Get your gardening on at Dublin Garden Festival 2014

dublin garden festival

Granted, this isn’t your standard Culch post but there’s one of us involved and it’s the first ever Dublin Garden Festival, so listen up! ‘Bringing the outside inside’ takes place this weekend from Friday 13 – Sunday 15 June 2014 at Christ Church Cathedral Dublin. It features the best of Irish Gardening talent including Diarmuid Gavin, Dermot O’Neill, Helen Dillon, Gerry Daly and our very own Peter Donegan. Peter is speaking on Friday afternoon at 2pm and there’s lots on the entire weekend. Times: Open Fri 13 and Sat 14th from 9am – 9pm and Sunday 15th 12.30pm – 7pm. Tickets: Admission – €12 / €10 conc. 2 Day Pass – €20/€16 conc. 3 Day Pass – 30/€25 conc. Groups of 10 or more: €8.50. Children u12 free. Tickets available on the door or by visit We’re reliably informed that this is the equivalent of Electric Picnic for anyone … There’s more

Hunger Games: Summer Lovin’

The past week has contained enough brief snatches of sunshine to drive a summer starved man insane. Sure, by June 1st we thought we’d all have rosy farmer tans and multiple cases of freckledom but alas we’re still battling with outbursts of piddley drizzle. Not to worry though because there’s plenty of tasty reasons to go out and grab a feed. Here’s what we’ve been scoffing recently… 1. Orpen’s Cider – launched in the ridiculously cool laneway of the Damson Diner (re-opened after the Environmental Health forced a brief closure) Ireland’s newest craft cider was served up to quench thirsts along South Willy with a spit roast hog, chutneys and cheeses. The buzz was great with bales of hay, branded pop-art and Mr. Orpen himself (descendant of the famous William Orpen somewhere along the line) telling us all about his venture and family orchard. Tasty and refreshing with none of … There’s more

Review: Spirit of Folk Festival 2013

spirit of folk 2013

Above image: Myself with organiser Martin Duffy, courtesy Brian Greene. Year 3, my third year at The Spirit of Folk Festival kicked off Saturday 22nd September and though it was only for 1 day and night, it was as always so very beautiful. It seems funny to want a passage of time to never end… and this year was no different. A bit like the happiest game of snakes and Ladders played within a Jamesless giant peach, it is a very beautiful thing to see a feeling turn into an event and watch it grow only then to ram it into a calculator and press the square root button. And then you realise that the #soF13 family could have asked me to come to the field with nothing but a tree under my left oxter and it would have been as beautiful, solely because of the people there. Now add … There’s more

Competition Closed: The Craft Collection Indiependence Tickets Competition


  With 126 entries via Twitter and 45 entries directly through the website, we’ve had an astounding response to our Indiependence tickets competition. Sadly, we can’t bring all of you with us (much as we’d love to) and we have selected our winner from the proverbial hat (we used a free random number generator I Googled).   *** Congratulations to Leta O’Neill who has won a pair of tickets for the August Bank Holiday Weekend at Indiependence in Cork, with thanks to the Craft Beer Collection. ***       You’re recovering from the excitement of Longitude. You’re already looking forward to the chilled out vibe of either Electric Picnic or the Lisdoonvarna Outing at the end of August. But what to do before then?? Head to Cork, of course, for the Indiependence Festival. Indiependence is a music and arts festival based in Mitchelstown, Cork. It’s a small, fun and … There’s more

Calling all singers in Dublin: Be part of the Dublin Fringe Festival

Quick quick quick, read this and then drop Jean Hally an email. It’s going to be fun and you’ll be part of something great. Songs in the Key of D, a Choral Exploration of Dublin City, will take place during the Fringe Festival on 14 Sept in the Smock Alley Theatre. The organisers are looking for singers of all abilities to join them in performing some of Dublin’s best known songs and connect the audience to our city through song. Everybody who likes singing is invited to take part you don’t have to be from Dublin or Irish and you don’t have to a good singer (but I guess it would help if you can hold a note during The Auld Triangle). The choir is being set up set up to bring people living in all parts of Dublin together. Auditions will take place on: – Mon 29 July in … There’s more

