What Are The Essential Ingredients To A Cracking Urban Event?


Urban art really came into the fore in the 80’s in the Bronx and from there spread globally. It does not like to be confined to norms and as a result it has created new forms of expression and is constantly creating. The documentary Exit Through the Gift Shop gives a fantastic insight into that world.

The scene in Dublin has been around for years, but rather than the consistency it really needs to grow, its momentum has been sloth-like interspersed with bursts of brilliance – like graffiti events at The Tivoli Carpark, which have not happened for a while. Recently there's been a sustained resurgence, however, and a credit has to go to Bodytonic for their willingness to support new ideas and promoters.

So what makes a great urban arts event? We asked Lewis Kenny of IADT and Luke Scales of DCU – both are heavily involved in the scene, running frequent events that never fail sell out. They also won Eventbrite’s Ideas Wanted competition for their urban arts event called Sketch.


Definitely a mixture of roots, reggae and hip-hop. The London grime scene is also hitting Dublin so anything related to drum and bass fits the vibe perfectly.


Live Art

DCU Urban Artz graffti artists have been commissioned before to spray paint out in the smoking areas... because obviously spray painting inside with a dancing crowd would be a bit of a health hazard!


Poetry Slams

Spoken word collective Outstraight, which ran a successful show at Electric Picnic, has proven that this is a popular element of the urban arts scene.



This type of free-running body movement came from the military, but is now becoming a stable of the urban arts scene. Confused? Okay, think of spiderman cross bred with yogi, a gymnast and a boulder climber.

Still confused? Then check out the video below.


Mabos used to have several skate board based events down on the docks before they moved out, but it’s a excellent event for an attendee to kick back with a few beers, enjoy some music and watch some epic tricks.


If you can combine all of the above for an event, which Lewis and Luke will be doing in Hangar, then you are guaranteed a sell out. But if you want to try something new for your event you should incorporate one of the above to keep it fresh after all hybrid events are another event trend but we can explore that more another post!

Written By

Ann Lowney