'Over the last few years, Irish festivals have experienced something of a 'Eureka' moment. The number of festivals are up, the audiences going to these events are growing and, most of all, the quality of the experience has far improved. From the wham-bam-thank-you-mam juggernauts like Oxegen or Electric Picnic to the 'down-home' vibes of Knockanstockan or Glasgowbury, Irish audiences are showing that they too are outstanding in their own field.'
Jim Carroll, The Irish Times
‘In the early 2000s, when I was living in London, I was a little fed up with UK festivals so I tried an Irish one for size. Then another. And another. And now I live here. I'm a massive music fan and there's nothing more amazing than a whole weekend of the stuff, but what really makes the fests here unique is the spirit of the occasion. Never have I felt like there were thousands of friends-in-waiting at my disposal, all united over a common love and disposition.’
Shilpa Ganatra, The Star
‘After having been reared on the world famous Lolloapalooza, moving over here I expected the same things and when I went to my first Witness festival I was blown away at how many acts took part and how accessible it was to see everything I wanted to, basically like a kid in a candy shop I was fit to burst. Since then as a music obsessive I have been spoiled for choice. Electric Picnic holds a special place in my heart, I have done a good few memorable shows from there, the feel is suited to my... vintage and the acts always impress me. I also admire independent festivals that are popping up across the summer in Ireland primarily Castle Palooza for their dedication to home grown acts. Roll on summer 2008!’
Alison Curtis, Today FM
"Its great to go to festivals and wonderful to see so many people enjoying themselves. However, a consequence of this is the impact on the environment. Our eco footprint is seen everywhere during music festivals, particularly in the amount of waste generated and litter strewn everywhere. I'm sure most festival-goers would welcome a more environmentally friendly approach to minimizing the huge volumes of litter generated by a public gathering. The challenge is for someone to come up with a solution that would minimize the amount of waste generated and subsequently the amount of litter, and I put it to the organizers to come up with such a solution."
Duncan Stewart, Environmental architect
"The Irish Festival Awards are a good way to hear back from the music public and industry whether you're on track or not. I can't tell you how happy we were to get both awards last year. HWCH is an important opportunity for emerging artists so the social responsibility award was especially great to get."
Angela Dorgan, First Music Contact.
"This year a festivals sustainability remit had to be more than just a recycling plan or plastic cup scheme... it had to be about engagement, participation and re-skilling. Every line up had the addition of workshops and other hands on activities, whether it was skill workshops , music workshops or dance workshops. This was never more evident than at smaller festivals, where the public got a proper chance to engage with the activities.
For re-dress this was the highlight of the festival season... sitting down, taking time to talk through what we do to promote ethical fashion and engaging the public in hours of re-skilling activities."
Rosie O'Reilly, Re-Dress
It’s no lie that people love Irish Festivals, and why shouldn’t they? They are amazing! Mark Graham, an expert in the field, and enthusiast of Ireland’s exciting and magical festivals, even decided to write a book on them! He attends festivals weekly and has been to more festivals in Ireland than anyone else. The book entitled ‘Year of Festivals in Ireland’ is one for all festival lovers! –
“In this entertaining roller-coaster tour of Ireland, Mark paints a picture not of a broken and maudlin country that lost the run of itself, but of a people with a wealth of character, imagination, generosity, wildness, curiosity, creativity and an insatiable hunger for fun and divilment. The surprising array of weird and wonderful festivals around Ireland are matched and surpassed by the cohort of characters and clients who attend them. Throwing himself into the thick of these gatherings may have nearly killed him, but he survived his year of festivals, enjoyed almost every minute and was left with a tale or two to tell.”
Mark Graham – A year of festivals in Ireland