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Waiting For Lift-off

As I begin writing this Editorial, the 2020 Freshers issue of the Express is already behind us, but there is a certain feeling in the air that things are still waiting to begin.

For most of you reading this, the Express’ seeming obsession with Freshers issue probably doesn’t make a whole lot of sense, so I’ll do my best to explain: The Freshers issue is the first edition of the Express that comes out each academic year. It’s shorter than most issues – twenty-four pages as opposed to forty – and more casual in tone, providing an opportunity for the new editorial team to make their first introductions with – and impressions on – who will be their readership for the year. Traditionally, the Freshers issue is included in all Fresher Packs, handed out physically (our newfound covid-consciousness perishes the thought) to new students on their Orientation Day, and acts as the first point of contact between new students and the opportunity of contributing to student media.

Due to reasons already so fatigued in popular discussion that repeating them now feels the equivalent of CPR-ing the proverbial dead horse back to life only to start bating him all over again, we could not go feasibly to print with the Freshers issue, nor this one. So, what you are currently reading is our second issue of the year, but in actual fact, it still feels as though we are waiting for lift-off. It’s not until those papers arrive in their plastic-strapped bundles; piled up in the common room waiting to be rushed to their various vantage points around campus that the University Express will make, in my mind, its full and absolute comeback as a campus paper. Until that time comes, we appreciate you sticking with us and taking a look through these digital issues. Whatever about method of publication, one thing that can be assured is that the strength of our content this year has by no means faltered; and yet again, the team has put together an amazing volume of Byline for you.

Fionn Kelleher conducts a phenomenal and fragility-baring interview with Dublin producer Marcus Woods, which inspires the cover for this issue. Arts & Literature Editor Imasha Costa takes us inside the My Generation art project launched on Cork Culture Night; and Julie Landers brings us along for an ambient, socially-distanced night at the Kino, as Cork bastions of punk Pretty Happy perform their farewell gig.

As always, submissions, pitches, comments and criticisms of what you read in Byline are always more than welcome – the email address of each Editor can be found inside the first page of this paper (however, if your criticism is just kind of sad and not the type of thing you can say publicly without sounding needlessly negative so you broadcast it through an anonymous Twitter account… maybe keep that one to yourself).

Thank you all for the continued support and please enjoy our fantastic second volume of Byline.