Background: Originally from Dublin, Dave Foran is the managing director of Frisky, an Irish-based event production company operating in Brazil and North America.
When did you come to the U.S?
“Right now I come and go from America depending on what events we will be running. In November last year I did a multi-city tour with Snoop Dogg in Brazil and plan to take a lot of large artists touring down there, so most of the time is now spent between New York City for the festival, Brazil for tours and trips home whenever I can. Before starting Frisky almost two years ago I lived in Chicago for almost two years and worked as an option trader in the trading pits there.”
Tell us about Catalpa Music Festival which is happening on Randall’s Island in July.
“Catalpa Festival is my attempt to bring a very large, comprehensive destination festival to New York City. In my eyes New York, as one of the largest and most incredible cities in the world, just did not have a substantial and amazing music festival to really call its own. While trying to create a big and well-rounded musical line-up at Catalpa with huge artists like the Black Keys or Snoop Dogg, for me it really needed to be something more than that. The real emphasis needs to be on creating something that goes beyond peoples normal expectations of what a music festival can be.
“I am also placing a large emphasis on the site artistry, aesthetics and experience based elements at the festival that aim to take people out of their normal city surroundings and into a world a bit eclectic and more surreal for a weekend, right in New York’s own backyard on Randall’s Island!
“Whether this is through Frisky's Church of Sham marriages where a pimp pastor will be marrying people, the silent disco, High Times Magazine's Reggae Stage, the World's Smallest Nightclub, private VIP cabanas with their own hot-tubs or art installations created by Yoko Ono, it is this visual and experiential-based overload that I feel will really give the event longevity and keeps people talking about it for following years.”
How does an Irishman end up organizing one of New York’s biggest summer music festivals?
“When I left school I played rugby full time for two years and then headed off to University of Sydney for three years before working in finance in London and Chicago for two years. But even though I can’t sing a note or play a bar of an instrument I was surrounded by the music business from a very early age.
“My father Pat Egan was one of the first main music promoters in Ireland. He did Bob Marley in Dalymount Park, Queen in Slane and plenty of other amazing artists back in the day so I was surrounded by the business growing up. So when I decided I couldn't take finance any more and waking up every morning wanting to punch myself in the face, there was no real coincidence that I decided to get into event production.
“I started Frisky in 2010 with the aim of doing business in markets such as Brazil that are relatively not so wrapped up and still have a lot of opportunity as well as one large outdoor festival in New York, which is now coming to life as Catalpa. For more event details and tickets log onto www.catalpanyc.com.”