Millstreet outdoor music fair driven indoors

 

You know nothing of true misery until you've huddled in a doorway in Millstreet, Co Cork, on a Sunday morning, tetchily waiting for the pubs to open and watching sheets of apocalyptic rain fall from the grey skies.

The Millstreet Music Fair was supposed to be a sweltering sunfest. We were to wallow in the summery meadows of the Green Glens, soaking up the feel-good rays and enjoying the melodic offerings of 21 internationally renowned singers.

But the gods work in perverse and mysterious ways and, as the gates opened at noon yesterday, pounding rain descended. Just for good measure, a nasty wind was blowing in from the west and there was a November chill in the air.

In his eternal wisdom, Noel C. Duggan built an indoor arena at Millstreet, and most of the crowd of about 5,000 headed for that, leaving just a couple of hundred sodden souls braving the elements at the main stage outdoors.

The acts were doing their best to raise the collective spirit. The line-up at this, the second Millstreet Music Fair, wasn't half bad, an eclectic mix blending everything from the worthy lyricism of Jackson Brown to some very clever, arty pop.

The general atmosphere, though hardly electric, was cheery enough: it takes more than a rainstorm to dampen the ardour of throngs of 18-year-olds.

Meanwhile, torrential rain failed to dampen the spirits of thousands of people who turned out in Waterford in support of Spraoi, the city's annual bank holiday street carnival.

The organisers decided yesterday morning to relocate all outdoor gigs to indoor venues after heavy rainfall threatened to ruin the festivities.