Having been flattered to be nominated by Pure M in the Best Festival category of the 2017 Pure M Awards we decided to make the trip to the awards show in Dublin's newest live music venue East Side Tavern for a Free Fringe team night out. Little did we know just what a special night we were in for!
Much to our surprise and delight we were announced as winners of the 'Best Festival' award!! Needless to say celebrations went on till late and we caught up with some old friends and made lots of new ones.
With less than a week to go to the Free Fringe Festival, showcasing some of Ireland’s best unsigned talent, here’s a sneak peek at some of the bands hitting the roads to Leitrim!
The N4 looks sure to be busy with a convoy of singer songwriters, band vans and estate cars bursting with backline kit. Opening the Main Stage on Friday evening at 6.45pm are Ojo. Multi instrumentalists with a repertoire of exotic, spellbinding performances creating their own purple haze. Ojo also play at 6pm on the Forest Stage on the Saturday and Sunday on the Yard Stage at 2.20pm. Dublin based lads The Finns also take the Main Stage on Friday at 7.45pm. A trad-folk duo who will charm you around “Lambay“ and serenade you with “My Home Town”. You can also catch The Finns on our yard stage at 11.25pm on the Friday and kicking off Saturday on the Forest Stage at 12.35pm. Expect banjos, mandolins guitars and great craic. Luke Clerkin travels from Tallaght to Drumcoura. Just him, his hat, and his guitar. A songbook crafted through good times and bad, Luke’s integrity as a singer is unquestionable. He has a few belters in his book and boy he can hold a tune. Watch out for “Stones”, his recent single. Catch him on the Bluestacks Jam Club stage on Friday at 7pm, Saturday at 11.10pm on the Yard Stage and twice on Sunday at 11.45am on the Yard Stage and 1.40pm on the Forest Stage.
Kildare gang Popgun Warfare bring their full ensemble to the Main Stage on Friday night at 10.45pm. A polished set of indie rock/reggae laced with clever hooks and harmonies will have the crowd well warmed up before Youth Mass unleash themselves on Drumcoura City. Make sure to peg your tent down well because Youth Mass are likely to lift the roof off everything in a five-mile radius. Their juggernaut guitar driven tunes, layered with clever percussion, thundering drums and quaint lyrical observations never fail to impress. Don’t be late to the Main Stage at 11.45pm.
If you need a bit of down time make sure to visit the Forest Stage on Sunday. Relax and unwind with Dublin trio Pine The Pilcrow. Their delicate cinematic songs will have you swooning under the Sunday sky at 2.40pm on our Forest Stage. Longford lad Sean Rooney has the world at his feet right now. His versatile vocals take him from an indie kid right through to sway, soul, and pop. His repertoire ranges from smooth lullabies to rock tinged pop. Don’t miss soulful Sean on Saturday at 3.40pm on the Forest Stage, 9pm on the Bluestacks Jam Club stage and on Sunday at 2.40pm on our Main Stage.
You can check out our full schedules at http://www.freefringefest.com/schedules-2017.html
As avid supporters of the Irish music scene, the team here at the Free Fringe Festival are delighted to have over sixty unsigned acts taking to the stages at the festival. It’s not often that bands from Dublin, Donegal, Kerry, Waterford, and Cork Google map it to lovely Leitrim all at the same time.
We are celebrating the diverse selection of musical genres that our home-grown artists have to offer. We have seven acts travelling from Donegal. Comedian Pauric Gallagher will put a grin on yer gobs with his endless banter and witty quips on the Parachute Stage.
Also travelling on the N15 are Wolves Of Youth. Serious indie rockers with Snow Patrol tenacity these guys have massive guitar power under the hood driving killer bass lines and finely crafted songs. They could easily compete for the Coronas crown and win hands down.
Derry based popsters Lavengro are gathering pop star status every time they play. A combination of stage presence, confidence, talent and tuneage makes them stand out. Pure pop tarts expect hints of Bastille, Two Door Cinema Club, The XX and the 1975. Watch out for the bass player who lashes out the Nile Rogers licks.
