Have you ever had one of those weekends that you know you’ll never forget? For whatever reason, maybe you did something you were really looking forward to, went on a super cool trip away or just spent time with people you loved?
Well despite a tiny bit of rain and an incredibly ferocious hangover, last weekend was one of those weekends for me.
Stendhal 2018, you were magical.
I love nothing more than spending time with my best friends, and when half of them live in England, it’s really hard to get everyone together. For once, we were organised and we all got to have copious amounts of craic (the fun, not the drug) together on a farm in Drumsurn.
The farm that Stendhal has occupied for the last 8 or so years is less than 10 minutes from my house and I was shocked this year that this amazingly spectacular festival is literally up the road from me. It’s so close that when we missed the bus on Saturday night, we were able to walk home in the lashing rain (I was less than impressed at this stage), but thankfully we weren’t stranded.
In case you’ve never heard of it, Stendhal is a music and arts festival suitable for all ages. There were kids in prams there, OAPs and a mass of millennials in their flower head crowns and glitter eye bags – me being one of them. Lord knows I needed a glitter eye bag on the 2nd day to cover the deathly dark eye bags that were masked under neath.
Winner of Best Small Music Festival three years in a row, this year the festival stepped up a gear and seemed to have something on offer for everyone. There were seven different stages with an abundance of acts from every genre of music, to comedy and poetry. There were even workshops for children, stalls to nosey around and loads of food and drink stands too.
While I definitely spent way too much time drinking and having the craic in the campsite during the day, there were a few bands I missed out on but my top three highlights from the weekend would be The Wailers, Cooks but We’re Chefs and Ryan McMullan. I was raging we were late on Friday so we missed out on Rachael O’Connor but I heard she was amazing! And I wish we had of caught Craig Charles on Friday night. But hey, just another excuse to go back next year!
We stumbled across Cooks but We’re Chefs on the Friday afternoon and holy hell, they were an amazing surprise. 5 or 6 guys from Dublin bringing jazz music bang up to date with trumpets, a saxophone and a seriously cool bass guitar. I absolutely loved these guys and would love to see them next year again.
I think anyone who saw The Wailers were not disappointed. We sang and danced to old school Bob Marley until our hearts were content. And finally Ryan Mc Mullan on Saturday evening was just phenomenal. I’ve loved his music for a while now but last weekend was the first time I’ve saw him live. I would have loved to have heard him sing my favourite song in the world, Streets of New York, but as he said that song takes about 10 minutes and obviously he had time restrictions. If you haven’t heard his version, YouTube it right this second!
If you were at Stendhal yourself, I hope you also had an amazing weekend. And if not, I would seriously recommend you look into it for next year. There is something for everyone, with great children-friendly facilities and family camping. Or if you just wanna go and get drunk and dance like me, you can do that too! Check out their Facebook page here.
The Big F Word