Trying to figure out which festival to spend your hard earned cash on this summer? Campus.ie will be helping you out in the coming weeks with our festival previews. Here, Glen Murphy writes about Knockanstockan.
As the summer wanes on the repetitive nature of working or internships, coupled with a night out here or there, it can all get a little tiresome.
While everyone loves the summer time and some time off, it's not exactly difficult to find yourself bored.
That being said, there’s no better way to relieve yourself of the mid summer boredom by attending one of the most unique festivals in the country, Knockanstockan.
Taking place over the weekend of the 22nd to the 24th of July, it's also one of the cheapest with a weekend camping ticket costing just €115.
Nestled on the edge of a lake high up in the Wicklow mountains, the surroundings and site decorations bring nature right into the heart of the festival. The nearest town is Blessington with shuttle buses running out to the camp site.
Even better than the very reasonable price is this year’s line up. Knockanstockan has long been regarded as one of the best festivals to discover new and emerging Irish music.
This year is no exception with acts like Æ Mak, The Hot Sprockets, Booka Brass Band and Overhead, The Albatross all forming part of the initial line up.
The independent music and arts festival has long had a reputation for a laid back and chilled out atmosphere and has generally been blessed for the good weather. If you want to let loose your inner hippie or flower child this is the perfect place to do so.
Art installations will be present all across the festival site from Irish artists. One example of the installations is Apollo’s Tree, consisting of 20 brightly coloured light boxes hanging from branches and scattered on the ground.
The boxes are battery powered and made from recycled materials. This particular installation was created by Katy Daly O’ Shea. Knockanstockan likes to look after Mother Earth too.
Photo credit: knockanstockan.ie
There’s also going to be great variety in the food available on site. While shuttle buses will be running between the campsite and the shops in Blessington town, the steak sandwiches from the Eco Bus and homemade Belgian style frites van can feed you for cheaply as well. The festival is billed as BYOB, but there will be bars on the site as well.
But the main reason Knockanstockan exists? The music of course! Here’s a short list of some of the highlights from this year’s line up.
The Hot Sprockets
Looking and sounding like they just stepped straight out of the 70’s are The Hot Sprockets. The sharply dressed delta blues rock and rollers have long been one of the stables of the Irish music scene and have played Knockanstockan several times in the past.
If you feel like dancing to some old fashioned rock and roll be sure to catch them on this year’s main stage.
Fronted by BIMM graduates Ellie McMahon and Aoife McCann, Æ Mak are quickly becoming one of the hottest bands in the Irish music scene.
Not long off the back of a highly successful single launch, these jungle indie poppers will give you chills from their beautiful vocals and make you feel their unique grooves. Listen to their debut single, “I Can Feel It In My Bones” on Soundcloud.
Sample Answer is the stage name for Dubliner Maurice O’ Connor. Nowadays based in London, he’s combined the indie and urban genres while still encompassing influences from the likes of Amy Winehouse, Bob Dylan and Tyler the Creater.
His debut EP, “Good Boy” was released last summer to hugely positive critical acclaim and now he’s ready to take on this summer’s festival circuit.
The local gentlemen of the parish return to the festival by the lake once again. Despite suffering from a significant theft while on tour in Europe recently, the lads have since recovered thanks to the generosity of music lovers donating to a go fund me campaign to help them recover their loses.
As a thank you, they put on a free show in a packed out Whelan’s main room in Dublin. Now with Knockanstockan firmly in their sites, the band will be bringing their belting brand of sea soaked gypsy folk tunes out in force.
Combining folk noir with elements of Irish traditional music, sea shantys and a booming stare presence, The Eskies are an absolute must see.
To purchase tickets for the weekend, just click here.