The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #164198   Message #3932758
Posted By: The Sandman
23-Jun-18 - 03:01 AM
Thread Name: Fastnet Maritime and Folk Festival-June 2018
Subject: RE: Fastnet Maritime and Folk Festival-June 2018
We just returned from a new sea music festival, in Ballydehob, near Skibbereen in West Cork. It's the Fastnet Maritime and Folk Fest, and it ran from Friday night through Sunday night (June 15-17, 2012). This being the first (hopefully not the last), it was smallish by Mystic standards, but it was a delightful weekend.

Among the listed performers were Baggyrinkle, Trim Rig and a Doxy, Andrew McKay/Carole Etherton, Andy Kenna, Verna Connolly, Devil's Wate, Capstan Full Strength, Henk Voss, Free Spirit, and After the Storm. On the landlubber side (as one of the sing-alongs was bi lled) were Matt Cranitch and Jackie Daly (who played together and separately), Rattlesnake County, Molly O'Mahony, and Norman Collins. There were Irish trad sessions, Scottish country dancing, and traditional French dancing (led by Marie Laure Hasse).

Most of the action was in five pubs right in the town center, with some in the community center and the Methodist Church. Weather permitting (and it did, to the surprise of many), there were concerts on an outdoor stage down by the bay.

Ballydehob is a beautiful small town and the locals were very welcoming. It is just a few kilometers' drive to great views of Fastnet and its historic lighthouse, and just a few kilometres more to Mizenhead, Ireland's most southerly point with its great views and small maritime museum (and café).

The festival kicked off about 9 on Friday night with two singarounds, a trad session, and two individual concerts. Saturday morning saw five workshops – Jackie Daly, fiddle; Matt Cranitch, button accordion; Andy Kenna, John Masefield poems set to music; Tomas Wiegandt, percussion; and Norman Collins, understanding harmony and chords. The outdoor concert started about 2, and the sing-alongs and concerts started in earnest about 3 and lasted till well after midnight. Aside from the workshops, Sunday was much like Saturday. We left about 6 to get back to Dublin.

We keep saying 'singalong', but they were actually set up as miniconcerts. One of them had a series of 30-minute sets from maybe a half-dozen performers. The one we mainly attended (and preferred) was run by Verna Connolly and Dick Miles at Levi's Pub. They had the performers do three songs, and then took three floor singers from the audience, then another performer and more floor singers. All the sings that we went to at Levi's were rousing affairs, and we both sang at all of them.

The festival was, we understand, conceived, instigated, and organized almost singlehandedly by Dick Miles, who also raised the funds, performed, ran singalongs, headed up the songwriting competition, booked taxis for performers, and was called out of the competition when a toilet got blocked. He did an amazing job and should be congratulated.

Ireland has few sea music festivals, and unfortunately Fastnet fell on the same weekend as the third annual Rosses Point sea shanty festival, near Sligo Town. We went to that last year, and would have gone back this year but for the conflict. We made the right choice this year but would have liked to go to both. We hope that both festivals will thrive in future, but hopefully on separate weekends.

Gina and Bill Dunlap