With mere hours to go, things are reaching fever pitch down in Macroom ahead of this years’ Townlands Carnival. The festival, which is a heady mix of music, arts and good old fashioned carnival antics returns to its’ spiritual home in Rusheen Farm this weekend for 3 fun-filled days. This year’s theme is Carnival Through the Ages, think costumes, think circus freaks, think funky reggae reggae vibes and you’re on the right track. Read on for my 5 top Townlands tips.
- Fancy dress
Like any good circus, Townlands Carnival is all about the audience participation. The theme of this year’s festival is Carnival Through the Ages so it’s finally time to ditch the Disney onesie and break out that sequinned jacket and top hat that would make Marion Fossett blush. Or, if you’re fresh out of ideas the good folks of TLC team are running ‘Get Your Freak On’ costume creation sessions on Saturday and Sunday 2-5 to create new, funky costumes or jazz up existing headpieces, masks and other bits and bobs you’ve gathered along the way. Judges will be prowling the festival on the look out for the most daring, brazen and colourful costumes and a King and Queen will be announced at Sunday’s Parade. Could it be you?
Some non-winning costumes from 2016
2. The Parade
This leads me nicely onto my second tip.. The Parade. Each year as the festival draws to a close, a spectacular parade of freaks and fools winds its way around the festival site, before the dramatic creschendo; an awesome fireshow with pyrotecniccs, acrobats and other carnival folk. If this video doesn’t make the hairs on the back of your neck stand on end, check yourself for a pulse.
3. The Sibin Stage
Make absolutely sure and certain to spend some time in the Sibin Stage. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, it’s like a fairy vomited glitter and pink all over one small corner of the festival and it’s absolutely glorious!! Plus, there are some serious acts to be found lurking there over the course of the weekend. Cula Bula and HvmmingByrd on Friday, Neon Atlas on Saturday and Cork City Samba on Sunday to namedrop but a few.
Sibin Stage, TLC 2016
4. Shake your ass at the SubAtomic Tent
Looking for some serious beats to wiggle your bum and fist pump till you can’t fist pump no more to? Look no further. Last year this little stage was a pressure cooker with relentless techno booming out of the speakers for hours on end. Expect more of the same this weekend with Meadbh O’Connor, Sweet Tooth, Jamie Behan, Sully, OM Unit and Dan Sykes all doing shifts on the decks. Protip, it also has a roof so if the weather is being uncooperative you can always retreat to the techno bunker.
5. Do something different
Make this year the year you finally go to morning yoga, or a Ted-style talk, or a dance workshop, or any workshop for that matter! This year, the Village Green is pulling out all the stops with Master Crafts men and women offering Blacksmithing , Basketry, Leatherwork, Felting, Wood and Stone Carving, Candle Making, Spinning, Green Wood Working, Jewellery and Ceramics across the festival. And, as if that wasn’t enough, they’ll also have live music, healthy food and drink options and a series of discussions on important subjects like making Townlands a more sustainable festival, for a community-led future that works.
Still not sure what to expect? You can find a round up of last year’s shenanigans here. And, if you’re having trouble packing, there’s a handy guide on what to pack for an Irish festival here.
Have a great weekend lads!