Gigs and Cons

My first Irish music festival

The first weekend in August I attended my first eco-friendly music festival. It was quite a new music festival in our County and I went as a Waterford Walls volunteer.

All Together Now festival took a place for a first time last year in August and not only it was immediately sold out but it was such a success that the festival sold out this year too. Within minutes. That’s quite normal for Ireland to be honest (I don’t mind this when it comes to festivals but Adele 2016 ..).

Anyways, thanks to my volunteering with Waterford Walls (technically, with The Walls Project which runs WW but I won’t get into that now) I got a weekend camping ticket to this festival. And if you think that I will now describe my weekend experiences with making the tent and queuing for showers you are so wrong. I don’t camp. Ever.

Instead of camping I got a lift to and from the festival site every day. The festival takes place at Curraghmore House Estate by Portlaw village every year. These grounds and house used to belong to the Power clan. These days the 9th marquess of Waterford, Henry Nicholas de la Poer Beresford and his wife live in the house. Although the owners live inside the house, the grounds are open to public. And one more fun fact – somewhere on the grounds the highest tree in Ireland can be found!

I’ve spent two days at the festival – Saturday and Sunday. One of my colleagues joined me with the lift and managed to entertain me Sunday morning. She took off her entrance wristband ’cause shower and forgot to put it back on. So it was my time to charm all the security guys by waving with my wristband and yelling “Waterford Walls“. Security let us in no problem .. *makes notes for next year*

I don’t even know what I was expecting from the festival. With regards to line-up Pussy Riot didn’t make it in the end and Sion Hill was playing Sunday midnight (or at least that’s what I thought) and other names didn’t interest me. The festival sadly does not bring big names, or maybe it does, but a couple of generations beyond me. I just knew that my favourite Irish photographer will be somewhere running around (pretty please the only female photographer making an actual money and career out of music photography in Ireland), however I didn’t anticipate the festival site size so unfortunately I didn’t “accidentally” bump into her.

In the end I spent all morning and part of the afternoon in our tent helping kids with spray painting. On Saturday after my shift, I went to explore the festival site. The kids area, where our tent was located, was based just in front the the Curraghmore House. To reach the main stage and other attractions you had to go through a “Woodstock Alley”. I call it the Woodstock Alley ’cause it was full of eco-friendly, anti-plastic stalls. It was giving me a hippie vibe. However, as mentioned, this festival is eco-friendly and anti-plastic so it all made sense. Plus no one was harassing me into buying anything and I could pass through without any problem.

Right after Woodstock there were food stalls and a wooden sculpture of a deer. Coincidentally I was just told that weekend that the sculpture is not a part of the festival but it’s on the Curraghmore grounds all year round. The interesting thing about this sculpture is that people can go inside of it and his eyes shines! After the deer I took a turn to the main field where the rest of the food stalls could be found as well as the two biggest stages. I quickly had a look who was playing and off I went on the Ferris Wheel.

Once I finished spinning on the Ferris Wheel another exciting stop awaited me – An Post (Irish Post)! If you follow me on social media then you know that An Post had a stall of their own at this festival and they were offering free postcards to be sent – all around the world. I love sending postcards so of course I couldn’t pass on this opportunity. So I did a call out and sent a couple of them on both days. As far as I know most of them successfully found their new home 🙂

The Sunday afternoon wasn’t much different from the Saturday one except me moving for my lunch to the main field ’cause a) they were selling vegan burgers there and b) there were no wasps and I could finally eat in peace without entertaining everyone around me with my waving dance moves. There was one event on Sunday morning which immediately caught my eye – Jameson Acoustic Brunch which was a brunch by Jameson (the whiskey) where a guy was playing his acoustic guitar while you ate. What a great idea! Where have I seen the guy before? Haven’t I? He looks familiar.. there’s nothing online. Hm, nevermind.. A week after I read that it was Sion Hill playing. Ach, not my year this year (Hayley flashbacks).

Spray painting was pretty exhausting – doing the same for X amount of hours and also smiling and be kind to kids all the time. That turned out to be the easy thing actually while the sleep started asking for attention. Thankfully parents were attentive and were keeping eyes on their kiddos. Please treat this as a public apology for sleepy Terez.

What I found immediately interesting about this location was a fact, that there were sheep and cows all around the grounds just peacefully eating their grass. Some people even put up their tents quite up the hill and if it wasn’t for the barriers I guess some of the tents would have new tenants.

It was a great festival. I saw new things, I experienced and learned new interesting things. I met loads of great people and had an opportunity to spend two days with my favorite bunch of people and an amazing artist Kevin Bohan. Apparently our tent was the most exciting place to be for all kiddos. It’s quite easy to work with that then.