The calibre of local and international bluegrass acts along with the backdrop for the 24th Dunmore East Bluegrass Festival were the perfect combination to attract huge crowds to the County Waterford fishing village over the weekend.
The line-up of 14 bands playing almost 40 free gigs throughout the four-day festival was a real crowd pleaser. Headline act Amanda Anne Platt and the Honeycutters received a warm and rapturous welcome from the festival-goers as they delivered two enthralling performances over the weekend.
The musical talent came from far and wide with four US acts on the festival programme this year - Amanda Anne Platt and the Honeycutters, Brothers Parker, Demolition String Band and Whiskey Deaf. Top bluegrass, newgrass, roots, rockabilly and country talent from the UK and Ireland also featured over the weekend.
The Dunmore East Bluegrass festival has been running every year since 1995. Festival chairman Mick Daly was delighted with the reaction to the festival and the acts performing this year. “It was a great festival and that’s down to a number of factors. After 24 years the festival is still attracting big-name international bluegrass acts who love performing in Dunmore. Each and every year, the bands remark how blown away they are by the crowd reaction and the atmosphere around the village.” Mick said.
“The support from local businesses and the community has always been great and this year we were grateful to receive funding from Waterford City and County Council. The festival is run on a voluntary basis and without this support we wouldn’t be in a position to bring some of the greatest bluegrass acts to Ireland.
“Back in the day, the festival primarily appealed to bluegrass purists. However, each year the remit broadened and whilst the festival is still as popular with hardened roots music fans, it also appeals to anyone who enjoys a great old style, toe-tappin’ tune.
“The Bluegrass Festival was originally started to extend the season in Dunmore East, and we have had a great summer. The Bluegrass Festival gets a lot of visitors from Northern Ireland and Wales in particular. These dedicated bluegrass fans have been coming to Dunmore for years and the fact that it is a Bank Holiday weekend in the UK makes it even more appealing.
“Local support has always been a factor in the success of the festival too with locals being able to enjoy some great, free bluegrass music right on their doorstep," Mick added.