The Irish Festival Season

Barndance – 18th April 2014

This year the Irish festival season was opened mid April with a Good Friday party in Glendalough House. As a first timer I was warned what to expect… And it was everything I expected. So to break it down for everyone:

Barndance is a small one day festival with a modest line up and a price of 60 euro (not so modest). As you can guess by the location of the festival the place was filled with tanned up ladies, with blonde hair ,belly tops and a South Dublin accent to match the lads in tight V necks. The place was oozing with posh accents and a few heads from Tallaghfornia. Don’t let my negativity towards these people fool you though, the crowd was surprisingly pleasant.. The set up was great (it was in an actual barn). The place was set up in five areas; the barn, the church, the forest ,some random tent and the main stage. Not a bad set up for a small festival! Again looking back in April I am surprised I still remember. Just like all good festival it was decorated appropriately with a few little gems like a boat ,couches and beds in the forest. Its the decor that makes a small festival magical. Speaking of which, to the person who left a navy jumper in the boat..thanks. Its now my festival jumper and kept me nice and toasty that night!

Some positives:

Close to Dublin with easy bus access! Most importantly there was a lot of energy and the little church was GREAT. Atmosphere was incredible. A.Skillz was the highlight and stole the show, clashing with Dj Yoda, it was the right decision to make as he was a no show… Booka Brass Band and Kormac were also incredible. (Incidentally ended up following these two acts at more gigs and made it on the favourite list..)

Not so positive:

The cold. As much as I appreciate the festival season starting early the -1 did not help.. Oh so cold. Brrrrrrrrrr….


Vantastival – 2-4th May 2014

Located in Louth, Vantastival is a bit of a local affair. Still we were tempted to rediscover new things this year so we hit the road on the last day of the festival for one night! The prices raged from 95 euro for 3 day camping and 45 euro for the day.. Camping available for the last night camping also, this is an important one these days. It seems that festival informations fail to tell you about one day camping.

There is a lot to say about this hidden festival. Most importantly there are no rules. Anything goes. I will leave everything for the imagination here. Hippies in vans and locals up to shenanigans. The place was packed, however the ration women to men was not very even… Unlike Barndance where the ratio was swerved towards women, this was male driven scene. The set up was great, loads of people dressed up with dogs and other random props. The place was artsy with graffiti, cool art and even a tree house where the DJs were set up. The camp site was tiny, but the place did hold 2/3 bon fires and cool band set ups.


Small festivals are always good. Everyone was friendly and in good form… The little forest part was great, house set up in a forest with passageways and hidden areas throughout.

Negative negative:

A lot of kids. I have nothing against kids BUT I always question parents who bring kids to festivals.



Life Festival – 23-25th May 2014

So how much we talking here: 146 euro for the weekend camping… On Friday the 23rd we went out to get the last bus for Mullingar. Life was taking place in Belvedere House just outside the Mullingar town about an hour outside Dublin.  The bus journey took some weird turns as we broke down, swapped buses, had a mad bus driver who persisted to play TECHNO TECHNO on full blast… On arrival (at 11pm) we could not find a spot to camp in the pitch black but being troopers that we are we set up and dove into the Life Fest. Its safe to say I have never seen so many people “happy”. The weather was rough with rain, mud and general grimness, however this didn’t slow anyone down.

The line up was great but being a bit of a softy with music I found some of the music a bit hard to handle as it was intense. Nevertheless Groove Armada was good and I managed to squeeze some more Booka Brass Band in who got everyone dancing with some sunshine peeping through. On the last night of the festival the Bacardi “tent” (don’t think it was even a tent) stole the show with their tunes and got everyone dancing on tables.

There was a lot of security around and felt safe enough even though there was some dodgy people around.. Guards were patrolling along the campsites regularly as well as lurking in bushes catching people up to no good.

The lake was amazing and although the weather wasn’t great everyone was in hammocks enjoying some reggae and just enjoying themselves.


The lake area is definitely worth a look, hammocks were amazing. A lot of funky people and my favourite tent was definitely the “circus” tent, which was tiny but so much fun with glitter and props. The festival seemed very gay friendly, so many people going all out and dressing up!


A lot of drugs, I am not one to judge anyone for anything but from day one it was very clear everyone was mad out of it.. Guess its a good thing there is “no kids” rule. The rain was another negative factor, no one can control the weather but sleeping in a puddle is not my idea of fun.


Body & Soul – 20-23rd June 2014

Meath/Westmeath area. This is one of those festivals that grows every year due to popularity.. Although this was my first year going it felt like the festival was too small to hold everyone as everywhere you went there was masses and masses of people, the number of attendees increases and this is understandable but the place should have definitely extended appropriately. Nevertheless.. Hands down the prettiest festival I have ever been too. Every corner was filled with love and creativity. The weather was immense with 0 rain and all sunshine!

We stayed in a green campsite which encouraged recycling and was spacious with lovely green cut grass. This was one of the campsites where you had to register in advance as only the people with specific wristbands could come in.

Few highlights of the weekend: Booka Brass Band free styling in the orchard mid day sunday, Max Romeo, Caribou… Come On Live Long and the garden stage. HOUSE and the nice Dj who played all the songs that we requested.


Sunshine and more sunshine. Some good food and places to see… Lots of workshops and activities during the day!

Lots of areas to explore and hidden secrets within the forest… The forest. Trees. Kinda amazing. The Glowhole, whoever made that needs to get a pat on the back. (Anyone notice a little light coming out of the log in front of the Glowhole??)


Queues. Lots of queues. Too many people. Getting squashed after Caribou was definitely NOT my favourite. Goldfrapp was very disappointing..

Another thing that kinda pissed me off were the buses, the last bus from Dublin left at 1pm and the last bus to leave the campsite on the Sunday was 2am…Lame.




But the summer isnt over yet…

Arctic Monkeys – 12 July 2014

Longitude – 18-20 July 2014

Castlepalooza – 1-3 August 2014

Electric Picnic – 29-31 August 2014



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