In The Press
Carlingford Oyster Festival Reveals COUNTRY MUSIC EXTRAVAGANZA for 40th Anniversary Celebrations
April 15th, Tullamore. If you’re a country music fan in Ireland, then the long evenings moving in are a sign that festival season is almost here, too. And there’s no shortage of them to whet the appetite, either. But when it comes to a festival that can boast a multi-day line-up of events with something to keep the whole family entertained, it has to be said that they know how to push the boat out in Carlingford. And when those boats return to harbour from their shifts at sea, hulls full to the brim with their oyster bounty, there are few on the island of Ireland who know how to throw a party better than the folks behind the CARLINGFORD OYSTER FESTIVAL.
And this year, to mark the occasion of the festival’s 40th anniversary, they’ve unveiled a country music extravaganza to take the party atmosphere to a whole new level! One of the main organisers behind the festival, and a well-known figure on the country scene nationwide himself, GER LONG, told us more as this year’s festival held its official press launch recently.
“To reach forty years of anything is a significant milestone, and one that we knew should be marked in some way. The festival has always had a range of things happening at it, it’s been that way ever since it was first held. And that family-friendly aspect, and the fact that there is so much variety involved, that’s something we’ve always been very proud of. And it’s something that will always be a central element of what Carlingford Oyster Festival is. But there’s also no doubt that the music side of things appeals to a huge number of people, too. And especially country music, because it’s popularity has really exploded in the last few years. So when it came to ways to celebrate, we knew this was an obvious area to explore further.”
Ger continued, “So what we have happening in August is a feast of great music, from some of Irish country’s biggest names and some of its rising stars as well, all spread over the five days of the event. But not only that, we’ve book-ended our country performers with two of the most famous bands in Irish entertainment. We kick things off on Thursday, August 8th with the mighty Fureys, who will be supported by Henry Mac. Closing out the festival on Monday the 12th, we’re delighted to be welcoming Bagatelle, and it’ll be The Wagtails in support that night. But in between, if you’re a country fan, well look, once you know we have these guys taking to the stage AND the most glorious oysters you’ll taste anywhere in the world, I don’t know how you could want to be anywhere else that weekend!”
“On Friday night we have Michael English, with John Molloy – one of the stars of this year’s Glor Tire – in support”, said Ger, adding, “Saturday sees Mike Denver as our headline act with Aidan Clerkin, a man making a name for himself too, in support. Then on Sunday, it’s Derek Ryan with Olivia Douglas. With our oysters, we’re bringing you the best of the sea. And as far as music goes at this year’s festival, from Thursday to Monday we’re going to be bringing you the best in the land.”
And for the truly committed country fan – or just anyone who feels lucky and is tempted by the thought of a week in sunny Portugal, of whom I think there’ll be a few! – there’s a massive prize up for grabs, as Ger revealed.
“That’s right, we’ll be having a raffle as part of our 40th anniversary celebrations, and for the main prize we’ll be sending two people to Portugal for a week with Paul Claffey Tours at the end of September, on one of his fantastic country music trips. And as if a week in the sun wasn’t worth it by itself, entertainment for that week will be provided by performers like Michael (English), Mike (Denver), Derek (Ryan), and John (Molloy) who are part of our festival as well, of course, but also Gerry Guthrie, Cliona Hagan, Barry and Dominic Kirwan and many more. So for at least two people, their memory of Carlingford Oyster Festival’s 40th anniversary is one that they’ll certainly end up cherishing for a long time!”
* Carlingford Oyster Festival begins on Thursday, August 8th, and runs until Monday, August 12th. For further information, check out the festival’s official website, www.carlingfordoysterfestival.com. Event coordinator Ger Long can also be contacted on 086-873 2669.
Written by Anthony Sullivan (@aswrittenbyas)