Indiependence: Fail to Prepare, Prepare to Fail.

Last weekend I went to Knockanstockan in Blessington, Co. Wicklow. Of the 200 odd acts that played there I’d say I managed to see about 3 and a half. Of course, I really go to Knockanstockan for the craic and meeting people plus this year I was volunteering so all in all 3 and a half acts wasn’t bad considering.. But, with the whopper line up Indiependence are bringing to the table this year I think it’s about time I got my act together..

I’ve never been to Indiependence before but I’ve heard great things. The capacity is about 10,000 people so it’s nice and compact and shouldn’t be too hard to bop from stage to stage. This year marks the eleventh installment of Indiependence and, in a nod to their humble beginnings in the square in Michelstown, they’ve introduced a music trail which will see musicians and bands performing outside local businesses on Saturday and Sunday from noon to 3PM. According to the blurb, this trail provieds young acts with a platform to launch their music at one of Ireland’s most popular music festivals.

Indiependence Music Trail Map and Times 2016.

Once the trail is wrapped up, its back onsite for the festival proper. The stages don’t open until late afternoon so there’s plenty of time to get organized and make the most of the evening’s entertainment.

As far as I can see, Friday is relatively straightforward. I’ll be hoping to hit Saint Sister in the Big Top to make up for missing them at Townlands. Then over to the Main Stage for The Strypes and bell X1 who got rave reviews following their recent performance at the Galway Arts Festival. We’ll round the night off with KC in the Red Bull tent and the Silent Disco.

Saturday is slightly trickier and there are a few clashes. I reckon the Main Stage will be our perch for Pleasure Beach, Hudson Taylor, fellow Kerry natives Walking on Cars and the Kooks then shimmy over to the Big Top to catch then end of the Blizzards. Bressie.. swoon ❤

Sunday is the day of reckoning. A bit like Hozier, Wyvern Lingo are an act I cannot seem to pin down. We were in there first with Letter to Willow on Flirt FM only to find out they gave an interview 2 days later, unbeknownst to us. They were the surprise act at Knockanstockan last Saturday night which I turned up 2 hours late for so I’m determined to see them this Sunday at 20.30 in the Big Top. Other than that, Ash and Editors are the obvious two and if I can squeeze in a little bit of King Kong Company I’ll be laughing all the way back to the tent. I’d also love love LOVE to make it to Pleasure Beach… A girl can dream!!

Here’s the full line up in case you haven’t seen it yet and a site map for good measure. Time to get the highlighters out guys.. See ye at the Main Stage – x

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Stage times for Indiependence 2016

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Sitemap of Indiependence 2016

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Townlands Carnival TLC Review.

It’s been nearly a fortnight since I set out for Townlands Carnival in Macroom, Co Cork and, honestly, I’ve needed the entire time to recover. I can safely say it was, without a doubt, one of the best festivals I’ve ever been to!

It’s hard to quantify a festival in terms of the craic but I can definitely give a solid 10/10 for effort on the part of the organisers, volunteers and staff who ensured that the weekend went off without a hitch, even despite the rain and the mud (a quintessential Irish festival is right!)

We left Galway at 2PM on Friday, a full hour and a half behind schedule because a certain someone wasn’t ready (I’ll mention no names but she knows who she is) and arrived onsite just as it started to drizzle, contrary to what the weather forecast had promised. Unpreturbed, we unpacked the car, collected our wristbands and headed for the site. Tents were perched between huge flagpoles on a grassy bank so we put all our camping knowhow to use and chose a spot on high ground near a landmark. All those years in the Girl Guides had not gone to waste. The rain was getting steadily heavier so it was imperative we get the tent up as quickly impossible. It was a red and grey jobbie from Argos (currently reduced to €95 and I’d highly recommend it) and it lasted the whole weekend without too much damage which is more than I can say for the 8 man tent next to us which blew down within an hour of being put up. Whether it was the weather or user error, I couldn’t possibly say!

