Busking Festival set
to rock Clonmel

Eamonn Wynne

Eamonn Wynne

Some of the biggest and best-known names in Irish music have been confirmed for Clonmel’s Busking Festival, which will be held in the town next week.

Jack L, Don Baker, Mick Hanly, John Spillane, Rob Strong, Loudest Whisper, Ben Reel and Tir na nOg will all perform at the three-day festival, which runs from Friday, 12th to Sunday, 14th August.

The streets of the town centre will come alive to the sound of music during the day but the craic won’t end there, with the music continuing at night in the local pubs, which have been granted special extensions until 1.30am throughout the weekend.

All events, both indoor and outdoor will be free. Artists will perform for a reduced fee, sponsored by the Vintners Association and others, and the festival is open to amateur and professional musicians of all ages and genres.

As well as providing the town with an economic, social and cultural boost the festival will also help a very good cause; bucket collections will be held throughout the weekend and every cent collected will be donated to Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital in Crumlin.

The festival has been expanded from last year’s one-day Buskathon event, which raised €4,500 for Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital, so the organisers are obviously hoping to increase that figure this year.

Several local bands will join the visiting acts. They include The Waheys, Rattle The Boards, Tipperary-based Philip Donnelly and Crow Black Chicken, who performed at the world-famous Glastonbury festival in June.

“We hope it will be a very good weekend for Clonmel. As well as increasing footfall in the town centre during the day it will also bring more people into the pubs at night. Over the three days we hope to attract a few thousand people into the town”, said festival organiser and chairman of the local Vintners Association, Richard Gleeson.

Another of the organisers, Eelco Beckers, says that the main busking locations will be the pedestrianised areas of Market Place and Mitchel Street. Acts will also perform at the Main Guard; near McDonald’s, outside Premier Music and O’Connell Mall, while a children’s show, Puppet Factor, will be held at The Showgrounds Shopping Centre.

Clonmel’s Town Clerk Billy Doyle said this would be a good event, in the best interests of the town, and he looked forward to a great weekend. As well as the big-name acts he was also pleased that some talented local bands and singers would have an opportunity to perform.

Superintendent John Courtney said the Gardai were only delighted to help with the festival, which he hoped would be developed further in future years.