There probably aren’t too many events in Ireland that combine bands and DJs with boat parties and synchronised swimming. Punters at It Takes A Village (ITAV) at Trabolgan in Co Cork got all this and more at the second incarnation of the festival, complete with the added bonus of constant sunshine across the three days.
As well as the more offbeat attractions, the USP of ITAV is the convenience and comfort for those who don’t fancy tents and muddy fields.
Accommodation is in the centre’s chalets, so the venues, food outlets, pool, etc, are all within a five-minute walk from each other, and from your bed.
That factor, and a three-day ticket price of about €250 (day passes available for the Sunday only, at €55) ensure the demographic is slightly older than most other music festivals. Whether that also contributes to the “not a dickhead in sight” factor referred to by Le Boom is a moot point, but the general vibe is definitely one of easy-going fun.
Of the international brigade who travelled to Trabolgan, among the most interesting were Snapped Ankles – they may have flown in from London, but they looked like they’d crawled out of the nearby woodland. Draped in ‘shamanistic’ headgear, and incorporating branches into their stage set, they brought a welcome theatricality to proceedings late on Saturday night. Tree degrees, indeed. Just before the Ankles, BBC DJ Gilles Peterson had done his trademark joining of dots between all sorts of genres.
Another act from the quality end of the British beatmerchant scale were The Herbaliser, with main production duo Jake Wherry and Ollie Teeba being joined by a band that included a three-piece brass section.
An impressive contingent of Irish acts reflected the eclectic range of emerging acts in the country at the moment. Jinx Lennon proved his force-of-nature reputation with mad songs about characters who will be familiar to you. Among them, ‘Lovely Man’ perfectly described that “sneaky c**t in work”.
Thumper underlined why they’re being talked about a lot recently; while AE Mak and Junior Brother were just two of the others who impressed.
Two festivals in and It Takes A Village looks to have cemented its reputation as one of the best events on what is an increasingly-crowded calendar.