Drogheda has more festivals than a mad woman has cats. But do they do anything? Apart from the money they bring to the town, are we any better off for them? We look at the best of festivals past and present.
Drogheda Maritime Festival
The runaway success of last year’s boating bonanza were the charming Somali pirates who turned up unannounced and hijacked a number of vessels, demanding hefty ransoms. But these crossed wires were soon ironed out and the pirates were won over by the bouncy castles, face painting and a guarantee of a competitive group discount at the artisan food stalls.
This year’s theme is Vikings. Soundings have been put out to the surviving Viking colonies at Anagassan and Mell. An agreement not to rape and pillage is currently being negotiated by Drogheda Borough Council, the guards and the festival authorities. As things stand the Vikings are holding out for a surprise four-hour pillage window while organizers are adamant that an hour is pillage-a-plenty. “That element of danger really adds to the event,” said Festival/Viking liaison officer Rapenar Sigurdsson.
The Red Cross, St. John of Gods and The Order of Malta will be present
Global Grooves Festival
Repackaged, rebranded and shorn of the crusty element that plagued the Samba Festival in its later years, Global Grooves has been a success – festival goers actually spend money in bars instead of nursing one drink between a colony of Galwegians with dreadlocks and empty pockets. Great for people who want to feel cultured and cool by associating with world music. Avoid if you know the chorus to Sweet Home Alabama.
The Samba Festival
The end of the Samba Festival was a relief for all. Defeat was admitted after an ill attended fund raising table quiz in Foleys – so ill attended that it was cancelled after it started. Top and spot prizes of soap in baskets had to be returned. The latter years were a confusing clang of maracatu, pagode, forró, axé and any Latin tinged beats or blokes who looked Cuban. It was no surprise Drawda folk voted with their ears; nobody wants to hear white lads from England do samba, it’s just wrong.
A wonderful addition to the town’s cultural calendar for those who can understand it.
Homelands Music Festival
Technically held at Mosney, this rave festival had more foaming mouths than one of those willpower nights at WeightWatchers where plump women stare at éclairs with their names on them. The spillover of 25,000 ravers into the town for the after party at 8am the next morning caused a crisp shortage that has never really been resolved in the town.
Old Men Standing at Corners Festival
Held annually from the foeteent century, this traditional festival sees aul lads come in from all over Ireland to compete. There are various categories including Standing By A Corner, Standing At A Corner, Standing By A Corner Keeping Dick, Standing At The Back Of Mass But Not Going In, Loitering By The Tholsel and Talking About That Morning’s Death Notices By A Wall.
Open only to aul lads, or young flas born with an aul lad mindset.
The Monday Club
A festival for all those on the social what can’t afford tickets to the other festivals. Free in, every Monday.