With dusk falling on the Saturday evening of the Indiependence Music & Arts Festival, a gravel- voiced female festival-goer is displaying early symptoms of the festival equivalent of post-traumatic stress disorder: "Why is my voice like this?"
There are many reasons for this, and most are self-inflicted. And while an autumn chill cut through the sunshine on the second day of the festival, that perennial bugbear of domestic outdoor events — the weather — was mostly kind to those who found themselves in the area of Mitchelstown this bank holiday weekend.
Two years ago, Indiependence was visited by a downpour of biblical proportions and each year since has seen the organisers take positive steps in tackling that problem, resulting in relocating campsites and stage areas to areas of harder ground and this year covering the last remaining exposed stage area, the Canadian Main Stage, with a marquee.
Of course, every festival stands or falls on the quality of their line-up and among the 100 acts featured across five stages, Indiependence continues to showcase some of the best musical talent this country has to offer.
It was no surprise when it was announced on the eve of the festival that The Coronas would be the surprise act at the HMV Big Top tent on Saturday. Both parties enjoy a long mutual association and it seemed as if well over half of the 5,000 attendees attempted to cram themselves into the space in order to catch a glimpse of Danny O’Reilly and co.
Later that evening, an entirely different demographic packed the tent to see veteran Cork punk rockers The Sultans of Ping entertain an audience misty-eyed for classics such as ‘Where’s Me Jumper?’.
Judging by the detritus scattered around the Deer Park farm site, there will be plenty others asking the same question.
Over the weekend, Walking on Cars, We Cut Corners, Delorentos, Hozier, Damian Dempsey, and Hudson Taylor highlighted the rude health of Irish music.
The last-minute cancellation of Main Stage act Fun Loving Criminals saw local heroes The Frank and Walters step into the breach last night.
The main stage headliners also delivered, and showed the diversity of musical tastes represented by the festival, from award-winning songwriter Tom Odell, indie rockers and returning headliners White Lies, and hip-hop legends Public Enemy.
Festival organiser John Finn toasted another sold-out event: “The weekend has run perfectly for us; we’ve been extremely lucky with the weather and we’ve all enjoyed some amazing bands over the three days. The crowd have been great.”
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