Stevie G: Three festivals to enjoy this weekend in Munster

Get ready for Indiependence, Cork Pride, and All Together Now, says Stevie G in his Downtown column
Stevie G: Three festivals to enjoy this weekend in Munster

Norman Cook, better know as Fatboy Slim, will be playing the Indiependence festival in Mitchelstown this weekend.

When it rains it pours, but this hot July it’s pouring down festivals rather than rain.

The month is gonna end with a string of music festivals that will take place outdoors for the first time in years. The last few years have put a hold on the likes of Indiependence, All Together Now, and Cork Pride, and though there were some valiant efforts at some online or limited-capacity events, doing the real thing in person is much more fun for everyone involved.

Let’s start with Cork. Indiependence has been a huge success story for many years now, and it’s another rites-of-passage festival that draws a fairly young but enthusiastic crowd to Mitchelstown. It’s not as young as Longitude, and the line-up is pretty broad, so there’s something for everyone really at a festival which is superbly organised. Only a short drive from Cork, the site is easily accessible and it will be the first major music festival for many of the attendees.

This year’s line-up features heavyweights such as Fatboy Slim and Becky Hill, and Indie will continue its fine tradition of bringing some Grade A local talent to the festival too. Lyra, Soule, Jafaris, Erica Cody, Belters Only, Malaki, and Jenny Greene are just a few of the Irish names on the list.

I’ll be down there myself DJing and I’ll also be running the music for JRilla, the exciting young Cork drill artist who recently featured with Sello at Longitude.

There were originally some doubts as to whether Indiependence could continue at their traditional site, but it’s all been resolved now, and it’s great to have it back at full tilt this weekend.

Cork Pride is also on this week in Cork. The week itself features loads of great events, which will culminate in the Cork Pride afterparty at the Port of Cork at Kennedy Quay on Sunday. The Pride party will be headlined by Nadine Coyle of Girls Aloud, who will be joined by Eurovision star Brooke Scullion, Sparkle, The Guilty Judges, and some of Cork’s finest drag talent — all being hosted by the legendary Paul Ryder. Cork Pride were particularly innovative during the pandemic, and they kept the party going with a number of limited-attendance and online events. Their recent Work with Pride launch was another impressive string to their bow, and it’s amazing to think how far Pride itself has come, from the days when only a few people marched in Cork.

Another festival that will attract a big Cork audience takes place down the road in Waterford. All Together Now is one of the country’s finest music festivals, and it’s barely only over an hour from Cork. The brainchild of the sadly departed John Reynolds, All Together Now has many echoes of the original Electric Picnic, of which he also spearheaded. The Picnic itself continues to be a huge festival, but many of those looking for a more organic version may be interested in All Together Now, which had been building up some huge momentum before Covid came and spoiled things. The line-up is very impressive. The audience demographic is a little older than the Electric Picnic and from a nostalgia perspective, big hitters such as Nick Cave, Underworld, and Groove Armada are on the bill.

All three acts are hugely experienced festival draws, but as always with such events, the closer you examine the bill, the more enticing it becomes. The next wave of big names includes Denise Chaila, Joy Orbison, Yenkee, Shiv, Aby Coulibaly, Gemma Dunleavy, Junior Brother, DJ Koze, Self Esteem, Jungle, Pillow Queens, and many more great acts.

I attended the previous festivals and they were fantastic, and I fully expect this year’s All Together Now to continue to impress.

That’s three festivals for all different kinds of tastes, and it really is good to be back. Most of these festivals struggled to survive during the first couple of years of the pandemic, and while the government stepped in and helped a bit, if we had lost this summer it would have made it extra hard for them all to continue.

We’ve got some other bits and pieces coming in Cork and beyond too, before the Electric Picnic, which I’ll preview properly in August.

In the meantime, I hope you enjoy a fantastic weekend of music, friends, and fun!

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