Festivals Monday, 10 September 2007

Cois Fharraige Blog

Sun, sea... but not so much surf!

Hawaiian shirts, sun visors and factor 25 were the order of the day at Kilkee for Cois Fharraige 2007 - a festival designed to celebrate the best of surfing and music talent.

The sun was splitting the stones as the revellers descended on the coastal town in Clare on Friday afternoon but, in true Irish style, there was an irony to the long-awaited appearance of Mr Golden Sun this year! Weather conditions didn't favour surfing, meaning that the championships had to be cancelled - and, although this was no doubt disappointing for those who had come to catch a wave, it didn't spoil the atmosphere for those who had simply come to soak up the carnival fun.

A festival with a difference, Cois Fharraige offered a family-friendly atmosphere during the day-time (beach activities, street performances and plenty of colour) and some great music performances in the marquee in the evenings, for the hard-core festival-goers. Friendly locals, plenty of night-time entertainment in the pubs and hotels and of course the by-now-alien sunshine made the six-odd hours of travelling in traffic a distant memory by Friday night as the party kicked off.

Musical highlights over the weekend were many with a diverse line-up that catered for varying tastes, from marquee-shaking rock to lullaby mellow. Personal favourites, and definite crowd-pleasers, were the Fun Lovin' Criminals, Republic of Loose, The Blizzards and Delorentos, whose early time-slot on Sunday did nothing to quench their on-stage energy.

Lowlights of the weekend were few - what's not to like about lying on the beach by day and enjoying some barbeque grub by night as you listen to one of your favourite bands?! - although the 'treasure-hunt' to find out the stage times was somewhat unnecessary and resulted in a lot of people missing bands that they wanted to see, simply because they couldn't find out what time the different acts were playing at.

But overall Cois Fharraige seemed to be a roaring success - a novel festival that pulled in the best elements of the summer music season. It offered non-camping types the chance to stay in a real house, there was no need for wellies, you could still head down to the pub after soaking up the on-site-tunes and the vibe was very laid-back and chilled out wherever you went. Let's just hope the surf's up next year!

Linda McGee

Were you at Cois Fharraige? If so you can send your festival comments to: entertainmentonline@rte.ie

Your Comments:

Fantastic weekend in Kilkee... spent the day on the beach watching the festivities, the evening up around the street soaking up the atmosphere. Congrats to all involved on an event well- run, but especially to the crowd who turned up, the most well-behaved, happy-go-lucky gang to ever attend a festival... Roll on next year! Red

Was there with a friend who won the tickets and we had an absolute ball. It was so chilled - lovely laid back atmosphere. Everything was organised perfectly. More flyers around the place with specific band times would have meant definitely getting to see bands I wanted to (missed Newton Faulkner because of this). Fun Lovin' Criminals were the winners of the whole festival, absolutely class. Really hope that this is an annual event but that the organisers don't get too greedy and make it too big. If so, it will lose that lovely intimate buzz that was around for the weekend.  MC

Am from Kilkee. The weekend was brilliant. The locals were worried it may cause some trouble but there was none. Locals and visitors all had a great time. What a great atmosphere! What a great weekend! Roll on next year! Sorcha

I'm from the Midlands and I was in Kilkee on Saturday for the Surf Life-saving Competition on the beach. I never realised about the festival being on but I must say the crowd around the place was brilliant, very laid back and seemed to be thoroughly enjoying the weather, the beach and also the surf lifesaving, as there were loads of families around for this competition. Well done to the Clare teams, especially the Ennis Crew! Maria

The Blizzards - crowd-pleasers in Kilkee
The Blizzards - crowd-pleasers in Kilkee
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