From Thursday (August 23rd) through to Sunday, (August 26th) the picturesque village of Dunmore East was a picker’s paradise as the Guinness International Dunmore East Bluegrass Festival returned to its roots for its 18th year!
The weekend kicked off in the Spinnaker Bar as The Jack Grace Band played an upbeat repertoire of bluegrass, mixed with a touch of jazz, rock, country and mariachi!
Over the course of the next three days the village was buzzing as bluegrass purists, families, day trippers and tourists experienced bluegrass at its best. Pickin’ and clawin’ sessions sprung up around the village and the 8 bands featured on the line up played over 30 free gigs throughout Dunmore’s pubs and hotels.
Mick Daly, Festival founder, was delighted with the turnout. “We were lucky enough with the weather as the afternoon sessions proved very popular with families. Most of the evening gigs were indoors as the rain fell, however, we were prepared for this eventuality. I suppose you have to be when you organise a festival in Ireland!”
The festival has been a stable in the Dunmore East calendar for 18 years and plans are already being put in place for Bluegrass 2013. Mick added, “The hard work of the committee, local businesses and volunteers makes the festival the success it is each and every year! The Bluegrass festival is a great opportunity to showcase Dunmore East as a wonderful tourist destination, with beautiful scenery, outstanding seafood and warm hospitality.”
As with previous years there were a lot of loyal Welsh Bluegrass fans who travel to the festival each year, along with a mix of visitors from Northern Ireland and the UK, and some a little closer to home.