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Myself and Shelby facepainted and ready to go.

We spent the Friday night pottering around the stages, determined to get a few decent pictures before darkness descended. I had been speaking to PR Manager Dawn Kelly earlier in the week about what we could expect from this years festival and her enthusiasm was electrifying. The only thing I could compare her to the parent of a small child on Christmas Eve night. The parent knows exactly what is in store when the child unwraps the present and Dawn was no different. She had spent days onsite marvelling at the stages and the sets and was jsut dying to show it off to the punters.

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Jerry Fish in full swing, Mainstage, Friday.

To their credit, the guys in charge of the set design knocked it out of the park. The site was set up to mimic an old saloon town, complete with French shutters and swining doors. The top area of the stages had the SubAtomic Stage, a large Castle with a tent nestled in behind which belted out some of the most relentless techno I’ve ever had the pleasure of hearing, the Cirque du Freakout which was populated by ‘freaks’ in costumes ranging from pigs snouts to Indiana Jones whips and the obligatory feather boas. There was also the Riddim Shack catering for the ska/reggae/jungle/drum n bass aficionados.

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Cirque du Freakout Tent, Townlands Carnival 2016

Further down, beneath the instantly recognisable Townlands banner was the town centre where we found the Main Stage, the Bank building which was a cleaverly disguised mixing deck for the Main Stage, the Minus Stage and Cocktail Bar (the daquiris were DIVINE), the Gramaphone Disco which was belting out the classics throughout the weekend and the ideal place to pop into for a quick boogie, the Village Hall and last but not certainly not least the Sibin Stage.

Fugitive Dreams, Gramaphone Disco and The Bank mix deck Townlands Carnival 2016.

 I feel like the Sibin Stage deserves an honourable mention for the sheer amount of work and imagination that went into it. It also had the advantage of being the only stage that you could bring your own beer to so there was a constant crowd there mingling and drinking before dispersing into the night. I think I summed it up perfectly when I said on my Instagram account that the Sibin Stage looked like a fairy had vomited pink and glitter all over a clearning in the forest. Every branch within an asses roar of the place had streamers, windchimes, skulls and paper lanterns dangling from them. Of the seven stages, ths Sibin and the Main Stage were the only unroofed ones so as the weekend got wetter, the decor did take a biteen of a battering. On Sunday, a maze made of cloth tunnels was errected, still not quite sure if it was for the adults or the kids but I had a go anyway! Musically, the Sibin Stage was where it was at and I still have not recovered from missing Saint Sister playing on Saturday, not Sunday as I thought (D’oh!!) although I did catch some other acts (Cula Bula, the Lachikos and Strange Attractor) which made up for it!

Sibin Stage, Townlands Carnival 2016.

Unfortunately, I missed a lot of the Saturday due to work commitments ie Blackalicious, Saint Sister, Dirty Dubsteppers, Daithi and Sim Simma but by the time I arrived back on site on Sunday morning I was ready to make up for lost time and hit it hard. As is usualy the way with playing catch up, this resulted in copious amounts of alcohol being consumed and a serious blank lasting a few hours later in the evening. I’m pretty annoyed I can’t remember the fire display late Sunday night but, thankfully, Youtube to the rescue. At this stage I’ve watched this clip enough times to fool myself into thinking that I was in fact there and fully coherent. Lies we tell ourselves..

Townlands Carnival Fire Show, Video Credit Martin King.

The rain did not let up on the Sunday and the mud was nearly knee deep but people partied on regardless. I definitely saw several mad bastards full on mudwrestling and spirits were high in spite of the bad weather.

Personal highlights were definitely the Sibin Stage, Meadbh O’Connor killing it stone dead at the SubAtomic Stage, The Village Green and the craic with all of the Cork Mafia trying to explain the difference between West Cork and the rest of the county. All in all, it was a brilliant weekend and I will definitely be back for the next installment.

