Tony Bramwell has come over for four BeatlesFests now, one DylanFest and two Songwriter Contests. However I think that some people think that all he does is sit in Rosatos drinking Guinness. That’s all they see. They don’t see the value that he brings to the BeatlesFest especially.

There are three big advantages that Tony brings us. Firstly, good acts are more likely to come here when they hear Tony is coming. It is one the first things that I tell potential new acts.

Secondly, more people are likely to attend the festivals if they know Tony is coming. I always stress to people how approachable Tony is.


Thirdly, and most importantly, is the publicity that he brings us. We are able to get more, and better, publicity if he is coming. For instance, this year we were able to get a full-page in the Irish News, the biggest selling newspaper in the north for an article by him which praised Moville. He told them he’d like to retire here.

As one local publican said “How much would a full-page ad have cost”.

On the morning after the first night of the BeatlesFest he was up at 9am to do an interview with TodayFM. When the presenter first contacted me she said we might be able to get 3 or 4 minutes to talk about it. When I told her that Tony was available to talk she became much more interested and Tony got 10 minutes on TodayFM. How much would that have cost us if we had 10 minutes worth of advertising on TodayFM?

Every year he is able to get us on Radio Shows and in national newspapers that it would have been much harder to get the Festivals in. Doors open when you mention Tony’s name.


He also puts any info that we have on the BeatlesFest on his Facebook page which has 5,000 members. All he asks for is his expenses to be paid including free drinks. When he attended a BeatlesFest in Dublin last year in Temple Bar he got a €2,000 fee. Here, he is happy to travel by EasyJet and get the Airporter Bus. I asked him the 2nd year if he would like to stay in the Redcastle. “No. Barrons is great” he emailed back.

He is happy to speak anywhere at anytime and take questions. He once took a call from a Dublin radio station when he was in Rosatos and spoke for over an hour live on air to them.

First Contact

I’m really glad that he got in touch after I put a link to a CraicOn article about the BeatlesFest on the biggest Beatles news website in the world, Beatles News. All he said was “Do you want me to come?” I replied that I did.

He’s also a big boost for the Songwriter Contests. He was joint head of Apple Records, the Beatles record label. He discovered James Taylor and Eva Cassidy. He tried to convince the Beatles to take on Paul Simon and Queen before they were famous but was turned down by Beatles manager Brain Epstein for Paul Simon and by John Lennon for Queen.

He went on to become head of Polydor records, one of the biggest record labels in the world with the Bee Gees, The Jam, Roxy Music and Slade in his stable. He has now received the funding to start his own record label.

Dublin and Cork

It means that we can attract people from further away than Moville to play and we have had quite a few acts from Derry, from Cork and from Dublin. The first thing I always say to them is that Tony Bramwell will be a judge. It usually does the trick.

It’s great to be able to share a beer with him and hear the stories of the Beatles, Dylan, Springsteen and others. He forgets nothing. You should buy his book “Magical Mystery Tours: My Life With the Beatles”. It’s like a history book of the Sixties from the inside.

I hope that he comes over in February for the Talent Contest and next year for the BeatlesFest. It would be a shame if he stopped coming.

But I don’t think he will.