Oh I do love a good summer music festival. Where I can panic buy ridiculous wellies from Dunnes, wear some kind of flower hairband and get burnt with a hot shock of pink on my forearms. Some of my loveliest music festival memories are sipping on a warm pint of beer, while listening to a band I’d never heard of with people I love, and thinking ‘Sure, isn’t this bloody marvellous altogether?’
That’s what I love about them. What I love even more is the food.
The very fact that Westport Festival of Music and Food has food in its title puts a little joy in my heart. The food stalls are always my favourite bit of festivals, they colour my plans for the day, the strategy for where to go and who to see. What will my next meal be? My next tub of noodles? My next burger?
And my, haven’t the festivals grown? Not just your curry chip in a plastic tray that’s thrown out a tenner a pop. No, no. Now we seek out Pad thais and masalas and gourmet chutney filled ciabattas with the same zeal as the next artist on the lanyard around our necks.
So I think Westport Festival must have looked into my dreams for a weekend of music and food TOGETHER and made it happen.
It’s in Mayo on June 29th and 30th (my ahem, birthday weekend) and has a Food and Wine village. That’s the kind of place I’d like to move to, sensory and sensuous in one postcode.
Hosted by Norah Casey, the village will see all the head honchos: Derry Clarke – L’Ecrivain, Ross Lewis – Chapter One, Dylan McGrath – Fade Street Social, Richard Corrigan – Corrigans, Oliver Dunne of Bon Appetit and Kevin Dundon of Dunbrody House. Those talented boys will all be doing demos, chats, tastings and there will be a Chef’s table where you will hopefully see me all weekend.
There will also be the creme of food producers with a focus on the West, with their expertise and hopefully some samples.
Oh, and on the music side. There’s Elvis Costello and Christy Moore and Imelda May and Martha Wainwright and Squeeze and Damien Dempsey to keep you smiling while you hold your warm beer.
A wise man once said something about music being the food of love. So play on.
Web: Westport Festival