St. Patrick’s Day is by far the biggest global celebration of Irish music and culture in the calendar year. Countless bands plan gigs and tours around it to capitalise on the interest in events, but with the current spread of COVID-19 (coronavirus), mass gatherings are being cancelled all over the globe. That hasn’t stopped Irish band The Mary Wallopers however, who came up with an ambitious solution to gig cancellations. If you can’t go to the pub to play a gig, build your own. That’s right, the Dundalk three-piece folk group have created a custom pub and venue in their living room and will be livestreaming a Paddy’s Day celebration available to all.

The Mary Wallopers Pub
The Mary Wallopers built a pub in their living room © The Mary Wallopers

“We had two gigs in Germany on the 13 and 14 of March and a big concert in Trafalgar Square for the London Irish Centre on 15 March. We were also supposed to be playing in Cork Opera House supporting Lankum on the 17 but now that’s cancelled obviously. We decided that a live stream would be the best thing to do. That way we still get to play a gig and people get to go to it, kinda. It's important that while we are all social distancing we should stay busy and stay having fun,” the band told Lonely Planet.

The band also said that by encouraging people to log on and watch the stream, the public can feel as if they are part of a big music session. The pub was created to heighten the feeling of authenticity. “To be honest we’ve been looking for any excuse to build a pub also. We want to entertain people and in the process make people feel a bit less stressed in these anxious times. We can have as much craic staying at home!”

The Mary Wallopers.JPG
Dundalk band The Mary Wallopers are offering the gig for free in exchange for donations © The Mary Wallopers

The gig will stream on The Mary Wallopers’ YouTube Channel on 17 March at 8pm GMT. The band says so far the response has been fantastic, with people being amused at the idea. 

The Mary Wallopers have also set up a donation link where people can help offset the costs of tour cancellations and show their appreciation for the free entertainment. “The gigs we have lost have put us in debt, so we’re really appreciative to everyone that has been donating.”

Read more: 

From north to south, Italians are singing from their balconies during the lockdown

Lockdowns and travel bans: which countries have COVID-19 restrictions

7 amazing places to celebrate St Patrick's Day outside of Ireland

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