#Festivals: The Pilling Fields: Summer 2011 Round Up.

In #rabble1, Culture, Print Editionby rabble3 Comments

Emma Brophy captures the madness of Mantua back in the day…

We asked our mob of contributors for some quick reviews on the festivals they were getting mucked up at this summer. Here’s what they salvaged from memory.

Sibin, April 30th Dublin: What a way to start the festival season. A whopper local lineup meets some overseas giants; all on excellent sound systems. This is the best of a Dublin roll-over weekend right here. Please go three days, just so we don’t have to leave the surroundings.  Bang on security. -JR

Party Against The Pipe, June 4 – 6th Mayo: A no-frills fund-raising weekend for Shell2Sea on a windy bog. Nothing to do during the day but take the piss out of Shell’s private security. Dancehall delights from Belfast’s Explosion Sound System kept us blazing all night. -JR

Life, May 27 – 29th Mullingar: They say never trust a hippy, and the psy-trance profit chasers here proved the point; long rainy queues, staff fumbling with e-tickets, over-zealous booze seizing security, pricey pints and an exaggerated set of head-liners. Some top notch local line-ups all the same. -JR Forbidden Fruit, June 4th – 5th, Kilmainham: Just when it looked like a better use of a fiver might have been the rolling of a straw for the insipid Bulmer’s berry – along comes AFX with a long, chilling sample of Jim Jones’ raving at the Guyana massacre, injecting mediocre proceedings with a little badly needed poison. -KP Oxegen, July 8- 10th: Every year the media licks MCD’s arse with hype about how this one has “changed.” One of the highlights this year was a bunch of goons gathered to cheer someone for dropping a three foot long shit in the portaloos. What more do we need to say? -JR

I’ll Be Your Mirror, July 23 – 24th London: Lazy hipster jibes aside, this was a really comprehensive weekender. With a stellar lineup in a palatial venue with pristine sound, it didn’t matter that Portishead couldn’t figure out how to play one of their tunes. -JB


Bump, July 23 – 24th, Clare: Shtomper of a time! Imaginative and forward thinking local musical content, intimate site and a whack of the soundest heads you’ll meet all seassn. Proper underground buzz, rave inna the jungle til noon both nights. Hundred percent going back! -CW


Jigs & Rigs,  29 – 31st July, Raithlin Island: This festival packs the combination punch of the Force 10 and Audio Terrorists sound systems, plus King Paddy of all things random with his pop up shed. It was outstanding; with quality local producers, bands and DJ’s from start to finish, plus the time machine mother of all 80’s discos in the barn which had me sitting the dreaded Leaving Cert again. -DS


Dour, July 12th – 15th, Belguim: 125,000 people rammed into one large campsite and one small festival site. Plenty of musical choice makes up for a total lack of anything else to do or look at. 2011’s alternate entertainment highlight was a spindly fire-wheel. It drew huge crowds. Nobody knew why they were there. -SF

Boomtown, August 11th -14th, Winchester: A thousand and one things to seduce, entice and entertain you in this boardwalk empire. The dreamlike qualities of this carnival fantasy land are matched with an A-list line up. The organiser’s crackdown on bringing spirits in was a serious buzz killer. But we survived. Do go. -PL


Peoples Festival, August 20th – 21st, Dun Laoghaire: This DIY effort was cancelled for reasons that remain unclear. No doubt thanks to council no craics and the cops. Proof that red tape can be used to shut down anything here. -JR


Fairy Hill, August 13th: Could have been great – nice crowd, good sound, daycentish venue. But this festy flopped bad with serious case of the skits, it hadn’t a clue which bucket to piss in. Orbital playing after the Japanese Popstars and Jape? C’mon to fuck. -CW


Electric Picnic, Sept. 2nd – 4th Stradbally: The boutique festival created by the beautiful people for the common people like you. It was cold, less crowded than usual and featured many big names including the distinctly average Arcade Fire. Trentmoeller, James Blake, and Catscars were the highs and Ghostpoet’s DJ set kept us bopping for warmth. -DS


Fesant Fest, Ballina August 21st: Ballina’s rock pub, Emmetts (and its big car park out the back), played host to an almighty session with ten bands and a raffle. A melting pot of musical stylings, buckfast and punx made for a long joyous day brought to a close with a Total Winners dance party. -JB


Spraoi Waterford, July 29-31st: Waterford’s a lovely town, you’d walk round the place happily with a bag of cans for Spree Weekend. Nobody’s too pushed about what bands are playing or anything really; too much craic and art to be consumed. – JB


Outlook Festival, Croatia Sept 1- 4th: For half the price of an EP ticket you get a great bass music lineup, fantastic weather, great soundsystems and tons of fun. It ticks a lot of boxes. Downsides include the awkwardness of getting there, too many rewinds and too many people there.Highly recommended. – RF


  1. Yeah, one of our monkeys at hq spent too long in the sun and got their dates mixed up…we’re taking the naggins out of their wellies as punishment!

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