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Damian O'Rourke: “All going well we'll have a few different venues involved and there'll be a trail across the week around Shannon."

Shannon set for festive June with two events planned

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SHANNON is set to see two festivals this June, one being organised by Damian O’Rourke of Cuppa Tea TV and the other by Chris Walshe of Hippo Sound and Lighting.

The Shannon Summer Music Festival, which Chris is working on, will be a one-day event on June 11, while Damian’s one will be over the last week in June, and will be known as the Wings Festival.

Both are being supported by Clare County Council and by the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media.

Speaking this week about the Shannon Music Festival, Chris said, “It’s taking place on June 11 in the Town Park. It’ll be taking place around the bandstand, early on there’ll be a family fun day with music, children’s entertainment, cultural performances.

“In the evening then, from around 6pm onwards, there’ll be a main stage there where bands and local performers will take over, it’ll be live music for the rest of the evening.”

He said that the one-day event will be free of charge and open to all.

With the country set to enjoy a summer with fewer restrictions he feels the timing is good.

“I’m involved in sound and lighting hire myself and I felt it was something that Shannon needs. It’s something that happened in Shannon a few years ago, it was organised by a group of people and it got a great response.

“I felt maybe it was time to do something similar again. We did a few projects last year, and I felt this would be a good time to have a bigger event now we’re out of lockdown.”

He said that the lineup for the one day event will be finalised in the coming weeks.

Meanwhile, Damian O’Rourke said that the Wings festival will hopefully bring a good bit of life to the town at the end of June.

“It’s going to be over the course of a week, from Monday to Sunday, there will be something different every night around the town.”

He said that he wants a lot of people to be involved and for there to be various types of music. “The plan is to have a good bit of diversity across the week. We’d like to have traditional music, there’s a lot of traditional players in the town and poets, it’d be great to give them a platform.

“We’d like to give young musicians a platform, the main gig would be on the Saturday night and the Sunday would be kind of a wind-down, an open session for anyone who wants to come in and sing a few songs or play a few tunes.

“We’re trying to include as many people as we can, that’s what it’s about for me, getting as many people as possible involved and together.”

He said he has long wanted to run such a festival.

“I’ve had the idea in my head for two or three years and now the Council are funding it, which is great. It’s just a case now of putting the pieces together. There’s a lot of work to be done yet.”

Damian said he wants the festival to have a presence in various places within the town.

“If you finish work it’s nice to have something in the town that evening. Hopefully with the mix of things it’ll strike a chord with a lot of people and get support.

“All going well we’ll have a few different venues involved and there’ll be a trail across the week around Shannon.”

Summing up, Damian added, “There are festivals over a weekend like the Winter Festival in Sixmilebridge and Doolin, and they’re fantastic.

“I thought it’d be great to have one over the course of a week and see how it goes. It’s something I’d be interested in going to if I saw it was on somewhere else.

“It’ll be on people’s doorsteps in Shannon and I’m just hoping people will come out and get involved in the music.”

About Owen Ryan

Owen Ryan has been a journalist with the Clare Champion since 2007, having previously worked for a number of other regional titles in Limerick, Galway and Cork.

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