After a busy summer season of festivals, September welcomes the Spirit of Folk for something even seasoned festivalers will find a little different.
Spirit of Folk, the festival swan song of 2014, happens from September 19th to 21st in the 25 acres of Dunderry Park, Co. Meath. The parkland and lake will feature two stages of live music from folk, trad and bluegrass to entertainment as diverse as battle reenactments, falconry and shadow puppetry.
This is the third year of The Spirit of Folk Festival – one that aims to give a completely immersive experience for festival-goers. As well as inspirational talks, workshops and relaxation areas (which we have come to expect from any festival worth its salt) the organisers are offering tours to historical sites like the Hill of Tara and Sliabh na Calleach. Set in the heart of the Boyne Valley, this festival’s point of difference might just be the opportunity to immerse yourself in Irish heritage.
Plus there’s sorytelling, poetry reading by Pat Speight, Eddie Lenihan, Aideen Mc Bride, African song and dance and an astrophysicist on site holding a telescope session after dark. Talks have that folky focus: astronomy, bushcraft, ancient druidism and shamanism.
But back to the stages, the music lineup includes Dee Armstrong, Rónán Ó Snodaigh, Eoin Dillon and Seanan Brennan of Kíla. There are over 40 acts performing over the festival, including Tupelo, voted Best Folk Act at the Hot Press Reader’s Poll 2013; Dan Walsh, one of the finest banjo players in the UK; In Their Thousands, a four-piece folk-rock band; Dan Amor, making his first Irish appearance; and The Emerald Armada, a Belfast favourite.
The other need to knows: On site there’s regular and boutique camping as well as plenty of local B&B stock. There are kids’ activities throughout the festival too so it’s a family friendly zone. Buses depart from Merrion Square on each day of the festival. Tickets cost from €40 and are available online.
And with that we think we’ll hang up our tent till next summer.
All images courtesy Spirit of Folk Festival