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Happy Hour: Longitude Special

For people who are on the fence about festivalling, Longitude is the ideal opportunity to dip a toe in and see what the buzz is without the hardship of tents, wet clothes and zero sleep.

This year’s line up is surely one of the best yet with acts like Kendrick Lamar, The National, Jamie XX, Fr John Misty, Christine and the Queens and Nina Kraviz all headlining.

LONG TIMETABLE.indd

Here’s the tracklist from our Longitude preview show:

Ham Sandwich Ants.

Lumineers Stubborn Love.

Jamie XX Loud Places.

We Cut Corners Best Friends.

Pleasure Beach Go.

Coronas Heroes or Ghosts.

Perfume Genius Learning.

Mo Final Song.

Daughter Youth.

Wyvern Lingo Willow.

The National Sorrow.

Happy Hour: Indiependence Special

This August Bank Holiday weekend sees the return of Indiependence Music and Arts Festival to Deer Farm, Co Cork. From humble beginnings as a free festival in the town of Michelstown in 2006, Indiependence has gone from strength and this year’s festival, the tenth installment, sees an increase in capacity from 5,000 to 8,000 as well as a stellar lineup including Editors, Kooks, Walking on Cars, The Strypes, Ash and Hudson Taylor.

So, to continue our series of festival previews, Ian and I decided to do an Indie Special for today’s show. I’ve left the tracklsit below and am delighted to report that it is largely Irish music. It’s great to see local talent being encouraged and rewarded and having this platform to showcase their talent. Acts I will definitely be targetting are: Walking on Cars, who I have yet to see live, The Blizzards (total fangirl) Saint Sister, Wyvern Lingo and Picture This.

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Tier 3 tickets are still onsale for €119 + BF and, if last year is anything to go by, it will be a sell out so get on it!

1.Shining Light by Ash
2.Blue Collar Jane by The Strypes
3.Chasing Rubies by Hudson Taylor
4.Catch me if you Can by Walking on Cars
5.It’s Still Love by Little Hours
6.Eve, the Apple of my Eye by Bell x1
7.First Girl to Leave Town by The Blizzards
8.Smokers outside the Hospital Door by Editors
9.Here in the Wild by August Wells
10.Take my Hand by Picture This
11.Naive by The Kooks

Happy Hour: Townlands Carnival Special.

Back for a second installment after its debut last summer, Townlands Carnival graces the fields of Macroom, Co Cork this weekend bringing its uniqe mix of music, madness, majik and mayhem. Buckle up, bitches.

Last year saw the coming together of organisers Sam Beshoff, Greg Woods, and Feidhlim Bryan who conspired to bring a world class festival to their locality. This festival marked the culmination of over 35 years of combined experience working at some of the biggest festivals in Europe; Electric Picnic, Live at the Marquee and a host of other English festivals.

This year will see 4,000 revellers flock to Leades House for what promises to be an immense weekend. Building on last year three stages, this year’s event will have seven stages, and several themed areas encompassing everything from a sibin chill out zone to a mental health awarness area (kudos on that one lads).

I spoke to PR Manger Dawn Kelly during the week about what to expect from this years festival and her enthusiasm was infectious. She praised the hard work and vision of the dedicated build team who have spent the last number of weeks working hard onsite to bring their vision to life. She was also kind enough to send on a sneak preview of the site and boy, was she telling the truth. The place looks uh-mazing, somewhere between a Polly Pocket village and the Wild West and no doubt will have plenty of nooks and crannies to explore. Check it out for yourselves below..

On the musical front, Dawn said the bookers were keen to cater for a wide range of tastes something clearly reflected in the eclectic line-up featuring everyone from rap duo Blackalicious to crooner Jerry Fish to the reggae reggae vibes of Sim Simma and the funky Electric Swing Circus. Irish talent is also being showcased with Jerry Fish and Daithi headlining the weekend, as well as a host of local acts like  The Eskies, Efa O’Neill, Jamie Behan, Meadhb O’Connor and Saint Sister.

