It is with excitement that I write to share that Dublin 2019–An Irish Worldcon is expanding.
We have watched as membership increases beyond our expectations, and have been working for some time now on how to ensure we can welcome and accommodate everyone.
We also want to ensure that any expansion works to improve the experience for members who come along, while taking into account that there is not a building directly next to the Convention Centre Dublin that we can expand into.
Eight hundred and fifty meters from the CCD, or just over half a mile, are a number of facilities that we have decided to hire and use at a wonderful location called The Point. Conveniently, there is a Luas stop outside the CCD and one outside our new facilities, with direct tram travel between them. The facilities include hotel function rooms for over 300 people, auditorium space in the Odeon Cinema for 1,000 people, 2,600 sq metres of extra exhibits space, and a number of bars, social spaces, and restaurants, all in one ‘Block’.
The additional space is not only desirable to accommodate our members, but also to accommodate everything we want to celebrate and bring to our members. It allows elements such as our art show to increase their footprint, it allows programme to programme more items for the 800 potential participants who have signed up already, it allows us to include an amazing installation from a featured artists, it will allow us to have more large displays, and it will allow us to increase dealers’ space and our ‘creative alley’.
The new spaces are the Odeon Cinema, The ‘Warehouse’, and the Gibson hotel.
The Odeon Cinema offers us six purpose built auditoriums, with very high standards in projection, for presentations and film. There will be food concessions available here as well as some social space. Programme items in the Odeon screens would run on the half-hour to allow movement between items at the Odeon and the CCD. The availability of purpose-built audio-visual equipment, will of course be appreciated, especially by our art and media teams.
The ‘Warehouse’ features some 2,600 sq metres of exhibit space in two large rooms. It is directly below the Odeon Cinema, and has just seen the Dublin Christmas Flea Market take place for the second year running.
The larger of the ‘Warehouse’ spaces has very high floor to ceiling windows along one whole side, offering considerably more natural light than we would have at the CCD. With the enthusiastic support of our Art Show team, we will now situate the Art Show in this space. In many respects, it made me think of Andy Warhol’s Factory, although the wall of glass offers us quite a unique feature for convention or other spaces.
The Warehouse offers us the opportunity to expand what activities we were intending to have occur, offering our Programme, Fringe and Events divisions extra space to look at what will work well. We will be working to make this a vast ‘creative hub’ with a focus for art, art-related and other creative activities that occur and can occur at a Worldcon.
The Gibson Hotel is next door to the Odeon, and I have mentioned this previously in communications, and is where we intend to have the WSFS business meeting amongst other activities and programme. The Hotel also has two bars as well as indoor and outdoor social space, and outside these three venues there are a number of eateries, including Starbucks, Eddie Rockets Diner, Rubys Pizza and Grill, and the Salad Box.
Our Fringe division has demonstrated to us that we can do more, beyond the walls of the Convention Centre Dublin, and now with this space we will bring you our ‘Creative Hub’.
We can now start to realise some of the more brilliant ideas that the team have harboured and work to bring to fruition such ideas as collaborative art projects, live model sketching, workshops, performances and presentations as well as a crafting lounge, a generous showcase for our featured artists, and a walk through installation — to name but a few of the elements.
The choice has been simple. We want to do more, to bring you more, to enhance your experience at Dublin, and as membership grows, we also want to welcome people, and make them feel comfortable. It was expand or die, wait, no I mean expand or stop taking memberships.
We have worked hard to get this far, and are committed to continuing to work hard on our new Creative Hub and hope you will enjoy what we have planned.
As ever my very best – James