Moville is in the midst, not of a recession, but of a Depression. At the last census in 2011 Moville’s unemployment rate was 29.2% and likely to have got worse since. At the peak of the Great Depression in America unemployment hit 30%.

Moville is a holiday town – but fewer people holiday here now. When I first started running the DylanFest and BeatlesFest there were 2 hotels and 64 hotel beds in the town. Now there are none and none.

Moville’s holiday season used to start in May and end in September. Now it is mainly July and August – with July not even so great in recent years. It’s a very long time (1995) since we had a good July and August for weather.


A small town in France called Ars had a similar problem. About 10 years ago the local council voted to erect a landing pad for alien spacecraft in the town. It said “Welcome to Visitors from Space”. The councillors all laughed at the end of the session.

Ten years later they are not laughing but voting to extend it, it has become such a huge success. All the Star Trek fans (Trekkies) started going there along with the UFO watchers.

Ars’s number of visitors is now a multiple of what it was before. They sell all sorts of memorabilia and gifts in the shops and it is a booming tourist town now – and it all came from virtually nothing. It’s all year round too.


Moville needs a big idea like that.

Using Field Marshal Montgomery would work but it is too controversial and divisive.

So, we’ll have to look for a new idea. Perhaps there should be some public discussion about what the idea should be. Maybe the kids in school could come up with some ideas too. Moville needs an idea that will bring people here not just on festival weekends but all year round.

Big Idea

I have one idea myself and it is this. The guys who come here to play the DylanFest from other countries tell me that the Moville DylanFest is now the biggest in Europe and one of the biggest in the world – perhaps the biggest outside Hibbing, Minnesota, Dylan’s home town.

It is the only one that is multi-venue, indoors and out in the streets and takes place over 4 days.

I’ve met quite a few people who have come back to Moville at other times of the year who first came to Moville ate DylanFest time and who ask for Dylan songs from whoever is playing in the pubs.

Hibbing and Greenwich Village, where Dylan lived in New York, are the meccas for Dylan fans in America. There is none in Europe. We could make Moville the mecca for Dylan fans throughout Europe.

We could twin Moville with Hibbing or even Greenwich Village. We could encourage the local acts to learn a good spread of Dylan songs that they can play on request. We can erect a sign saying Welcome to DylanTown. We could put quotes from Dylan in strategic places in the town. I have some films of the DylanFests and these could be distributed to pubs etc.

Basically we would want Dylan Fans to know that they could come at any time of the year and experience a Dylan atmosphere amongst fellow Dylan fans. THis doesn’t have to be the big idea but I thought I’d throw it in as a starter.

If you have any big ideas for the town just send them here and I’ll publish them (if they are any good). I’ll be putting up more ideas in the coming days.