Mitchelstown’s Indiependence reaches for the top

Alan Owens

Reporter:

Alan Owens

For the birds: Bell X1 - Dave Geraghty, Paul Noonan and Dominic Philips - who will headline the Saturday night of the Indiependence Music and Arts festival in Deer Farm, Mitchelstown, on the August Bank Holiday weekend
TIMING is everything for a music festival, especially an independent one trying to establish itself and gain a foothold against bigger events.

TIMING is everything for a music festival, especially an independent one trying to establish itself and gain a foothold against bigger events.

Indiependence, held annually on the 52 acre site called Deer Farm in Mitchelstown - spawned from a free festival in the town’s main square over six years ago - grew up at the right time.

This year is undoubtedly the festival’s strongest line-up, including headliners Bell X1, De La Soul and Bastille, along with acts like Kodaline, The Fratellis, We Are Scientists and Beardyman and a host of top Irish acts.

Shane Dunne, the founder of the festival - who studied food science at the University of Limerick - is a canny sort; full time production manager for The Coronas, music fan, self confessed as “strong willed and stubborn”, has battled bigger competitors and the Irish weather to produce a wonderful three day event, worthy of competing with any on the festival scene.

“We were lucky enough to be onto a couple of acts quite early - Bell X1 is an easy one, you know the level they are at - but Kodaline played last year and we have been keeping a very close eye on them since,” says Shane.

“The same with Bastille, that was another booking that was done early. People might say it is lucky - you book them and they blow up, but we were keeping tabs on them.

“Kodaline and Bell X 1 were both number one albums in Ireland this year, Bastille were number one in the UK, so to have three bands that have been number one in the last six months on the bill is pretty good going for a festival of our size.”

Timing. The recent spell of good weather has left the site, now slightly repositioned and featuring new areas, in “good nick” according to Shane, but you can tell he has his fingers crossed it will stay that way.

“The feedback is good. The people that come to Indie come back every year feel like they have an ownership of it, feel a connection,” he says.

“I think there is something there for everybody, it is strong across the board. It is a better site this year, better layout, and I think people - it was mucky last year - but in general people went away happy and had a good weekend, and you get value for money, ticket prices are reasonable.”

Indiependence takes place from August 2-4. See Indiependence. We have two pairs of weekend tickets to giveaway to readers, just email with your name, contact details and ‘Indiependence’ in the subject line.