IT ENDED with a bang, as it was always supposed to. On Sunday night, a glorious fireworks display over the medieval Desmond Castle in Newcastle West brought the curtain down on the four-day Knights of Westfest festival, which attracted over 15,000 visitors.
The third annual festival, which mixed live music, family entertainment and a gourmet food fair, was once again a perfect showcase for the energy and enthusiasm of the county capital.
The highlight of the weekend was Saturday night’s headline concert by American band Boyce Avenue in The Square, which gardai estimate was attended by up to 10,000 people.
Ida Dunworth, a member of the festival organising committee, said that this year’s event was an unprecedented success. “We’re all delighted with how it went. We had great support for all the events - even with the bad weather Sunday night we still had 3,000 people out. All the feedback’s been positive.
Despite only being three years old, the Knights of Westfest has firmly established itself as a heavyweight attraction. Ms Dunworth said that hotels and guesthouses from Abbeyfeale to Adare were booked out as thousands of people enjoyed the festival’s myriad attractions. As well as the traditional Ten Knights of Desmond contest, which was won by Gavin Whelan, the weekend was also marked by the success of the two-day Taste of Westfest food fair in the Newcastle West community centre.
Ms Dunworth said that while the committee were taking a well deserved break this week, plans were already in place for next year: “We turned down Bruce Springsteen last night! But seriously, we’ve been working on next year’s bands since May or June. Hopefully next year Bord Failte or some of the other bodies might help”.