Indiependence promoter prays for relief from unwelcome summer rain

Alan Owens

Reporter:

Alan Owens

SHANE Dunne’s got one thing on his mind - rain. The Indiependence Music & Arts Festival promoter is crossing his fingers and resorting to age-old practices to try and keep the never ending summer deluge away.

SHANE Dunne’s got one thing on his mind - rain. The Indiependence Music & Arts Festival promoter is crossing his fingers and resorting to age-old practices to try and keep the never ending summer deluge away.

I’m just doing a sun dance here at the moment, trying to get the rain to stop,” laughs Dunne, who started the Mitchelstown-based festival.

Now in its third year in the 50 acre green field site of Deer Farm in Mitchelstown - just 40 minutes from Limerick - the festival is established as one of the top boutique offerings on the Irish musical calendar, boasting a line-up that reflects its status.

This year over 130 acts will perform over the three days of Indiependence, including headliners 2ManyDJs, The Coronas, Feeder, British Sea Power and Maverick Sabre, along with an astoundingly good ‘middle order’ that includes the Japanese Popstars, Beardyman, Scroobius Pip, Delorentos, Bressie, Jape, FishGoDeep, The Minutes and many, many more.

“We are happy with it,” smiles a clearly contended Dunne, a graduate of the University of Limerick in 2002.

“Sales are good, we are well ahead of last year sales-wise. We are in a situation where, if we get the same number of sales in the last few weeks that we had last year, we will be sold out, so that is a good position to be in.

“The line-up is by far the strongest we have had, it is a good mix of genres. There is different stuff on all over the site, and there is something there for everybody,” he adds.

The site is the big question however, with the festival’s build to begin next Monday amid what has been a terrible month weather-wise.

“The site’s in good nick out there considering, but there are one or two spots that, if we got a couple of decent weeks between now and then, they would be fine, but we are lucky we have a big enough site that we can move things around if not,” says Shane.

“This is the first year that we have gone into that site when it has been wet, we had pretty good weather running up to it the last two years,” he explains. “This year the build has to be a bit more controlled and we have to be a bit smarter about how we do things, but we know what we are doing so we will pull it together.”

The festival started life in the square in Mitchelstown before settling in Deer Farm in 2010, when White Lies were among the headliners, followed by Editors last year. The progression is impressive for a festival aimed at the 5,000 capacity mark.

“We have always had this attitude of taking baby steps every year, try and make it a little bit better year on year and not overextend ourselves,” says Shane. “We did four years where we were always moving and always starting from scratch, whereas it is great to be going back into the same site, you know how to set it up, you are only really tweaking stuff every year.”

This isn’t the most ideal time to be promoting a festival both for economic and safety reasons, but Shane is unconcerned.

“Our angle with it is that we always wanted mainstream Oxegen-type acts that people did want to go and see, but we wanted an Electric Picnic vibe,” he says. “We have had that for the last couple of years, a really laid back atmosphere, no hassle, people having a good time. We have only had one arrest in three years.

“You want your mainstream acts, but with that completely different vibe to Oxegen where people are really chilled out and enjoying themselves - it is a tough balance to try and find but I think we have done it reasonably well.”

Indiependence takes place in Mitchelstown on August 3-5. We have two pairs of weekend camping tickets to give away. Email competitions@limerickleader.ie with your contact details and the answer to the following question: Name the lead singer of The Coronas?