Monday, 20 June 2011

Temple House Festival

A great festival, now in its second year with music, stalls from local businesses and an eclectic art trail. Great for families and those of us who have ostensibly grown up too. Filthy weather though.

Drive down the M4/N4 until you hit Co Sligo. Turn left on the N17 and you're pretty well there.

Viking on the phone

The weather forecast was grim; the fun forecast was sunny. The Poetry Divas, me and Haiku Diva, Maeve O'Sullivan, arrived in Temple House, Sligo and started with a lift along a track on the back of a quadbike.

The Rose Garden and Arts stage was missing the roses but contained the Mad Hatters Tea Party in the audience, sheltered from the rain and sitting on pallet seats. We glammed up and went on stage with my nails still wet. We’re nothing if not professional. We gave a cracking and well received reading, cruising through the topics of drunkenness, dancing, cows and death.

Marty Mulligan
from Mullingar gave a rip roaring rendition of his beat poetry. My personal favourite on saying sorry.

Mrs Nellie Murphy from Galway followed us on with her own style of story telling. Worth a look.

We had some noodle lunch and went to put up the tents; sheltered in them with our first G&T. Wandered up the thistle-ly hill to the giant guitar.

Walked the arts trail which was delightful, birds in trees and flying fish. Went back to the Rose Garden, our favourite Temple House space, and watched some bands unplugged including Sanzkrit. Had another G&T.

We walked the wood trail. There were lots of surprises and intrigued kids, a view of a giant recycled from rubbish.

The best was a willow nest, like a warbler's where there was knitting and fiddling. The trees were kept snuggled warm in knitted tree socks.

There were clowns in the turf house, as unnerving as ever, disemboweling fruit with the aid of a precocious child and some enrapt teeny, tiny audience members.

Poems in a box deserve their own blog spot. Will follow on. Caught Dave Morrisey on the acoustic stage. He supports Aslan and was terrific.

Back for the Best Festival Chips Ever, Smokey Joes with bbq sauce, bacon and cheese melted on top. Totally yum. Talked to God on the Phone.

Bought a snugly, sunset-coloured fleecy against the cold. With a medieval hood. Watched the band called Stand in the main tent, sat in the sunshine and drank tea and hot chocolate (rock on) Watched Declan O’Rourke. How does his hair stay so corkscrew curled? Excellent musicians. More tea and chats with the Mad March Hare and other rodents, out of costume. Then a gawk at Stereo MCs. Energetic. Bit of boogie-ing. Getting really cold now. On to the VIP bar for a posh loo visit and another boogie with the aid of some Bavaria beer (sponsors) and a free cocktail (Thanks unknown lady, it was special) Some of the younger folk were rubbery at this stage. Time to go to the tents.

My goodness but it was cold. Layered like Michelin woman with a towel like a blanket over the sleeping bag, a coat over my face, but still fr-fr-freezing.

Sunny when I first woke up but raining by the time I stirred properly for breakfast in the car. There I could charge my phone a little and text our special guest star, the fantastic Sarah Clancy.

Organised and coordinated a great show for the Rose Garden stage again. Started unplugged, finished plugged and bubbled. Great audience. One of the strengths of the Poetry Divas Collective is that each poet’s quirks and attitudes and poems will chime with another poets and lead on through the show. I think it went very well. I recited some more poems by heart, which I find a challenge. The bubbles went down well with the small kids, always a bonus.

Dermot Healy was listening in the audience towards the end. We preceded by Raw Chocolate from Sligo who harmonised unplugged. A lovely show and a great gang of gals.

Had more of the Best Festival Chips Ever for lunch. And strong coffee. Back to the Rose Garden Stage to catch the end of Dermot Healy reading with a lively violin played by Gerry Harrington.

Dermot said he remembered us from Flat Lake but I think he mixed us up with the Poetry Chicks. They performed a piece of his, if I remember rightly.

Watched a lovely band in the Music Maker tent where we increased the audience by 50% which was a shame. They were still giving it loads. I hope the lights were in their eyes. It had been raining since we’d got up so taking down the tent was a soggy affair, efficiently done.

All in all a lovely, small festival on a large chunk of land with a very friendly vibe. And another slam dunk reading by the Poetry Divas. Thanks to Marty for asking us, for Helena for the lift and to Tara for organising the stage.


Michael Farry said...

Ah Templehouse, just up the road from the old homestead! Never made the festival. Maybe next year when the book is finished. Speaking of the book Templehouse was the scene of an IRA arms raid in 1920 blah blah blah blah.

Titus said...

What a great post! I'm particularly taken with the viking and the knitting nest. Glad to hear it went well, and in my experience a festival's not really a festival unless it's raining and cold. There's definitely an endurance theme running through the best ones.

Emerging Writer said...

Between you and me, I have a problem with such a large chunk of land being owned by one person.
It was a true festival then with the cold. Makes you appreciate your bed again. Looking forward to your epic book, Michael. Any Sligo Vikings on mobiles in it?