Vantastival kicks off the festival season in Ireland this coming weekend. Now in its eighth year, the festival returns to Beaulieu House for two days of music over the bank holiday weekend. As usual, campervan passes are free and we’ll be livetweeting both days from the @musosguide account on Twitter. Tickets are still available from the festival website here.
Andy Smith (ex. Portishead), The Eskies, Fish Go Deep and Blood And Fire Sound System feat. MC Brother Culture are among the main acts at this year’s festival. London-based DJ Andy Smith made his name as Portishead’s international tour DJ and his sampling formed the basis of the band’s unique sound. Since the Portishead tours Andy has established himself as an underground producer of some of the most irresistible hip-hop breaks-based music around and has a strong cult following. He will close the woodland stage with a late night set on Saturday 3rd June.
The Eskies have been busy bringing their unique brand of folk noir/gypsy jazz/sea shanty and swaggering stage spectacle to venues across Europe over the past couple of years, and will have their first opportunity since 2013 to perform at Vantastival on Sunday night, 4th June. Blood And Fire Sound System will also play on Sunday night, featuring original Rasta MC Brother Culture, while producer duo Fish Go Deep from Cork will headline BackwardS, a new late night area in the woods at Beaulieu, where DJs will keep revellers dancing till the very early hours.
Vantastival’s impressive line-up also includes The Riptide Movement, Overhead, The Albatross, Lankum (formerly Lynched), Kíla, New Secret Weapon, MINDRIOT, Cat Dowling and a host of other Irish names with the usual focus on up-and-coming unsigned acts. The Glasshouse Stage is another new addition to the site, an intimate acoustic experience featuring solo slots from singer-songwriters including Keith Plunkett, Grainne Hunt and Niall McGuigan (ex. Speedking) among others. Meanwhile Dun Laoghaire College of Further Education will bring back the popular DFEi Music Stage, run by students and featuring a line up of former and current DFEi students. With still more acts to be announced, this year’s festival will be a veritable feast for music fans.
And, of course, some of Musos’ Guide's favourites will play the Firestone Stage. Over the course of six weeks, competing against eleven other acts, Nix Moon have prevailed victorious at Firestone’s Battle of the Bands Competition. The final took on Thursday the 11th of May in Odd Mollies, Drogheda, where the band battled it out against four other acts. As well as headlining the Firestone stage at Vantastival, the prize consists of a €1,800 voucher for Musicmaker, Dublin, and three days recording time at world renowned Grouse Lodge Studios, Co. Westmeath. Joining them will be fellow finalists Grand, Makings, Accidents In The Workplace and Lowlight Ensemble, with Sun.Set.Ships, We, The Oceanographers, The Periods, Pine The Pilcrow and The Future West also popping up on our clashfinder.
Vantastival 2017 will take place on Saturday 3rd and Sunday 4th June at Beaulieu House & Gardens, Drogheda. Other attractions will include art installations, fire performances, drum circles, festival traders, an Alice in Wonderland-themed kids’ camp and much more. Vantastival has something for everyone, with or without a campervan. Weekend tickets are on sale now at €85 + booking fee for two nights camping. Day tickets cost €40.