Tuesday 23 January 2018

Lily swings by for some festival fun

Ken Sweeney

Ken Sweeney

POP diva Lily Allen touched down in Ireland yesterday en route to a guest appearance with YouTube singing sensation Crystal Swing.

The 25-year singer will appear on stage with the band at the Flat Lake Festival in Hilton Park, Clones, Co Monaghan, this weekend.

Allen arrived at Dublin Airport accompanied by her grandfather, Edward Charles Owen.

Although due to join festival act Crystal Swing onstage for a few numbers, festival organisers have stressed the bestselling UK artist would be "hanging out" at the festival rather than appearing as a headlining act. "It's a few days off for Lily to spend with relatives and friends," a spokeswoman for the Flat Lake Festival told the Irish Independent.

And if she is hanging out, Allen won't be doing it in the VIP section because the quirky arts festival, which incorporates everything from appearances by singers to literary figures and film screenings, doesn't have one.

Allen's attendance at Flat Lake is due to her uncle, the film director Kevin Allen, who lives locally -- and who, along with Irish writer Patrick McCabe, helps to organise the event each year.

The festival runs until tomorrow and a limit of 2,000 people per day will enjoy the unusual mix of literary talks from the likes of Eugene McCabe and performances by acts as diverse as Jack L and The Swarbriggs, a blend which organisers have dubbed 'showband Shakespeare'.

Dermot Healey, Eoin McNamee, Anne Enright, Declan Burke and Claudia Carroll are other authors appearing at the festival; while the musical attractions include Larry Beau, The Barry McGuigan Band, The Church Hill Silver Band, Paula Flynn, Little John Nee and Gene Bannon.

Tickets and details from www.theflatlakefestival.com.

Irish Independent

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