Friday 28 October 2016

Westport shows how to 
do it

Published 22/06/2014 | 07:00

Sophie-Ellis Bextor
Sophie-Ellis Bextor

Seems like everyone has a festival these days, from churches to oysters and everything in between.

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However, not all festivals are created equal, naturally. Westport Music and Food Festival, launched just two years ago, is an example of just how to do it. This annual two-day celebration of music, food and fun is family-friendly, small enough to feel intimate, but large enough to make sure there is plenty going on in the lovely 400-acre grounds of elegant Westport House. In the Chef’s Kitchen, Darina Allen, Neven Maguire, Seamus Commons, Rachel Allen and Derry Clarke, to name just a handful of the top chefs taking part, will be cooking up a storm, using local produce from the surrounds of Co Mayo. Elsewhere you’ll find Ardal O’Hanlon and David McSavage at the Comedy Tent, while the music stages will be host to a serious line-up, including Bryan Adams, the exuberant Kool and the Gang, Sinead O’Connor and Paddy Casey, as well as Sophie Ellis-Bextor, who’s appearance on Strictly Come Dancing was memorable for all the right reasons, and whose most recent album, Wanderlust, was released in January and instantly shot up the charts. Less of a dancefloor classic than Read My Lips, Wanderlust shows Balkan influences in its use of piano and strings, and is an exciting departure musically. Interviewed recently about her appearance, Ellis-Bextor said it was the combination of food and music that made Westport such an irresistible destination.

Sunday Independent

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