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*special thanks to Dawn Kelly for the pictures

The good news is that Tier 4 Weekend tickets for Townlands are still available online and Sunday day tickets are also available for €50, both from

Buy Tickets

So, here’s a playlist of all the music we played during Wednesday’s Show (Townlands Carnival are in purple) Happy Listening!!

Hozier Someone New.

The Beatles While my Guitar gently Weeps.

Two Door Cinema Club Next Year.

Foals Mountain at my Gate.

Matt Simmons Catch and Release.

Christine and the Queens Tilted.

The Darkness Love is only a Feeling.

Madness Must be Love

Travis Flowers in the Window.

The Raconteurs Steady as She Goes.

Westlife When You’re Looking Like That.

Maroon 5 She Will be Loved.

Picture This Take my Hand.

Red Hot Chilli Peppers Scar Tissue.

Blackalicious Alphabet Aerobics.

Daithi With Dust (remix)

Saint Sister Madrid.

The Eskies Heave Away.

After the Ibis Step Inside.

Jerry Fish True Friends.

Damien Dempsey Apple of Her Eye

The Electric Swing Circus Bella Belle

Natty and the Rebelship Gaia

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Happy Hour: Castlepalooza Special

With festival season 2k16 well and truly underway, we’ll be continuing our series of festival previews focussing on Castlepalooza this week. Palooza takes place this weekend, July 1-3 in Charleville Castle, Tullamore.

You snooze, you Palooz.

Set on the ground of the 17th century Charleville Castle, as music festivals go, you couldn’t find a more imposing setting. Castle – check. Turrets – check. Ireland’s oldest oak woods – check. Indoor toilets – check. Hell, the place even has a frickin moat!!

Now in it’s tenth year, Castlepalooza has gone from strength to strength. From it’s humble beginnings in 2006, with 1,000 people gathered to watch headline acts the Blizzards and Republic of Loose the 2008 fesitval increased capacity to 2,000 people and was nominated for ‘Best European Festival’ at the UK Festival Awards. Castlepalooza was nominated for ‘Best Small Festival’ at the European Music Festival Awards in 2009, 2010 and 2011. It was also a finalist in the Event Industry Award 2011 under ‘Best Live Music or Entertainment Event’ & ‘Best Green Event’ categories respectively thanks to the festivals committment to the restoration and preservation of its historic surrounds (a percentage of each ticket is donated to the Charleville Castle Restoration Project) (kudos)

Over the years, line ups have included steallar Irish and International talent with acts like Fight Like Apes, David Kitt, O Emperor, Daithi, James Vincent McMorrow, Jape, Scroobius Pip, Little Green Cars and Le Galaxie taking to the Castle stage to woo crowds with their eclectic styles. This year is no different with Caribou, Jurassic 5, Oh Boland, Daithi, Colm Mac an Iomaire, Alle Farben and Villagers all featuring.

The only drawback is that you are NOT allowed to bring alcohol onsite. You can, however, buy alcohol inside using a token system. It’s a nuisance but it’s in keeping with the medieval castle vibe so we’ll let them off the hook.

Here’s the playlist from our Happy Hour Castlepalooza Special. Enjoy! (Palooza tunes in Pink)

The Beatles Come Together.

The Beach Boys I Get Around.

Zombies Sound of the Season.

The Kinks You Really Got me Going.

Glass Animals Life Itself.

Chet Faker Gold.

Two Door Cinema Club Someday.

Mr Big To Be With You

Temper Trap Love Lost.

Billy and the Cloneasaurus A Girl called Hayze.

Red Hot Chilli Peppers Scar Tissue.

Hello Goodbye Here in Your Arms.

Cat Power – Sea of Love.

All the Luck in the World – Never.

Caribou – Odessa.

Daithi ft Sinead White – Love on Top.

Villagers Becoming a Jackel.

No Monsters Club – I’ve Retired.

Tiger and Woods – Gin Nations.

Son Lux – Easy.

Villagers – My Lighthouse.