It's fair to call Castlepalooza the biggest gaff party of the summer, except it's in a castle, Charleville Castle to be precise. With approximately 5,000 people in attendance and the fact that you are never more than five minutes away from grabbing a jumper from your tent, it's a cosy affair but with some of the best craic on offer.
Headliners on the Centre Stage come in the shape of Wild Beasts on Friday, Waze & Odyssey on Saturday and Le Galaxie on Friday and you can throw some serious if vaguely ambient shapes to Le Boom, Daithi, Shit Robot and Elaine Mai at the Big Top Stage. Pencil Bad Sea, Rosa Nutty and Prymary Colours into your to-do list for some guaranteed swooning.
For some quieter moments, might I suggest sneaking off to the Original Penguin Stage upstairs in the Castle to catch Farah Elle, Hvmmingbyrd and Liza Flume. They will ease you into the day in some very grand settings so you can reenergise for the night ahead, which will reach its peak in the Courtyard.
And did I mention that the festival has actual flushing toilets? I didn’t. Silly me. The festival has flushing toilets.
Are tickets still available?
They are indeed. You can get weekend camping tickets for €159, non-camping tickets for €139 and day tickets for €59 on Ticketmaster. The camper van tickets are sold out.
What’s the camping situation like?
The general campsite is located just behind the castle under the shelter of some trees and if you feel like splashing out, you can upgrade to boutique camping. For €550, you can avail of a pre-pitched, 4-person bell tent to shelter you from whatever weather is thrown your way.
And tell us. Can we bring our own booze?
Unfortunately, you cannot but there will be an off-licence onsite, with a slab of 24 Stoya cans going for €50, 24 Budvar cans for €60 and 12 litres of Dan Kelly’s Cider Growler (sounds terrifying) for €65. There will also be plenty of bars onsite fully-stocked with beer, wine and cocktails galore. Pints will be a fiver, cocktails a tenner and shorts and mixer for €7.
What else can we do there?
Have the time of your life. Is that not enough? No? Well, the Vodafone Laugher Lab has Deirdre O'Kane, PJ Gallagher and Kevin McGahern on the line-up. If you're not able for human interaction at any stage during the weekend, they should sort you right out.
What time does it kick off at?
Gates open at 5pm on Friday and the entrance and box office close at midnight. They will reopen at 11am until midnight on Saturday and again from 11am until 10pm on Sunday.
How do I get there?
The Castlepalooza Coach Service is running from Dublin’s George’s Quay to Tullamore at the following times:
Friday 4th Aug - 16:00 and 19:00
Saturday 5th Aug - 11:00
Sunday 6th Aug - 11:00
The return buses will leave the Castle at 11am Monday morning and return tickets cost €30.
If you are driving, the festival will be clearly signposted from Tullamore Town and from the Tullamore by-pass. Parking is available onsite but it will be operated on a first-come, first-serve basis.
Tullamore’s train station is also a 10-minute walk from the festival but be warned: the castle’s driveway feels an awful lot longer than it is, especially if you are carrying tents and bags.
What access facilities have they got?
Castlepalooza has a designated camping area for disabled guests in the general campsite and there will be accessible portaloos located there and around the main arena. Disabled parking is also available in the general car park. Beyond the front door of the castle, unfortunately, is not wheelchair accessible.
The surface on the castle grounds will be uneven in parts but the areas surrounding the castle are covered with a light gravel so it will be easier to navigate than most other outdoor music festivals.
What about the weather?
According to yr.no, the weather in Tullamore this weekend will average at 15 degrees and miracle upon miracle, it promises to be dry until Sunday afternoon. The showers will be light but consistent. Wonderful.
All bags will be searched upon entry. Glass, BBQs, gas canisters, knives, weapons, drugs or drug paraphernalia, pets/animals, helium, party balloons, tanks of compressed air, drones/remote control aircraft/toys, fireworks or explosives are not allowed onsite.