Alternative Entertainments

Alternative Entertainments is a community arts organisation founded in 1982 with an emphasis on music-based projects.

Alternative Entertainments Current Programming:

Des Carty Music School

The Des Carty Music School offers classes on guitar, keyboards, fiddle, banjo, voice, bass, mandolin, drums and tin whistle to music students aged 6-year and upwards. Catered to beginner, intermediate and advanced students in group and private classes. 

The school was originally set up as a traditional music school, focusing on the song and dance music culture of Ireland. In that tradition tunes are passed down aurally, with less emphasis on written music. The school combined the traditional musician-to-musician approach with written exercises to retain the non-academic dissemination practices of the tradition, while employing simple music transcription to aid newcomers to the tradition.

Over the years the school has expanded to include many genres and more popular instruments, but the focus and philosophy of the school remains – music for music’s sake. If students wish to pursue more academic paths in their musical study our professional team of tutors can guide them in that pursuit, while for those wishing to make music a part of their life a more informal course can be designed.

The Des Carty Music School’s team of instructors is a professional, passionate group of musicians chosen for their desire to make music more accessible to everyone who has ever wanted to play.

Suburban Sounds

Suburban Sounds is an evening-course in music which is open to young people (aged 14 - 18yrs) with a passion for song writing, music composition and/or music performance. The participants work with professional musicians, host their own gigs, record a CD at the close of the programme, and take part in a variety of performances in the County throughout the course.

Participants work on individual and group projects over the six-month period and, along with recording their work in the studio, they take part in an end of year performance in The Grand Social. The main body of the course will be delivered by a team of ‘mentors’ made up of experienced musicians and music industry professionals. Various supplementary talks and workshops will be given by industry-professionals in some of the areas listed above. 

Each participant will finish the series having created, recorded and performed new work.

The AltEnts Children’s Music Festival

The annual Children’s Music Festival utilizes the organisations experience in multi-disciplinary arts programming over more than 30 years. The festival runs each year with workshops, recitals, exhibitions, screenings, readings, rehearsals, concerts & performances in schools, libraries, community centres, creches, shopping centres, Tallaght Hospital & Rua Red.

The festival events have been carefully selected in an effort to hone both intercultural and creative awareness, & to help in the critical development of artistic abilities from an early age. Additionally, the programme places participants in the special dual role of both performer and audience - a position that allows the children to explore their power to evaluate as well as create. Festival content has been developed in consultation with participating schools to compliment their arts curriculum & to increase children's exposure to, & involvement in, artistic creativity.

In 2016 the festival’s focus changed and it became a music-based festival. Musicians, dancers, poets, film producers and storytellers worked with children to explore the many elements of music-making today.

Des Carty Sessions

The Des Carty Sessions is an annual traditional and folk music festival held in South County Dublin each October. Alternative Entertainments has been at the heart of a strong local traditional music scene since its inception and has programmed events to promote local musicians and to expose them to wider influences.

In the 80s and 90s The Tallaght Traditional Music Seminar served this function, and for the past 12 years The Sessions has continued bribing the best Irish and world talent to the area. The festival has served as an important focus point for traditional music players and audiences in South Dublin County.

Celebrated musicians from around the world congregate in venues in Tallaght, Rathcoole, Clondalkin, Saggart, Celbridge and Rathfarnham to play, teach, learn and discuss the country’s musical culture and its influence worldwide.

Alternative Entertainments Are:

Martin Moran - Music Consultant, Programme Development Consultant

Liam Morrissey - Secretary, Traditional Music Consultant, VisArts Consultant

Brenda Fuller - VisArts Manager, Arts Administrator, Festival Coordinator

T: (01) 452 0611