Tipperary festivals: Sharon Shannon and Crystal Swing are all set for Nenagh Castlefest

Tipperary Star reporter

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Tipperary festivals: Sharon Shannon and Crystal Swing are all set for Nenagh  Castlefest

Sharon Shannon

With the main event of the summer in Nenagh almost upon us, the organisers of Nenagh Castlefest 2018 are working hard to put together what promises to be a weekend of music, food and fun.

The festival organizers say it will be bigger and better than last year.

This is the second year of Castlefest and the organisers have increased almost every aspect of the festival on last year.

“We were very satisfied with the crowds we drew last year and we’re hoping that the fact that it is, for the most part, free entertainment, we will attract a good number of families to Nenagh for a few hours at least,” said Tom Boland of the Castlefest committee.

He said that they were very keen to keep as much as they could free to enter, because there were not too many things you can bring the whole family to these days which don’t cost an arm and a leg.

“We also insisted that the castle field is an alcohol-free area so that it is a safe, secure environment for all,” he said.

Mr Boland said that with the weather looking great for the few days, where better to be than meeting up with your friends and family in the grounds of Nenagh Castle listening to great music?”

The festival kicks off this Friday at 7.30pm with Ceol@Castlefest - a traditional music and dance concert in Nenagh Arts Centre (ph 067-34400 for tickets) - and continuing into the night in the bars around town with live traditional music provided by visiting musicians in Rohan’s, the Hibernian Inn and the Half Door.

Saturday sees traditional music workshops in Nenagh Arts Centre at 10.30am, before the Live@TheCastle stage gets into gear.

MC Martin Grace will guide listeners through the weekend, with acts taking to the stage from 1.30pm on Saturday to include Muriel O’Connor and Fran Curry, Lisa Manning and FarHaven, all leading up to the headliners of the weekend, Johnny Brady and his band on stage at 4.30pm and later on that evening, local man James McGrath will raise the curtain for the second headline act of the day, the amazing Sharon Shannon and friends, at 7.30pm.

After the open-air concert, there will be a traditional music sessions in Paddy Rohan’s, Andy Flynn’s, Rocky’s and the Hibernian Inn; while other bars will have their own live music.

Nenagh Ormond Brass Band will kick things off on Sunday at 1pm with Ebony and Crystal Swing on hand to get the Castle Field jiving.

Apart from the music, the Castle Field will host foodstalls, craft stalls, bouncy castles, face painting, funfair and much more to entertain the crowds over the weekend.

If you are looking for a better viewpoint, not just of the concert but of the whole town, Nenagh 13th century castle will be open for tours all weekend long.