Raise the Bar Events | Cassandra Voices

Raise the Bar Events


I’m the youngest of five, and I grew up in a home surrounded by musicians and artists. My parents and siblings all participated in art or music in some form and shared circles with those of similar interests, with our home setting the stage as the hangout spot to what were in my eyes some of the most creative and talented characters that the early 2000s had to offer. It was this upbringing that would contribute to my eclectic taste and deep appreciation for art and the work that goes into creating it.

At home, there was vast a collection of music in every medium from every decade, paintings and ornaments were placed on every available wall and surface all while musicians were jamming in the sitting room on what seemed like a daily basis. Naturally, being the youngest of such a big family and their groups of friends, I always wanted to get involved with whatever was happening!

Creativity and its exploration were always appreciated, and my enthusiasm to participate was seen and rewarded by those around me with everyone imparting hints of wisdom and technique of their respective craft to the young and eager student that I was. These early experiences would later ignite a passion within me to explore the vibrant cultural landscape of Ireland, where I discovered a wealth of talent but also a myriad of challenges facing artists.

In 2017, my journey into the Irish art scene began in earnest with a simple introduction of just sharing some of my own artwork on Instagram. It started as a “sure we’ll see what happens”, but over a short time I began to really enjoy the process of creating and publishing, and the thought of pursuing art as a career looked like an intriguing endeavour. But upon looking at the established and more experienced artists around me, I quickly discovered the struggles many faced due to the lack of resources available to them.

First Painting.

Limited studio availability and often prohibitively expensive. Seemingly exclusive gallery spaces and minimal stage time opportunities. Few to promote them and those who did seldom had the artists’ best interests at heart. And importantly, nowhere left in Dublin to socialise while also being able to explore art through play. It seemed despite undeniable talent and passion, an artist in Ireland often found themselves struggling with financial instability, limited exposure, and a lack of support networks and opportunities to develop their craft.

Becoming a professional artist appeared an impossible task, and I was frustrated by the fact that I was put off before I could really begin. Moreover, I thought about everyone else who might have experienced that same feeling of “why bother”. The number of tortured artists plagued with that “what if”, and the number of great concepts and ideas that would never make it to print just because they had nowhere to go to even begin. Myself, I didn’t always have dreams of being an artist, I just had an interest and wanted to explore the possibility. But I do feel that someone who really has that desire to pursue a career around creativity absolutely should have every opportunity to do so.

So, at nineteen years of age, I turned my art page, “Newmanations”, into my first attempt to go into business with the aim to provide all these resources to artists and the wider community. I would spend the next two years on research – volunteering at conventions, speaking with artists and musicians wherever I could find them, property viewings, attending city council redevelopment proposals and whatever else I could do to soak up information about the art and business landscape around me. It was then time to put some of this self-education into practice, and on the 17th of August 2019 I hosted my first ever music and fundraiser event. “Newmanations Presents: Raise The Bar!”

A small but respectable beginning to my endeavours, the event proved successful on all accounts, and the wave of positive responses from the community made the possibility of the long-term success of my venture very real. However, the pressure of continuing to operate a business and the extended social media use that went with it proved too much for my health. At twenty-one and with burn out in full swing, I silently bowed out of operations, but always with my mind fixated on the possibility of what I was trying to achieve. It would take another three years, several jobs, and a global pandemic before I would get back to my mission, all the while fine tuning my business model and preparing for a return.

On the 19th of August 2022, 3 years and 2 days from my first ever event for which this current project gets its name, “Raise The Bar Events” was born! Founded on the principle of putting artists first, Raise The Bar Events is the continuation of my dedication to provide a platform where artists’ voices can be heard, their talents celebrated and their careers supported. Its purpose is to strengthen and develop the communities around me, all while elevating the Irish arts scene by empowering its most vital contributors – the artists themselves. It has quickly gathered momentum, having since organised 30+ showcase style events, headlines and an Ireland tour for an international act, with lots more to come!

Central to my business ethos is a commitment to fostering a safe and inclusive environment for artists and audiences alike. That’s why I’m proud to be partnered with “Safe Gigs Ireland”, an initiative dedicated to promoting safety and awareness at live events and keeping them free from any kind of abuse. By partnering with Safe Gigs Ireland, I work to ensure that every event or showcase I host prioritizes the safety of everyone in attendance including the performers, creating spaces where everyone can enjoy the transformative power of music without fear or hesitation.

Looking ahead, I’m excited to embark on new initiatives and partnerships that will further my mission of empowering artists and enriching our cultural landscape. There is immense talent and potential within the creative arts in Ireland, and we need something like Raise The Bar Events to provide a comprehensive platform that supports artists across all disciplines, amplifying their voices and fostering cross-disciplinary collaboration. It will push the boundaries and challenge the status quo of business and art.

Lastly, as a business owner, I firmly believe in using my platform to affect positive change beyond the realm of art. That’s why I’m proud to participate in “Hell and Back, June 2024” to raise money for “Feed Our Homeless”, a Dublin based charity providing vital support and services to those in need. By leveraging my resources and influence, I hope to make a tangible difference in the lives of others, embodying the spirit of solidarity and compassion that defines my business ethos.

In summary, Raise The Bar Events is more than just an event management company – it’s a labour of love, driven by a deep-seated passion for art, community, and social responsibility. As it continues to grow, my commitment to supporting artists, promoting safety and wellbeing and giving back to my community will remain unwavering. This is a legacy project for a positive infrastructure to remain long after I do. Together, with my family, friends, collaborators, the artists I work with and the project’s growing community of supporters, we are shaping a brighter, more hopeful future for the arts in Ireland and beyond.

Raise The Bar Events – The cornerstone of artistic and community development for generations to come.

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