When it comes to the March holiday St. Patrick’s Day, many traditions come to mind. Depending on where you live, these traditions differ slightly but share a central theme. In Boston, for me at least, the Celtic punk band The Dropkick Murphys and St. Patrick’s day have become synonymous. In Chicago, they dye the Chicago River green. The Chicago Journeymen Plumbers Union Local 130 has historically sponsored the river dyeing and only they know the secret to the dye mix. The White House in DC has dyed the north fountain green every year since 2006. Seattle paints the traffic stripes of its annual St.Patricks day parade route green. The Missouri University of Science and Technology St Patrick’s Board Alumni paint 12 city blocks Kelly green with mops before the annual parade.
A Boston Tradition.
For the last two decades, the Boston-based punk band has performed every St.Patrick’s day in Boston. The rich tradition of shows attracts fans from all over New England. They even released a live album from their 3-night performance from the Avalon Ballroom during the holiday in 2002. For many fans, this tradition has been an annual staple and a way to celebrate the holiday for the last 24 years.
A New Tradition.
Last year, however, the perennial Boston run of shows had to adapt because of the looming Coronavirus pandemic. The concerts pivoted to the now popular streaming model for the first time. During the early Spring of 2020, right as the pandemic’s shadow loomed, the band had to take the necessary steps to alter the event, stating: “We hope you and your families are doing well during this trying time. For the first time in 24 years, we are not playing on St. Patrick’s Day weekend. The current world situation is the ONLY thing that would ever stop us from doing so. So we came up with an idea we’re going to pull off this Tuesday – the night of St. Patrick’s Day.” On Tuesday, March 17th the Dropkick Murphys played for a virtual audience for the first time. The proceeds from the event went to the Boston Resiliency fund to support families affected by the Coronavirus.
A Virtual Tradition.
The 2021 iteration will be no different. On Wednesday, March 17th, 2021 the band will be streaming a live concert from Boston. The aptly titled show “ST. PATRICKS DAY LIVE STREAM 2021…STILL LOCKED DOWN” will be broadcast free of charge around the world. From the band’s website: “That’s right, instead of charging for the stream, we’ll be passing the virtual hat to all our loyal fans around the world… So if you wanna kick in to help us continue paying our crew and expenses, you can drop a coin in the hat….”
Hopefully, next year we can once again gather together and celebrate this annual tradition right here in Boston! But in the meantime, the band will partner with PEGA to offer the stream on Wednesday, March 17th here.