04 July 2011

Five years on the bluegrass train

Thanks to Uri Kohen, who reports:

It has been five years since the bluegrass train has stopped in Westport and I jumped on it. Ever since 2007 I have been trying to create a unique folk and bluegrass festival in the amazing surroundings of Westport in Co. Mayo. Through the years we met some of the most amazing music fans, and got to know the best musicians in the business. As Hubie MacEvilly told me once, 'they will be your friends for life.' During the previous festivals we saw some amazing acts such as 4 Wheel Drive, the Blue Grass Boogiemen, Woodbine, the Coal Porters, and many more.

At the last weekend of June, more than 200 people jumped on the bluegrass train on its way to Westport once again. I and my team worked very hard to create a wholesome lineup which would provide three days of top music. The festival was a huge success and the feedback that we got from the crowd was overwhelmingly good. It would be hard to point to one particularly great moment of the festival, as all the gigs and sessions were full and everybody seemed to be loving every minute of it. The bluegrass sessions (organised or spontaneous) were the making of a superb festival; all the artists in the pub gigs looked like they were going out of their way to play to the best of their ability.

The main event showcased the best old-time and bluegrass music around. Tim Rogers & the Clew Bay Critters, in their first main stage show, eased us all into the night and set up the quality level for what was about to follow; the Dust Busters [top], in one of the festival highlights, played the old-time music the way it was played in the 1920s; and then A Band Like Alice [above] proved me right in booking them to be the headline act, as they played a superb bluegrass show and kept the dance floor full (a unique feature at the Westport festival).

Two more golden moments of the festival were the opening show with the MacEvillys [above], who year on year provide the goods in Westport; and last but not least, the Molly Hicks [below], who for a second year running played to a full house (at 12.30 p.m.) and kept us asking for more.

As the festival producer, I would like to take this opportunity once again to thank all the venues, all the artists, and - most of all - all the music fans that made the trip to Westport for the festival. Looking forward to see you all in June 2012!

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