Spirit of Folk Festival 2012

As we come to the cold end of a very hectic year, a few of us are looking back over the highlight of our Summer season – anyone who has read culch regularly will know how much we loved Spirit of Folk. It’s a small festival with a big heart and, this year they managed to keep the same atmosphere and sense of community amongst the festival goers. Anto, Peter and Brian, who were there last year, were joined by Blots, Darren, Elly, Phillip and Sarah so this post will contain contributions from a few of us. A SOFF megapost if you will. Anto: I’d been in two minds about attending SOF last year. I didn’t know a lot about it and I wasn’t really up for a weekend of camping. In hindsight, I’m so glad I went and I’d been looking forward to the second year for months. This … There’s more

Interview: Nouvelle Vague, the awesomest covers band


Nouvelle Vague are the effortlessly cool cover band who you wish could soundtrack every party you have ever had. Hailing from France, the new wave obsessed band have taken songs such as Ever Fallen in Love? and Blister in the Sun and made them their own. This Galway Arts Festival sees the band make a very welcome return to the city when play Chic Week, so using this an excuse to make myself look in any way cool I spoke to singer Liset Alea about Galway, recording their first original album, breakfasts and serving her cotton candy on stage. I can’t believe I get to start an interview by asking this but where are you right now, Paris or Miami? Because you live in both, right? I’m living in Paris right now, but I’m living out of my suitcase. Sometimes it gets opened to do laundry but then it goes … There’s more

Music Festival: Spirit of Folk 2012 – The Line Up

  Spirit of Folk Festival Unveils Line-up and Announces Extra Night   Taking place in the idyllic surroundings of Dunderry Park, Co Meath [and they are very idyllic...] from September 21st to 23rd, Spirit of Folk 2012 Ireland’s friendliest festival, as nominted by me returns again with another whopper of a line up and all things razzz-a-mataz. Wasn’t that a tv show way back when ? More to the point, I was there for year one with Messrs McGuinness and Greene. I will be back for year 2. Back to it… This year’s Spirit of Folk festival line up features some new great additions like John Spillane, The Lost Brothers, Lisa O’Neill, David Gray; I Draw Slow, Spook of the Thirteenth Lock. Other acts of note see The Hot Sprockets return; Mossy Nolan and Brian Greene’s latest favourite The Henry Girls. To accompany this feast of musical acts, there will be an … There’s more

Music: Spirit of Fund – A Spirit of Folk Fundraiser

UPDATE: Tickets are now on sale for 24 hours at €50 for a weekend ticket. Get ‘em here. We raved about the Spirit of Folk festival last year so we’re giving you a heads up on this one. The 2012 festival takes place from 21st-23rd September and they’re hosting a fundraiser in Whelans on Thursday 29th March @ 7.30pm (tickets: €10). Weekend tickets for the festival will be available for €50 (24 hours only) and the folktastic lineup for the Whelans gig includes: The Hot Sprockets The Young Folk Bunoscionn and TRAZ There’ll also be a raffle with prizes from camping tickets to dinners for two in some fancy schmancy restaurants. You can read about 2011 festival here: Day 1, Day 2 & Day 3 and there’s tons more content here: Photos: Anto’s Flickr and Peter’s account Audio: Peter’s audioboo account Video:’s Youtube and Peter’s Vimeo. I’ll update … There’s more

Festivals: Body and Soul 2012

Villagers you say? Oh and M83? Well it’s only the ruddy Body and Soul festival! That what? The Body&Soul festival. Keep up! Started 3 years ago the festival has bounded and leapt from strength to cliché. This year sees the Uber-cool Summer Solstice-based festival return with their best line-up to-date. Don’t take our word for it (we’ll shut our dirty lying mouths) but the good folks at Body& Soul are definitely to be trusted with a line-up announcement as good as this. Who couldn’t help but love ‘em? M83, Villagers, St. Vincent, Little Dragon and Tieranniesaur are amongst the fifteen acts announced today with more to come! With the inevitable vacuum left in Oxegen’s departure from the festival circuit for this year, it is definitely the year for the smaller festivals to grow their audiences and Body&Soul is definitely in for a bumper year. Tickets usually sell out fast to … There’s more

