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Focus on Festivals: Westport 2012

Jo Cox


When an event is advertised as being ‘a grown-up festival for music fans who treasure their record  collections’ I suspect I have to be there. When I see the line-up for this two day feast of rock, folk, celtic and acoustic music, as a massive fan of all these genres, attendance feels mandatory.

Main stage headliners Ray Davies and Jools Holland lead on the big names, which also include Imelda May, Seasick Steve, The Waterboys, The Dubliners, Alison Moyet and Nick Lowe. The second ‘rock’ stage will also be graced by some big local and international names, from Mundy, Damien Dempsey and The Undertones to Macy Gray, Tom Baxter and Duke Special. Many of the highlights, however, promise to be found on the Acoustic Stage; Eddi Reader and Beth Orton headline, with sets also scheduled from rising Irish star Wallis Bird, Commotions front-man Lloyd Cole and ex-Beautiful South singer Briana Corrigan.

Whilst this is pitched as a festival for ‘grown-ups’, it does also seem to be perfectly placed for families and kids. Where other events bring in entertainment to keep kids occupied, here it’s already ample with a Pirate Adventure Park in the 400 acre grounds of Westport House offering a Cannonball Run Slide, Pirates Swinging Ship and Plunge Ride, Pedaloe Boats and bouncy castles.

Westport Festival of Music and Performing Arts takes place in Wesport, Mayo on 23rd and 24th June 2012. Day and weekend tickets can be purchased from www.westportfestival.com