WILL MITCHELSTOWN LOSE ITS INDIE-PENDENCE?
Despite the success of this year’s Indie-Pendence festival, held in Mitchelstown over the August bank holiday weekend, the event’s chief organiser has cast doubt over his future involvement with the festival.
Shane Dunne, who resurrected the Mitchelstown festival in 2006 under its current incarnation as Indie-Pendence, this week told The Avondhu that the pressures of providing an event of its magnitude for free is taking its toll.
“The weather was fine and we were happy enough with how it all went,” Shane said this week. “Financially we are down a few grand but nothing serious that would put the event in jeopardy.”
“The buckets were slightly up on last year, people were extremely generous. There were no major problems from a crew point of view. There were some incidences but the gardai dealt with them very effectively.”
“Organisationally the event went very well for the crew, I think we all enjoyed it a lot better than last year as we had everything planned well in advance.” “The festival club did extremely well also after a quiet start on Friday night.”
However, Shane refused to commit to Indie-Pendence 2009 just yet. “Indie-Pendence 09? Who knows? If I had to decide right now, I’d be saying hopefully but that I probably won’t be involved, not in its current format anyway. It’s just too hard to manage a public arena with that many people. We had 7,000 approximately for The Blizzards on Sunday night. Maybe the crew are victims of their own success but 8 people can’t run this event on this scale at their own expense forever, it just isn’t feasible.
The public arena is a difficulty too in that you are trying to set up a massive stage in the middle of the town. It affects peoples’ businesses, taking away parking spaces and as we found out, they are not always happy about it.”
While there was less than helpful interaction from some quarters, it was clear to everyone who met with the acts just how impressed they were with the festival.
“The best thing over the weekend for us I think was the response of the bands, they love coming down here and playing this festival, in many cases they are playing for a quarter of their normal fee as they just want to be here,” Shane revealed.
“The Blizzards said it from the stage on Sunday night, its an amazing free festival, people can’t understand how we can run that level of bands for free,” he continued. “I guess the answer is; With great difficulty.”
The weekend was a resounding success for music fans and the town alike, with Cork county Councillor Frank O’Flynn praising the crew involved.
“Fair play to them,” Cllr O’Flynn said, “many people don’t realise the long hours these volunteers put in; they’re a credit to the town.”
Friday night saw the homecoming gig of Gemma Hayes, with Saturday providing the one-two of the fantastic Fight Like Apes, who threw in toy golf clubs, saucepans and everything bar the kitchen sink into their energetic set and Cathy Davey who brought the main stage to a close with hits from her second album ‘Tales Of Silversleeve’.
Sunday brought The Flaws and the impressively lively Ham Sandwich to support The Blizzards who packed the square with arguably the biggest crowd that Mitchelstown has ever seen. Shane also believes that the weekend had many highlights across the three nights.
“Fight Like Apes on Saturday night on the main stage is the one that everyone is talking about, The Vital Spark did a brilliant set in the club on Sunday night too,” Shane concluded.
“All in all a great weekend.”
Thursday 7th August 7:30pm