Sans-Bono this year, Irish stars including Kodaline, Bell X1 and The Coronas busked outside the Gaiety Theater, off Grafton Street
It wouldn't be Christmas Eve in Dublin if Glen Hansard didn't take to the streets to entertain the public. Hansard appeared on December 24th in front of Dublin's famed Gaiety Theatre to perform in aid of the Simon Community.
This year, he was sans-Bono, but the former Frames frontman more than made up for it by inviting a plethora of Irish talent to join him. Appearing with Hansard was Hozier, Imelda May, Kodaline, Bell X1 and the Coronas.
The setting worked out better this year than it did in 2016 when Irish police were forced to shut down the event due to crowd congestion.
One man told the Journal that the crush was "insane" and that he was worried for his daughter's safety during the show. With that in mind, Hansard announced the change in location on December 23 prior to this year's gig. Hansard wrote on Twitter, "Our Annual Christmas Eve Busk for @Dublin_Simon will take place outside The Gaeity theatre Dublin at around 5pm. Please come along and raise your voice! What about Cork? Galway? Belfast? All the towns and provinces! Join us in unison for your local shelters and Happy Christmas!"
A group of musicians in Waterford took Hansard's message to heart and performed their own impromptu gig to aid their city's homeless on December 23. The group performed under the moniker, Busk Aid.
Hansard spent some of December 23 retweeting the ideas of school principal Colm O'Connor. O'Connor was offering his ideas on solving Dublin's homeless crisis. The principal wrote, "We don't need 'awareness-raising' or fundraising, to end
#homelessness in #Ireland; we need to name and replace the market-driven ideology which greatly exacerbates it." The Irish Times reported in August 2017 that there were around 7,000 homeless people in Ireland. Dublin accounted for 73 percent of that number.
You can donate to the Simon Community, which helps to fight homelessness in Dublin and surrounding areas here.