pepper rum bar opens. We make our first visit to SXSW
We launch our first ever app, Doortonic, a box office solution for other budding promoters and event organisers. Bodytonic Music label kicks off with White Collar Boy & Somadrone. Conor L departs to set up our London branch – tapsofftonic. The Twisted Pepper wins Irish Nightclub of the year at the Bar Awards. Brewtonic is born, we run our first drinks festivals called Rumbullion & Ginfusion and brew our first ever amber ale in Dublin called ‘Yer Aul Wan‘ which sells out in 2 weeks.
Big Year. We launch our second app, Membertonic
, again an app for helping folks run their events better. A new saas company, Tilltonic
is started and is accepted into the DCU Ryan Academy Propeller
programme. The Beatyard festival grows to 30+ venues & spaces, we get involved in the festival business with stakes and partnerships in Life
, The Big Grill Festival
, & DC Block Party
. Kormac LP, Doorsteps, drops in October. It’s not all gravy though, Elastic Witch sadly has to close because Gib is too sound. Two more beers brewed at Brewtonic
HQ. After 10 years of trying we finally get Harvey
and Jazzy Jeff
to play Dublin for us. The new version of this website, as you see it now, after 2+ years of development, is finally launched. MVP
opens – A pub, no fuss. As does The Back Page
– Less Gastro, More Astro.
Banter makes its first appearance at SXSW with Trev doing a talk about how we opened a pub for under e5k. People turn up,and don’t fall asleep. The Beatyard moves to the old ferry port in Dun Laoghaire, and a new generation of the festival is born. The Big Grill goes bigger and bolder to 16,000+ people in August. We close the Twisted Pepper on August 15th after nearly 7 years in business. The space will re-open in November 2015. The Square Ball opens in September on 45 Hogan Place, a sister venture to The Back Page. Guillem Balague returns to the Dublin with some readings and talks in the Back Page in December. MVP’s Anna Walsh goes to Capetown for the World Cocktail championships. Rasberry Beeret, Hemp Ale brews get add to the Brewtonic beer family, we start doing some cask ales, and our first porter, ’13 seconds’ named after Conor McGregor’s infamous win in Vegas in November, gets worldwide coverage in Vice, USA today, Bleacher Report, and beyond.
Fowl Play is born and starts life in the Square Ball. The Big Grill grows to nearly 20,000 people, and Beatyard hits over 10,000 for the first time. Brewtonic finally gets a place to call home, and we make our first ventures into a project in our beloved NYC with a small interest in the Nowadays project run by the Mister Saturday night crew. We go rural with a new project fermeting in Co Clare, and the Bernard Shaw turns 10. Has 10 years on South Richmond St gone by already? Eatyard our new food market dedicated to all things foodie starts up too.
Nowadays opens in NYC. Our first project on the west of Ireland – Pot Duggans – starts. The Big Grill wins the ‘best food festival in Ireland’ gong, and Eatyard wins a few EU Enterprise awards too.
Pot Duggans wins “McKenna Guide Pub of The Year 2018” and Georgina Campbell Atmospheric Pub of the Year Awards. Beatyard & Big Grill festivals welcome over 20,000 people each. The Lighthouse opens in Dun Laoghaire.
Our biggest adventure to date, Jam Park opens it doors out in Swords. It opens 5 days a week as a multi purpose venue and welcomes Kerri Chandler, Skepta, Motor City Drum Ensemble, Conferences, Oktoberfest & Palms Trax all in the first 6 months.
Eatyard’s Wine & Cheese Festival moves to the Iveagh Gardens and hosts over 20,000+ people over four days in August.
After 12 years in Portobello, The Bernard Shaw & Eatyard move northside to Crossguns bridge, beside the Royal Canal. New location, still making it up as we go along!
It’s like we got shot in the face in 2020… the Ron took over, all our venues had to shut for nearly 3 months before we could reopen for takeaway services. 2020 has definitely been a strange rollercoaster of a year but things are starting to look up again, we’re all getting ready to reopen our venues again this Dec, just in time for Xmas. Let’s see how 2020 will go, will events be able to go ahead? Who knows.