Hey once again! A slight change to the blog this month as it becomes a three parter. The reason for this is the upcoming Daytripper Festival, taking place on the old Gasworks site on Waterside this coming weekend, August 25th and 26th.
It’s a mark of the festival’s success over the years that it’s become synonymous with the dog days of a Waterford summer, the days shortening, Spraoi, kids reluctantly facing up to going back to school and X Factor returning to our television screens. A true harbinger of summer’s end and Christmas around the corner if ever there was.
Yep, Daytripper has become part of the late summer furniture and a welcome addition too. Starting in the Bolton Street car park five years ago it provided no end of entertainment and interest for the members of Waterford Fire Brigade (of which I was once a member) as on a festival weekend we’d saunter down the station yard through the gates into Bolton Street to listen to the bands sound check and watch the road crews set up and generally go about their business. Add to that the snatched conversations with various artists – there was a reggae band whose name unfortunately escapes me, they were a grand bunch of blokes, so approachable as we swapped stories about what we did compared to their lives.
I must say Bolton Street did always strike me as the perfect location for the event, last year at the RSC maybe less so but then that was forced on the organisers by the ongoing work at the courthouse. Now though, with Daytripper about to make its debut on the former gasworks site on Waterside I do believe it may have found a proper home. I grew up on Waterside, inner city townie that I am and proud of it, and I remember my mother railing against the thought of anything going on the then derelict gasworks site (Housing? No! A proposed music festival? Absolutely not!) She’s since moved on, still with us just living elsewhere, but knowing her as I do I think she actually would have warmed to the idea of site becoming a music mecca for one weekend every year. She could be kind of cool like that, my mother.
One last thing. Every time I think of Daytripper I think of Madness. They played on the Saturday night in 2013 and while I was keen to see them the fates conspired against me and I didn’t get there. Anyway, on the night I was at home in my garden, about three miles from Bolton Street as the crow flies, and on the still summer air the unmistakable strains of ‘Our House’ were carried if not loud and clear then most certainly discernibly. I stood transfixed. It seemed the coolest thing to hear from such a distance. And it was.