Stevie G: Here comes the summer sound

Seeing as the sun is making an appearance this week, thoughts are turning to summer festival season, writes Stevie G
Stevie G: Here comes the summer sound
Kelis who is in the line-up for the Love Sensation festival.

ANTICIPATION of the summer festival season is pretty high at the moment and the recent unveiling of the Electric Picnic line-up has been followed by the announcement of some further new festivals.

Festival Republic, who run Electric Picnic, have recently announced that a new festival called Kaleidoscope will take place in Russborough House in Blessington, Co Wicklow, at the end of June.

It’s a three-day camping festival aimed more at families than some of the other festivals, and there will be six stages of Irish and international music. There will also be nine stages of spoken word, workshops and inspiration, a food festival plus installations and more.

A line-up is due imminently, but the organisers promise to “harness the magic of the Little Picnic’s entertainment and family campsites” in this brand new venue.

“Expect a host of the best music acts and DJs, in addition to programming for babes in arms to teens as well as grown-ups”.

This event should be an interesting addition to the festival calendar and probably a more intimate choice for families than the rather large and overwhelming Electric Picnic.

All Together Now in Waterford is another festival that I have been recommending to families, and it also returns this summer.

Meanwhile, Love Sensation hits the Royal Hospital Kilmainham this August; it’s run by Mother in Dublin. It’s being described as an LGBT festival and it comes off the back of previous Mother parties in Dublin, such as Pride Block.

So far the line-up has Lily Allen, the Gossip, Clean Bandit, Kelis, and Soule on the main stage, while the dance tent will host Horse Meat Disco, Andy Butler, Karen Reddy, Kelly Anne Byrne, Daithi, Raw Silk and more. This festival looks like it will be very successful and the only surprise really is that it didn’t happen earlier.

What about Electric Picnic itself? It’s line-up was unveiled a couple of weeks ago in Dublin and this year it seems to be more on the indie side of things. Florence and the Machine, Hozier, the 1975, and the Strokes are the headliners, followed by Billie Eilish, James Blake, Roisin Murphy, Christine and the Queens, The Streets and more. A lot of the best stuff is yet to come, including the specialist arena line-ups from Trenchtown, Bacardi, Jerry Fish, Heineken, Red Bull and more.

It’s not the most jaw-dropping line-up, but I’m sure it will be another great festival. It’s already sold out either way but Electric Picnic is one of Europe’s biggest festivals and, coming at the end of the summer, it’s always had a special place in the calendar here for many music fans.

Before that we have big hitters such as Indiependence, another massively successful festival here in Cork.

It Takes a Village is happening in May too, and I’ll look at the line-up more closely in coming weeks. Now in its second year it will hopefully establish itself as another benchmark in the calendar here.

Apart from the regular festivals it will be an interesting summer in Cork for the big hitters of the Irish music scene.

Both MCD and Aiken Promotions have big shows here and the addition of Musgrave Park to the Marquee and Páirc Uí Chaoimh means that Cork is going to be more on the radar for some of the bigger touring acts.

Lauryn Hill, George Ezra, Liam Gallagher, and Hozier are coming to Musgrave Park, while the Marquee is hosting the likes of Hall & Oates, Versatile, and Tash Sultana. The Rod Stewart show in Páirc Uí Chaoimh will also bring people to Cork so let’s hope we get more gigs to these venues.

The much publicised frustrations regarding the Cork event centre attracted national attention with the RTÉ Prime Time documentary last week, and sadly there seems to be no immediate resolution.

Tánaiste Simon Coveney has repeatedly stated that the Government and other stakeholders are committed to the project, but there is major frustration here in Cork. Until building actually starts, it looks like cynicism will remain.

In the meantime, music fans can look forward to plenty of shows, as our smaller venues continue to put on gigs daily. The event centre is a necessary amenity though and hopefully it will happen eventually.

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