The Ques­tion Are we fes­ti­val fit for an­other Trip to Tipp?

The Irish Times - Weekend Review - - NEWS | REVIEW - KEVIN COURT­NEY

Sem­ple Sta­dium, 1990: Thou­sands of young peo­ple con­verge on Thurles, Co Tip­per­ary, for the in­au­gu­ral Féile fes­ti­val. Over three days they’ll dhrink, shmoke, have the craic and rock out to the big bands of the day: Hot­house Flow­ers, The Stun­ning, The 4 of Us, An Emo­tional Fish and Some­thing Hap­pens.

Sem­ple Sta­dium, 2018: Thou­sands of older (and pre­sum­ably wiser) peo­ple will con­verge on Thurles for one nos­tal­gic night, where they’ll drink pros­ecco, eat gourmet food, and tap their feet to the sounds of those very same bands (plus The Frank and Walters and the Ir­ish Cham­ber Orches­tra).

Yes, Féile is on again in Sem­ple Sta­dium, more than 20 years after the last one, but this time it’s a one-day event, and fully seated, so no need to dig that musty old tent out of the shed or risk putting your back out in the mosh­pit. But the good vibes will still be there, hopes broad­caster and Some­thing Hap­pens singer Tom Dunne, who is the brainy head be­hind this event, which takes place on Septem­ber 22nd and goes by the name of Féile Clas­si­cal. Tick­ets cost­ing ¤49.50 went on sale yes­ter­day.

The an­nounce­ment will trig­ger mem­o­ries of the orig­i­nal Féile, but if (like me) your mem­ory is hazy, Dunne re­mem­bers it as “a time of in­cred­i­ble op­ti­mism and fun, when it seemed Ir­ish bands ruled the day”.

Many of the orig­i­nal Féile-go­ers are prob­a­bly grand­par­ents by now, but Dunne is hop­ing they’ll still want to re­live those glory days of the early 1990s, though per­haps this time with­out stag­ger­ing around the town cen­tre wield­ing a tinny, or uri­nat­ing on lo­cals’ lawns.

Along with the mu­sic, there will be a food vil­lage show­cas­ing lo­cal Tipp pro­duce, cu­rated talks about the good old days of Féile, and an ex­hi­bi­tion of pho­to­graphs from past Trips to Tipp.

“Féile was spe­cial, it was iconic, it was our Wood­stock, and Féile Clas­si­cal will be an even big­ger, bet­ter, louder ex­plo­sion of the best of those days and so much more,” says Dunne.

Oh, all right, count me in. Again.

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