Revamped Castlepalooza festival sploshes into life

Thunder storms and mud fail to deter concert goers at Charleville Castle

When it comes to festivals and bad weather, there are two options; go big or go home. As the rain plundered down all week across the midlands, everyone heading to Tullamore's Castlepalooza Arts and Music Festival this weekend knows that they'll have to go bigger than ever before.

For the last ten years, the festival set in the grounds of Charleville Castle took place during the August Bank Holiday but this year, with a bigger crowd capacity and added stages, it’s an entirely new beast.

The earlier date means that more international acts could be added to the bill including, American singer Cat Power, the LA hip-hop group Jurassic 5 and the highly anticipated electro act Caribou from Canada.

The line-up is dappled with incredible Irish acts like Conor O'Brien's Villagers, who headline on Sunday night, punk-folk act Lynched, the stunning Bad Sea, the energetic rap group Hare Squead and David Kitt's thundering elecro act New Jackson.

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The mud has unfortunately made an early appearance with a number of camper vans struggling their way onto the site but they are yet to be defeated. Wellies, sunglasses and rain ponchos are the uniform so far.

The Irish have finally conceded to the fact that our weather isn’t always so gracious and festival wardrobes have adjusted accordingly. However, Brian Barber from Dublin plans to overcome the rain and promised thunder storms by wearing his Sunday best all weekend long.

“I see a lot of people wearing their gortex tuxedos,” he says. “I’m going to be fabulous and I’m going to flaunt my wears no matter the weather.”

The festival has added more tents this year to create a more diverse range of entertainment for gig goers, while doubling up as shelter from the rain. They include the Laughter Lab and a spoken word tent, which will host Jim Carroll’s “Banter” and Tony Clayton-Lea’s “Culture Vultures”.

The campsites have been a hub of activity since the late afternoon with the sound of bongos and laughter filling the air. Over 5,000 people are expected to arrive through the gates of the castle to make the most of this damp weekend.