30
Wed, Nov
10 New Articles

Aghamore comes alive to the sounds of West Fest

News Features
Typography
West Fest 2011

Aghamore comes alive to the sounds of West Fest


Michael Commins

WEST Fest, Mayo’s answer to the Electric Picnic in Stradbally, brought a big buzz to the small village of Aghamore at the weekend. The place was alive with the sound of music as crowds flocked to the venue to hear some of the biggest names on the Irish contemporary music scene today.
The big dome swayed to the sounds of The Kilkennys, Bagatelle, Ryan Sheridan, The Coronas, John & Emma, and Sharon Shannon on Sunday night. Sharon Shannon delivered a rousing set while The Coronas also went down a treat.
From early afternoon, revellers poured into Aghamore to soak up the atmosphere. And the entertainers gave it their best shot, rising to the occasion and giving some memorable performances that had the folks shouting for more.
The festival got under way on Saturday with Brush Shiels, The Big Generator, Republic of Loose and Imelda May as the headline acts. Adding an extra touch of glamour to the occasion was the arrival of Imelda May by helicopter, dropping down from the Mayo skies as the evening sun dipped behind Kiltimagh mountain.
Donal Byrne, one of the masterminds behind the first ever venture of its kind in east Mayo, said they were very pleased with the success of the weekend. “We are thrilled that everything went off so well over the two days. West Fest was a phenomenal success for the first year. I really want to thank everyone from the bottom of my heart for their support and encouragement.
“A massive amount of work and effort went into putting it all together and we are delighted that the response has been so positive. It goes to show what can be done when people set targets and aim high. I think our ethos and community spirit epitomise the new catch-phrase here at home - is feidir linn.”
Gardai and stewards did an excellent job in supervising the smooth flow of traffic at all times. Garda Brendan Walsh from Kilkelly station said everything had gone off perfectly over the weekend. “The whole operation was organised on a professional basis. We had tremendous cooperation from the public and the traffic re-routing worked exceptionally well. There was a lovely crowd and all were so well behaved that it made the job so easy for all of us. They were here to enjoy the music and have a good time in Aghamore.”
Brendan singled out Brush Shiels for special mention. “Brush is one of the old stock. When he arrived he got out of the car and shook hands with us all. He never lost that common touch. Everyone warms to him right away. It was great to see him back in the area again.”
Meanwhile, Moran’s Village Inn did a roaring business all over the weekend. Some spontaneous sessions broke out and the music and song went on throughout the day and into the night. A weekend to remember in Aghamore.