Were you at Castlepalooza a few weeks back? One of my favourite music writers Lorraine Harrison was kind enough to recount her musical experiences at what is arguably the best independent music festival of the year for musicandeverything.com. Have a read and let us know your own Castlepalooza memories.
All images are by Dublin Photographer Ruth Medjber. Visit her website HERE.
Arriving early on site on Friday Castlepalooza fans were met with hot temperatures and clear skies. Fast forward to about 7.00pm and it came. Rain; something all Irish festival goers are used to and know to prepare for. Then it continued. And continued. And continued. There is only so much preparation you can do and layers a person can bring.
As luck would have it most of Friday’s musical delights took place under the covered shelter of the Metro Herald stage. Dubliners Sleep Thieves were amongst the highlights while DJ Arman Giorgio brought on the festival atmosphere with mixes of well-known tracks and acts such as LCD Soundsystem to delights of the rain trodden faithful. While many bring ear plugs camping to drown out the sound of some gobshite with a guitar “entertaining” the dwellers (it’s five AM, he’s playing Kodaline…again.), this was a first; using earplugs to drown out the sound of rain.
One thing that makes Castlepalooza unique compared to other festivals is the variety of things you can do other than seeing music acts. During the day the stunning Charville Castle’s banquet hall is the location for lessons in things like yoga, hula hooping and burlesque. Yes you can actually learn to strip in a castle. If that doesn’t have you counting down the days to next year nothing will.
Saturday was again a mainly rain filled affair again meaning the majority of the crowd could be found at the Metro Herald stage once more. Benny Smiles was true to his name as the masses were left beaming from ear to ear from his unique brand of upbeat electro pop. Haüer’s 80s infused infectious beats could only have been improved if the set took place late in the night rather than mid-afternoon. One of the stand out new acts of the festival. Sounds of System Breakdown showed why they’ve made a name for themselves as an unmissable live act while over on the main stage crowds began to brave the elements for O Emperor and the soaring vocals of We Cut Corners.
Day three of a festival is always a tough, but particularly when after the biblical rains of the previous 36 hours. It was just too much for some as the campsites were noticeably emptier. Thankfully for those who stayed there was no need for Noah and an ark. One of the early highlights of the day was Acrobat while over in the Metro Herald tent Elaine Mai, despite some technical difficulties got the crowd dancing to a top notch Destiny’s Child remix. In the relaxing setting of the banquet hall Sive’s elegant vocals matched the elegant surroundings. Derry’s The Clameens ensured theirs was a name to be remembered with their catchy brand of indie guitar pop, while Tvvins and Daithí regaled a packed out Metro Herald tent. If there is a finer way to exit a festival then by watching Summer Camp perform the Home and Away theme tune then I’ve yet to find it.
There’s no way to argue it, the weather was dismal and did affect everyone’s experience of Castlepalooza. Yet, it was still one of the weekends of the year and showed why the festival is held in such high regard. Had this weather appeared at any other festival in the country it would have been a complete disaster.