Revellers warned to pack the wellies for bank holiday weekend mud-fests
Festival fever has gripped the nation as Ireland prepares to defy heavy showers to party through the August bank holiday weekend.
Over 5,000 people are expected to attend a myriad of festivals nationwide, ranging from the Indiependence music extravaganza in north Cork to Castlepalooza in Offaly and the inaugural Beatyard festival in Dun Laoghaire.
Also taking place is the Ballyshannon Folk Festival, the Spraoi International Festival in Waterford, the 20th Cahersiveen Arts Fest in Kerry and the ever-popular Birr Vintage Week in Offaly.
However, Met Eireann warned revellers to bring rain gear and wellies with heavy showers likely, particularly tomorrow.
Gardai urged people to slow down and allow extra time for journeys given the significantly increased traffic on roads.
Tourism officials have hailed this weekend as one of the most important of the entire summer season. Beatyard, staged for the first time at the old Dublin ferry pier in Dun Laoghaire, runs for two days and boasts an impressive line-up of acts, ranging from Neneh Cherry to Sister Sledge (below), Slum Village, Lindstrom and the Dirty Dubsters.
One of the highlights of the Dun Laoghaire event will be Ireland's first 'Sneakyard' which aims to celebrate everything about sneaker culture, from fitness to style.
In Tullamore, Castlepalooza mirrors Indiependence with a three day line-up of major music and art acts.
This year, the stunning setting of Charleville Castle will feature such acts as Fight Like Apes, Love Affair, Alex Metric, Florence Olivier and a host of others.
In Mitchelstown, Indiependence celebrates its status as the fastest expanding rock event in the world with a 50pc increase in capacity.
Festival founder Shane Dunne admitted he is totally taken aback by the explosion in popularity of 'Indie' which is once again set to prove a sell-out. From its roots as a free one-day open-air music event in Mitchelstown back in the late 1980s, Indiependence is now worth more than €2m to the greater north Cork economy.
"It has been absolutely amazing," Shane told the Irish Independent.
"I think focusing on the camping element of the festival was a big breakthrough, but we have also been very lucky with the reputation we have built up for the acts we host."
Hozier, Kodaline and The Coronas all starred at 'Indie' before they became household names.
"We have grown in popularity because of the acts that we offer," added Shane. "Young people want to see the up-and-coming acts and a great cross-section of the musical talent that is out there. We are proud of the fact that we feature the very best young bands around."
Over 100 acts will feature on the programme which now boasts six stages and a host of novelty attractions, including a silent disco, a comedy centre, a spoken-word stage, food village and a beer hall.
The headline acts this year include Kodaline, Basement Jaxx, The Dandy Warhols, Ash, Jack Savoretti, Mark Lanegan Band, Ham Sandwich, Embrace, Admiral Fallow, Original Rudeboys and TurboWolf.