Castlepalooza – A review in pictures

The journey to Tullamore didn’t take too long, we arrived in decent time, it was the difficulty in finding the Castlepalooza car park that held us up the most. We drove around for quite a while trying to find any indication as to where it was. Eventually I spotted a tiny sign in a random turn near a garage that pointed in the direction of the car park. Once we had parked the car we then had to wait twenty minutes for a shuttle bus to bring us to the festival. There was no timetable as to when the bus was due, and when asked the driver stated that it just came and went as fast as he could drive. There was one stop off on the journey for everyone to collect their tickets, once this was completed we headed off once more eventually arriving at our destination.
 

We arrived to a fairly packed festival and set off to find a place to camp. There were four to choose from, eenie, meenie, minie and mo. Luckily I already had friends who had arrived before me and who led me to a clear spot where I could camp in the Eenie camp site.

All the tents were packed quite close together but there was a great atmosphere amongst everyone, and I ended up talking to quite a few people who were camping beside us. With the tent set up I was free to enjoy the festival. I arrived on the Saturday and there were quite a few good bands playing that day. The Minutes put on a cracking show and could be heard from all around the campsite even before I headed up to the stage. La Galaxie were also quite good. I had never seen them live before but they definitely gained a new fan that night. I wandered about after and went to see what the festival had to offer before returning for headliner of the night Jape. He drew in the biggest crowd and rightly so. He put on a great performance and I was glad that I had stuck around to see him play. I headed back to the tent when he finished to recharge for the day ahead.

I awoke to the sounds of campers beside me and headed off in search of breakfast. I settled on a place called Tea & Toast located near the Carphone warehouse stage. It was very reasonably priced in comparison to some of the other stalls and the staff were a pleasure to deal with. I will definitely keep my hopes up for them to make an appearance at future festivals I attend. With breakfast over with I decided to explore the rest of the festival that I had missed the previous day.

There were great hidden treasures such as the Hammock hang out near the front entrance. I also found several stalls and even a stage I had missed the previous day hidden amongst the showers and campsite.

I hung around for a few of the early bands such as The Pacifics and The Kanyu tree who both put on a great performance and managed to draw in a crowd depite the earliness of their slots. I headed home before the end of Sunday night due to the fact I had work the next morning. I wish I could have stayed but I enjoyed the experience while it lasted. Overall it was a good experience, there was a lot to do and see. One factor that brought the festival down in my opinion however was the lack of toilets. There were only a few located in the same small section for both genders which meant the que was ridiculously long at all times no matter when you went. Several of them had also broken down by Sunday morning which meant even longer queues. The over pricing at the bar and off license was another let down. You had to queue to buy tokens and then join another queue to purchase the alcohol with your tokens. The mark up on alcohol for sale at the festival was extortionate, it cost €60 for a tray of 24 cans, if you went to Tullamore village you could buy the same 24 cans for €24 but the fact that no alcohol was allowed to be brought in meant that you had no choice but to fork out €60 if you wanted to drink. Despite some of its major flaws I would still recommend Castlepalooza to festival goers. It has an intimate setting and has a poilicy in place to ensure that 50% of the artists performing are Irish, if you like a more intimate setting then this is the festival for you.

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