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