PHEW! So I’m back and in recovery from an amazing weekend spent in Charleville Castle for Castlepalooza!
First off, this was my first “Smaller” festival, and by smaller I mean smaller than the likes of Electric Picnic. Boutique festivals are the way forward people. The only slog you have at CP is from the main entrance to the arena/camping itself but sure you only have to do that arriving and heading home and you can think of it as a few workout brownie points before you find yourself drinking pints and eating pies (THE PIES, a lovely place called ‘Look into my Pies’, that’s another blog post in itself!).
SO, we were in Castle camping, which you guessed it is right beside the castle. 2 mins and you are at the stages and the food stalls etc. The venue of Charleville Castle in itself is spectacular, the castle grounds add such a nice atmosphere to the whole thing and you can even go into the castle itself to take in some hula hoop lessons or just to have a wander. And if you head into the Castle courtyard Tullamore Dew had set up a DJ/bar area where you could enjoy a tipple and a dance within the confines of the castle walls.
The Music: Highlights for me included Ghost Poet on the Friday night, although unfortunately his mic cut off twice on the final song so it ended a bit suddenly which was a bit of an anti climax, but his performance was flawless.
Saturday saw a great line up on Friday as part of the John Murray Show on RTE Radio 1 where a number of bands who submitted their tracks to the show got to play a 20 minute set in the Metro Herald Tent. Radio 1 even provided Deck Chairs for bleary eyed revellers to relax and enjoy the tunes from.. Personal favourite of ours was Old Hannah, a folk and roots band from Sligo and Dublin.
Saturday evening line up was very strong on the main stage with the combo of Come On Live Long, Tieranniesaur, Last Days of 1984, Cymbals, Fight Like Apes and CSS providing plenty of distraction from the rain that began to pour as night fell. CSS were particularly good, with plenty of recognisable hits from their popular album Cansei de Ser Sexy mixed in with new material.
Fight Like Apes were another personal highlight after missing multiple opportunities to see them live in the past. Their energy was contagious.
Sunday, the sun returned and although it took festival go-ers a bit longer to get going, eventually the walkways and stages were once again full of people enjoying the sun and music. I enjoyed sets from Niall McCabe and Halves before having to make my way back to Dublin. Devastating to have missed ASIWYFA, and Le Galaxie, but all in all a great festival, and so good to see so many Irish Bands taking their rightful place on the line up.
Good job CP, here is to Castlepalooza 2014??