An Interview with… Joe Dougan from Shine Productions

Questions by Peter McLoughlin

Q1: Shine has quite a diverse list of events on its website – and the amount of venues you work with in Belfast reflects this well.  Does Shine actively search for this variety?

It's very important to us to promote a variety of musical styles. Our programme of events ranges from brand-new indie and urban acts to niche forms of electronic music. We try to cover as much ground as possible.

Q2: Shine's 17th birthday is in October.  Are you happy with how the company has grown? What do you have lined up for the birthday – and what would you say is the pick of the bunch?

We have John Digweed and Julio Bashmore head-lining the 17th Birthday, which we're really looking forward to. John Digweeds last headline show at Shine was one of the best we've had, and Julio Bashmore was incredible at The Stiff Kitten earlier this year – there isn't many hotter producers out there at the moment. Shine Birthdays are always crazy nights. The company has grown a lot of the last few years, but we've endeavoured to make sure Shine has the best line-ups possible, with the best international electronic talent.  Sven Vath, Seth Troxler and Nina Kraviz stick out as notable highlights over the last few years of Shine.

 Q3: Compared to say, when Shine started 17 years ago, what weight does Belfast hold as a viable touring option for bands? Would you say Belfast is still something of a 'hard sell'?

For a touring band, there's always the logistical nightmare that is The Irish Sea, it's always made Irish touring financiall

y problematic for UK tour periods, especially weighing the population of Belfast and Dublin against more easily accessible and larger UK cities during a limited touring window.

However, Ireland, and Belfast in particular, has a strong reputation for having hugely enthusiastic and receptive audiences, which keeps bands coming back time and again – in many ways we punch way above our weight compared with similarly sized cities in the UK.

Q4: How much does Shine love students?

Lots! A large proportion of the Shine crowd come from the pool of local students, and we're always keen to know what they want to see and hear at our events. Get in touch!

Q5: Looking forward, how does Shine see itself developing within Belfast (not ignoring, of course, the money-funny times we are in)?  

We just hope that we'll be able to continue to deliver lots of successful live shows and club events across Belfast.

The Limelight is a relatively new project for our company and is something we've been working very hard on over the last year. We've got lots of great events and development lined up for those venues in the coming months, which is super exciting for us, and especially for me -I've been a regular there since I was 18 and it's great to see such positive changes at those historic venues.

Q6: If you could choose one band/artist to perform in Belfast, who would it be and why?  

Neil Young at Belsonic would be pretty special. Also if Kanye and Jay Z could reprise their Watch The Throne tour and bring it to Belfast this time I’d be very happy, their show in Dublin a few months back is the best I’ve seen in ages. Oh, and David Byrne and St. Vincent. That's 3, sorry!

 Visit for full events listings, or follow on Twitter @ShineBelfast


Published by The Gown Queen's University Belfast

The Gown has provided respected, quality and independent student journalism from Queen's University, Belfast since its 1955 foundation, by Dr. Richard Herman. Having had an illustrious line of journalists and writers for almost 70 years, that proud history is extremely important to us. The Gown is consistent in its quest to seek and develop the talents of aspiring student writers.