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What is the Village Carnival?


The Village Carnival was up until recently completely unknown to me, now having attended it was without a doubt one of the best experiences I had this year.
So what is the Village Carnival? I sat down with one of the lovely co-ordinators Orla to answer just that.
What is the Village Carnival?
The Village Carnival is a concept we came up with in Obair (Community Centre) and essentially it is a revival of the festivals held here (Newmarket-On-Fergus) from the 1940s through to the 1960s. In those days it was a nine day festival with slow-dances and big bands which drew attention from all over the world. It died out during the 1960s and there has been a few failed revivals throughout the years, this is our 4th year running it and the turn out has been amazing! We brought it back with the goal to boost community spirit and to get everyone of all ages out to have a great time. These days everyone is getting hit left , right and centre with sponsorship and nearly all events are money driven, the Village Carnival is completely free and will remain that way, it’s our way (Obair) of giving back to the community.
What are some of the acts you had here?
To briefly name off a few the first year we had Republic of Loose, the second year was Aslan, the third year we had Paddy Casey and this year we had Hermitage Green but as a surprise act Paddy Casey showed up again because he had so much fun last year!
Know one at all knew Paddy Casey was showing up, what happened?
Well what happened last year was that he played with the Shannon Gospel Choir and had a great night, and this year he happened to be playing in Galway and heard that the Shannon Gospel Choir were coming back so he rang them and said: “Guys, do you mind if I come down and sing a few songs with you?” and of course they agreed and then he phoned us and we were over the moon! So he arrived and played a few tunes and the crowd went berserk it was wonderful!

Could you walk me through the events? 
The first night is always a family driven night and for a tribute to Robin Williams we put on a outdoor screening of Mrs. Doubtfire, this night (Day 2) is always the main event with open-air concerts featuring bands and singers like Hermitage Green and Paddy Casey for a more young adult audience, tomorrow to close off we have a night for the older folks with show bands and Crystal Swing. So the three days will always include all members of the community.
 10561778_785208641500773_7335141650135166577_nWhat would your dream acts to have at the festival? 
One of my favourites would be Aslan or The Coronas because they bring so much energy to all their gigs, but we’ll always keep it Irish and we love having local on the rise groups coming to play like Little Tents who opened tonight. We absolutely love the chance to boost local acts, so we would love to keep what we currently have going rather than bring in bigger previously established acts.
Have you had any disasters in the past?
Oh yes, the year we had Aslan! Aslan were due to come on stage, but moments before they went on our generators that powered the whole stage blew up! So we had absolutely no power and the crowds were getting restless, we didn’t know what to do so we rang every electrician we knew to see if they had a large generator but none could come down in time. Eventually a local guy who runs a bus business happened to have a huge generator handy and saved the day!