Dean Maywood’ s soothing folk vocals will relax and entertain on the Saloon Stage, get ready to be swept away with his track ‘Oilean Na Marabh’.
Stunning songbird Grace Day brings cute harmonies and acerbic lyrics with her lilting velvet vocals, refreshing to hear in this age of endless overproduced girl power junk. Grace stands out as she gives us her quirky observations in song.
Get ready for an urban rap experience straight from the streets of Letterkenny with the coolest dudes in Donegal Phat Kiidz. These guys are so slick, they could cause an oil spillage. Their Late Late Show appearance bringing them the acclaim they really do deserve. Putting a new spin on Irish music Phat Kiidz will bring the Bronx onto the main stage as they headline on Sunday night.
These are just a small selection of the sixty plus acts performing at this years Free Fringe Festival, July 21st - 23rd, Drumcoura City, Leitrim. To see all the acts playing this year see our Line-up page.
Free Fringe Festival presents Theatre Garden: a youth theatre event at the Parachute Stage on the Forest Trail on Saturday 22nd July from 12midday to 3.30pm. There will be four main time slots during the event which will include workshops for two age groups, rehearsals and on stage performances. This is a unique opportunity for young people to come play at performance in a natural environment and to share their creativity on stage for the general public. All public are welcome to support and enjoy the performances.
Young people are welcome (Not Required) to bring any pre-prepared performance material or 'party pieces' they may wish to share. For example a short scene they have written or like, a song, short story, poem, dance piece, joke, etc.
We recommend children wear appropriate clothing, bring a packed lunch, and all the willingness, enthusiasm and playfulness they've got!
Please arrive 10-15 mins before your workshop time to sign in and secure your place.
Participation consent forms must be signed by parent/guardian who must be contactable and available for their child at all times.
12.00-12.45 Workshop for 14-18 year olds
13.00-13.45 Workshop for 8-13 year olds
14.00-14.40 Rehearsals for everyone performing
This event will be facilitated by Sarah Wood, a local youth theatre professional, with a BA in Drama Performance from DIT, and currently a leader with the Leitrim Youth Theatre Company.
In 2016 Sarah facilitated at the Holistic Kids Camp at Attirory Organic Garden.
Holistic Kids Camp 2016 facebook page
We held our 2017 Fringe Launch Night on Friday 23rd July at this years festival location, Drumcoura City. Performance on the night from Etain The Paperboys and Grace Day made for a great night of musical entertainment.
Thanks to the performers, Rachel Masterson and Angelica who recorded interviews and live performances from the acts for our upcoming Free Fringe TV YouTube channel (coming soon) and to everyone who come out to support us and the three fantastic acts.
Here’s some pics taken on the night...
Local Musician Sarah Garden will host The 'Big Fringe Sing Together' on Sunday 23rd July from 2pm to 4pm at this years Free Fringe Festival. Sarah will be joined by a large group of her regular local workshop attendees and they want everyone to join in. There'll be a bit of everything including gospel, pop, sacred and ballad songs. Learn easy harmonies, strengthen your voice and have fun. Everyone welcome! No experience necessary. Donations welcome. Bringing a bottle of water and have a lot of fun. See www. sarahgarden.ie for more info.
We're back with a brand new logo and location for 2017. The picturesque Drumcoura Lake Resort in county Leitrim hosts #freefringefest2017 allowing us to introduce a host of new attractions to this years festivities including bushcrafting, archery and entertainment in a wonderful woodland setting.
Plus we're running the Free Fringe Film Festival in our outdoor cinema in the woods, showing some of the best indie short films around. You'll find full details and how to submit a short film for the Free Fringe Film Fest here https://facebook.com/events/395005507539122
As always there will be lots of entertainment for all tastes including music, comedy, dance, poetry, story telling and much more as well a craft fair and market all weekend.
You don't have to worry about tickets, just show up and have the craic.. its all free!
The Free Fringe Festival Team