Watch Nenagh Castlefest crowds come out for plenty of music and dancing

Tipperary Star reporter

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As the song goes, we are having a heatwave, a tropical heatwave. But that did not stop the dancing at this year's Nenagh Castlefest last weekend.
Broadened into a three-day festival of music, food and fun, the former Picnic in the Castle attracted several thousand over the weekend.
With the sun blazing relentlessly, many were forced to shelter in the open-sided marquee, generally used to take refuge from the rain that has hit the event in the past.
But this year, there was a real feel-good factor and the weather certainly helped.
Starting with a concert in Nenagh Arts Centre on Friday night with the best of local, national and UK-based traditional musicians, the music spilled out on to the warm streets into the wee hours of the morning.
With the first of the many workshops out of the way by Saturday afternoon, it was time to put on the dancing shoes and headliner Johnny Brady soon had the crowd on their feet. It was never going to be anything but a case of sending them home sweating. And local GP and festival volunteer Pat Harrold was on hand to make sure nobody collapsed in the heat.
The crowd lapped up the Antrim singer / songwriter, who told the Tipperary Star he was delighted to be at Nenagh Castlefest.
“It's my second time in Nenagh. The crowds are great and it is great to be able to perform outdoors,” he said before heading off for a gig in London.
Nenagh band Fair Haven warmed up the crowd for London-based local hero James McGrath, fresh from releasing a new album, his fourth, before evening headliner Sharon Shannon took to the stage.
As the sun dipped, the crowd continued dancing in the moonlight, with Sharon saving a rousing version of Galway Girl as a finale. And the music continued again into the night around the pubs.
Long time Nenagh favourites Crystal Swing brought the dancing to an end on Sunday afternoon with their normal lively set.
“The crowds have been fantastic,” said Cllr Hughie McGrath, chair of the organising committee. “As usual the other members of the committee pulled out all the stops.”
Cllr McGrath thanked the members of Nenagh Tidy Towns who did litter duty, making sure the grounds were kept in pristine condition.
While the music played, the crowds had a chance to sample food or test their skills at archery whle the kids had plenty of funfair stalls on offer, as well as get up close and personal with the animals in the mobile zoo.