Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Dublin Irish Fest

I'm still trying to figure out what to write about that weekend. Of course, my progress has been hampered a bit by the fact that we were very busy at work last week. It's the same stuff, but the pace has increased. I think everyone's just ready to be done with the supplements.

I still have such mixed feelings about the Dublin Irish Festival. You walk around the enormous park (that mostly lacks shade, btw) stuck behind strollers and people absolutely moseying along and remember why you like the smaller size and smaller crowd at Berea. Then, you read the schedule and realize just how many performers are appearing, how high their quality and recognize that the same amount of music could be spread out over a week and you still wouldn't be able to see it all. That part I like. I think Dublin itself is a lot like Carmel in Indianapolis...posh neighborhoods/city-ettes without a hint of diversity and nothing better to spend money on than fancy sidewalks. Everyone and everything's just too pretty. Blech. But, the music...and the festival's within walking distance of the hotels. That's pretty sweet. Anyway, still mixed. I had a great time, but I think more than the two days would have been a severe mistake.

We're getting smarter about these things and set the "leaving time" at 9:30...knowing perfectly well that we wouldn't go until 10. And sure enough...the other guy we were taking along was late. Heh. I win. But, there was still plenty of time to get to Dublin (had to stop at the exit 38 Tim Horton's for coffee, etc.), check in and walk over to the festival. Irma wanted to see Ashley MacIssac, who's a Canadian fiddle player from the Maritimes and pretty sweet. I wasn't sold at that show, but was by the next day. Secondhand CDs are on order from Amazon as we speak (or type...whatever). After him came Seven Nations and I totally take back everything I said about them sucking in Berea. They seemed so much more relaxed and like they were enjoying themselves. I wonder if they don't prefer to be a little bit aloof...there really is never much interaction with the crowd. Anyway, they did a great show and I was very happy. :-) Black 47...meh. The Earlhamite in me left and went to the stuff tents. The Prodigals were the final show of the night, the 10 o'clock. They were great, of course, and there was a huge crowd. Gregory did

We didn't really go to bed that night (although I slept more than the grown-ups, having crashed for a two hour nap). We went over to the official hotel, wound up talking to Ed and others in and around the bar (after it closed), then to a room party hosted by one of the local bands. The highlight for many was the keg of Guinness (made all the more necessary because it's not served at the festival...WTF is an Irish festival that doesn't serve Guinness? I think it's nasty, but even I know that that's WRONG!) Ed made fun of me for drinking water in the Nalgene most of the night (although he claimed the next day that he didn't remember a thing). Others were incredibly drunk (I'm not naming names) and we were frankly amazed that they made it for the show the next day. We went back to our hotel around 6...I went running, then breakfast and the nap. Why I thought running was a good idea, I'm still not sure. I do know that I didn't get over the no-sleep night for a week.

Sunday was also excellent, although bands always look a little worn around the edges by then. Seven Nations got to do an acoustic show (another way of saying that they got to sit down and it was on the huge trad. stage), which was really about the right energy level. Flogging Molly did not excite me and I'm surprised that there weren't some cases of severe heat exhaustion in that tent. I was amused by the no moshing signs and announcements. Heh. Finale was great and the ride home was uneventful (although we did have to keep rearranging the seating of passengers...and stop at both Tim Horton's).