Another Love Story: Our New VBF

Sick of shameless branding? This is for friends who play dress-up as they party down

The main purpose of this VBF column is to celebrate the things in the sphere of pop culture that make you feel good about yourself. Mostly championing a diverse range of pop, rock and hip-hop icons, VBF is about promoting the positive instead of spreading the snark. As fun as it is to be a cynic, sometimes you have to step back and celebrate the things we consume and one thing we like to consume here in Ireland is music festivals.

As we are nearing the end of summer, our festival list is getting shorter and shorter but if there's one more weekend that you can dedicate to music and friends, let it be Another Love Story. With a heavy focus on musicians and artists based in Ireland, you can arrive knowing a handful of acts on the line-up and leave with a rake of new favourites. Taking place in Killyon Manor in Co Meath, an 18th Century house run by Zoe and Roland Purcell, Another Love Story is this week's VBF as it provides a weekend away for groups of actual best friends that like to blend their music festivals with a playful sense of adventure.

When the rain dies down and the sun comes out, they then lounge across the expansive lawns while the childhood-inspired Love Olympics

The winner of Imro 2017's Best Small Music Festival Award and run by Homebeat's Emmet Condon, Happenings' Peter O'Brien and Streetfeast's Sam Bishop, Another Love Story is simply easy to navigate. With the ballroom acting as the main stage, you can sit cross-legged and absorb intimate performances from Maria Kelly or Anna Mieke during the day and later that night – in that very same spot you sat earlier on – you can adorn yourself with glowsticks and dance until your feet give up as Dublin Digital Radio's DJs provide the tunes. The large sash windows open out to the lawns and gardens, which you can climb through to enjoy DJ sets or have the chats with pals, using the hay bales and resting points or dancing podiums. Going for a midnight wander usually involves a visit to the church ruins in the forest and it wouldn't be unusual for some of the weekend's performers to test out the acoustics there for a select audience. The Shift Shack is the tiny remains of an old shed which routinely winds up as the prime party spot; don't underestimate its size because what it lacks in square inches, it makes up for in craic.

Turning into autumn

Another Love Story usually lands on the same weekend that summer teases the idea of turning into autumn. You can guarantee that for the first half of the weekend, festival heads wear their sequins and feathers underneath layers of raincoats, hoodies and wellies and dance underneath the ancient oak trees for shelter when the skies implode. When the rain dies down and the sun comes out, they then lounge across the expansive lawns while the childhood-inspired Love Olympics, a mildly drunken sports days event with three-legged races and wheelbarrow games, provide the afternoon’s entertainment.

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With no velvet rope dividing the gig goers and the artist, there's no ego at Another Love Story. Everyone who passes through the gates of the Manor has the chance to experience everything in equal measure. With special performances from The Glasshouse Ensemble, who will be performing a rearrangement of Sufjan Stevens's 2005 album Illinois, Pillow Queens, Ships and a rare solo appearance from Wyvern Lingo's Caoi De Barra, Another Love Story turns the festival experience on its head. Instead of big queues, shameless branding and chaos, they provide a little break from reality.

Another Love Story takes place in Killyon Manor, Co Meath, on August 17th-19th