Event: Bushmills Live, 20th and 21st of June

Well, this is intriguing. Bushmills, celebrated purveyors of traditional Irish whiskey, have announced details of their own “whiskey and music festival”, which will take place in the Antrim distillery on the 20th and 21st of June. Bushmills have said that some of their most famous musician fans will play a series of intimate gigs on site as part of the festival… but no word yet as to which. But with the likes of Bon Iver and Theophilus London appearing in their latest advertising campaign, they’re known for being very discerning about the company they keep. The omens are good, kids. Even more interesting is that the festival is being promoted as an experience money can’t buy; you don’t buy tickets to Bushmills Live, you apply for them as a Facebook fan of the brand. To be in with a chance of winning the tickets, return travel and accommodation, you have to submit … There’s more

Spirit of Folk 2012 – Call for band submissions

If you’re a regular reader of Culch then you’ll know what an amazing time myself (Anto), Peter Donegan and Brian Greene had at Spirit of Folk 2011 (Day 1, Day 2 & Day 3 posts). It was a brilliant weekend from start to finish and brought together some amazing acts and people. 2012 is set to be bigger and the guys have just put out a call for band submissions. As they say themselves: We’re looking for folk music in the broadest sense. We’re looking for American folk, Irish Trad., bluegrass, folk rock, country and anything that fits our festival. Last year we had bands as broad ranging as St. John the Gambler’s eastern influenced, stomping Alt. Folk to Lisa O’Neill’s tender folk ballads. There’s no reason why this year’s line up can’t be just as diverse. Folk in its most basic sense is the music of the people so … There’s more

Samhain – The Spirit of Meath Hallowe’en Festival

Uncomfortable with the mass commercialisation of what was always a special time of year to me, last year I looked for something different to do with the kids around Hallowe’en. I wanted it to be spooky and magical, something they’d remember, something that tied the festival to their cultural roots. I was thrilled when a flyer for the Spirit of Meath Hallowe’en festival came through my door. One event in particular stood out to me. Traditional Torchlit Procession To the Hill of Ward, Tlachtga, just outside Athboy, Co. Meath. This is the place where Halloween began. One of the main spiritual centres of the ancient Celts was located at the top of the Hill of Tlachtga, now called the Hill of Ward, Athboy. The druids felt that this world and the otherworld were closest at Tlachtga and it was here that the festival of Samhain or Halloween was started. The … There’s more

Festival Review: Spirit of Folk 2011 – Day 3

Spirit of Folk – Day 1 Spirit of Folk – Day 2 Day 3 – What folkin’ time is it lads ? We woke to realise we had all missed the folkin’ rugby match. Brekkie in the belly complete, we still had one full festival day to go. And what you maybe are starting to realise by now is that there was a lot more to SoF 11 than meets the eye. Take for example the Fingal Living History. Really nice guys. And although the video and images maybe don’t do them justice – the audio interview I did with them was going to go here, but – their story told is so good we decided to save it for air on The SodShow. It is that good. How nice were the folks ? They were also in the late night revellers tent last night! And like an advert for … There’s more

Festival Review: Spirit of Folk 2011 – Day 2

Spirit of Folk – Day 1 Spirit of Folk – Day 3 Day 2 – The Adventure Begins Spirit of Folk Day 1 was an absolute belter I think it’s fair to say. And so the Three Stooges awoke to a full fry [who needs master chef when you have a gardener !] And somewhere around lunch time we made our way into the main arena to see what was in store. We were all well aware that having not arrived until after 4pm on Day 1, we may have missed a bit. First stop – first band on the main stage – Traz (a four piece Acoustic/Alternative/Folk band from Dublin): Post Traz, we took a wander through the woodland route and heard the familiar sound of uilleann pipes and a guitar bouncing through the trees. Two gentlemen, known as Lynched, were playing a set at the old well and … There’s more