Life of a Festival Volunteer: Another Love Story

After the colorful performance of the Guerilla Aerialists, a group of performers reminiscent of old school travelling troupes, the crowd, gathered behind the manor house, dispersed. But in the distance, on the far side of the house, music waxed from the “The Cosmic Caravan,” a remix of Talking Head’s “This Must Be The Place,” drawing the people together, instilling a bout of fever.

Dance fever.

With the sun shining, brightly, but slowly waning, giving way to dusk, the festival-goers, some masked with vibrant facepaint, others in elaborate dress, became entranced by the beat.

And so they danced.

the guerilla aerialists

The Guerilla Aerialists

guerilla aerialists 2

And we danced

And we danced…

Cosmic Caravan

Later that night, with the stars sprinkled across the night sky, people continued to dance. And dance. One more song, they urged the DJ, Donal Dineen, to push on. One more song. And the people danced to that song – songs – until the stars bowed out to the light of dawn.

It was the epitome of a summer festival. A scene that couldn’t have been written better by life’s screenwriter – lesson #1: when in doubt, write a dance sequence.

The ballroom

That scene was from Another Love Story, a new entry to an already packed summer festival lineup in Ireland. It was an intimate affair rife with various instances of the aforementioned happenings.

Good vibes. Sound people. Brilliant music. Those were just some of the phrases constantly being uttered by the crowd of 400. It had the intimacy you’d experience at many small to mid-sized Irish festivals but perhaps even more so. The experience was akin to a house party; the owners and festival organizers enjoyed the festivities as much as the next festival-goer.

When tummies growled, the hard-working and jolly folks at The Happy Pear and the Hamlet Court Pop Up Kitchen were there, serving up exquisite salads and sumptuous burgers, respectively.

The Manor House

The Manor House

Most of the gigs were held in “The Ballroom,” a bright, high-ceilinged room with tall windows opening out into the lawn, allowing for easy transitions from dancing to a session with banter on the grass. Others were in a small room, often packed to the brim, called “Chuck & Will’s Barefoot Emporium.”


The Ballroom.



Chuck & Will’s Barefoot Emporium

A considerable portion of the grounds were also open for a roam and excursion. Again, magical is the word that came to mind, what with orchards and chapel ruins and an overall majesty anywhere and everywhere.

There was a poetic nature to the festival – without a doubt one of the primary reasons why it piqued my interest. The posters and brochures, the words and images, all serve to instill a sense of dreamy wonder, with a big helping hand from Mother Nature (it only rained on the afternoon of the last day).

As a volunteer, I had the privilege of working alongside the Happenings and Homebeat crew who poured their heart and soul into making the weekend a reality.

It was a weekend I was proud to be a part of.

A few days after Another Love Story, I made my way down to Stradbally, Co. Laois for another weekend of festival fun. Electric Picnic. The grand finale to the Irish summer.

From a tiny festival to the biggest one in Ireland. Such is the life of the festival volunteer…

If you can’t get enough of Another Love Story, check out this fantastic video from @shotclip: