As the saying goes, “All good things must come to an end.” And sadly for us, at LOFT, that is the case at 99 North Street. You might have read over the past weeks, months and perhaps longer that the area in which the studio is situated has been ring fenced for redevelopment. Just before Christmas we were given the news that we’d have to vacate the studio as a result and so, from the end of this month, LOFT shall be no longer in this location. Last night saw the final Drink And Draw for the foreseeable future at our much loved North Street location. The space was packed. We had around 50 people in, some newbies, some regulars and it was a great event. The prize, a print from us at Deadbeat and as always from our sponsors, Inkmonkey. Thanks to everyone who came down and made it the send off the studio truly deserved. Well done to our winner, Katrin.
Barney, Eoin and myself are working towards finding new space and hopefully continuing the great work we started in opening our doors a few years ago, hosting not just this event, but many gigs, video shoots, open studio days, comedy nights, culture night and even a few exhibitions. This all started with Barney finding the space with a few friends that graduated together just over five years ago. Eoin and myself came along a little later and the studio grew into what it is today.
We used to host drink and draws, at times with 5 or 6 of us, seeing it grow to 50-60 people in the past year. It’s been amazing. In all honestly, it felt like we were at a tipping point, where we could only grow exponentially. We had more requests than ever to use the space as a venue for creative endeavours during the period between being handed our notice and now. It’s exciting and equally frustrating that we had the opportunity to facilitate these events. It’s hard to swallow the fact our space will most likely lie dormant for an inordinate amount of time whilst contractors and developers shoehorn their plans into place for the area. We were more than a provision. We gave back to the artistic community (and general public for that matter) on a selfless level that simply attempted to allow people to inspire and be inspired. We saw thousands of people come through our doors, shoddy shutter and all, climbing the stairs with a smile on their face because they hadn’t seen anything like our space in the city. I’m not sure a few bars and student accommodation can match that. Unfortunately, there are more dormant spaces out there, but, hopefully we can find one of those gems again.
A big shout out to Inkmonkey for their sponsorship over the past year. And another big shout out to Marcus Keeley of Voicebox Comedy for trying something different in our space each month. We are happy to nurture and facilitate creative talent in any medium we can and Voicebox represents that supremely. We want to thank anyone and everyone who attended something in the space over the past few years and we will see you again for more someday soon. This isn’t the end for the collective, simply the space. Keep in touch with us through our website and social media and we’ll keep you in the loop when we make a return. In the words of Louise, "Long Live Loft."