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Episode 34: HeadStuff.org, Dublin Ghost Story Festival, Irish Times Best Shops in Ireland 2016

Alan Bennett is the editor of HeadStuff.org. A website that has been around for 2 years and is a "collaborative hub for the creative and the curious". Sebastian Stephenson talks to Alan about how the site has grown over the 2 years its been running, upcoming developments for headstuff.org and how Alan has learned the art of the headline and how he transitioned form comedian to writer. We also have reports on the first Dublin Ghost Story Festival and discuss the Irish Times Best Shops in Ireland 2016.

Headstuff

Headstuff Podcast Network

Alan Bennett on Twitter

Segment 1: Dublin Ghost Story Festival

The First Dublin Ghost Story Festival happened in Freemasons Hall from August 19th - 21st August. Run by Swan River Press, the event had guests, panels, readings, book launches & lunches. I went along to capture the sounds of the festival and I talked to Brian J. Showers, director of Swan River Press & Dublin Ghost Story Festival about the festival and Ireland's relationships to the ghost story. But first I tried to capture some noise of the whiskey reception run by James Joyce Whiskey when the festival opened on a Friday, only for a seemingly spontaneous announcement to be made.

Dublin Ghost Story Festival

Swan River Press on Twitter

Swan River Press on Facebook

Irish Times article mentioned in Interview

Segment 2: Irish Times Best Shop in Ireland 2016

The Irish Times' Best Shops in Ireland 2016 were announced on the 27th August. Submissions were submitted by Irish Times readers with judges sifting and shopping though the 100 entry long shortlist to decide who the winners this year are.

The Home & Design Shop winner is MRCB in Cornmarket if you need to decorate your house. Its been around for 80 years. The Best Fashion Shop went to Samui in Cork. A contemporary womenswear store for high end style. Visual Merchandising goes to Optica on Dawson Street and for 20 years gives a European take on eyewear. The Best Salon went to Edvard & Pink in Dundrum Town Centre. CH Chemists in Kerry won Best Family-Run shop in an area where there are 15 pharmacies. Cork won the Best Food and Drink shop with Cavistons Food Emporium which has been going for 67 years. However Dublin grabs the Bookshop award with Ulysses Rare Books. Cork though picks up the Best Craft/Gift Shop with The Old Mill Stores. The Best Specialist shop goes to Musicmaker on Exchequer Street. Finally the Best Cafe for this year goes to the Phoenix Café in the Phoenix Park.

With the winners announced, I spoke to Alanna Gallagher on a busy day at 3FE, one of the judges and one of the organisers for the awards and I asked if experience trumps concept when it comes to being a winner.

Best Shops in Ireland 2016 Winners and Runner ups

Best Shops in Ireland 2016 top 100 shortlist