PICTURES: Bumper line-up revealed for Old Fort Quarter Festival in Portlaoise

Michelle Hogan

Reporter:

Michelle Hogan

The Old Fort Quarter Festival returns to Portlaoise this June for its fourth year combining history and heritage with music, food, family entertainment and fun. 

Last year saw an incredible 22,000 people on the streets of Portlaoise over the three days and this year’s festival promises to be the biggest and best yet.  

The heritage festival is based in and around the walls of the Old Fort Protector, at Fitzmaurice Place, Portlaoise. It is the first of its kind built in Ireland between 1547 and 1548 during the tenure of Bellingham, Lord Justice of Ireland, in the reign of 'the boy King' Edward VI.   

The Fort played a major part in how the town developed and its heritage is celebrated throughout the weekend with re-enactments, heritage talks, sword making walks and talks around the Old Fort. Life in the 1500s is bought to life in an entertaining way to capture the imaginations of both adults and children. 

Given the success of night time entertainment at last year's festival, there was a need to develop a better space for live music. 

New for 2019 is the addition of a dedicated live music stage, similar to the Electric Ireland stage at Electric Picnic. The Laois Music Centre, the former Scoil Mhuire at Church Avenue, Portlaoise which is set within the Old Fort Protector makes for the perfect backdrop for entertainment wrapped up in our wonderful heritage festival.

For concert goers, there is no better way to experience live music than at a proper gig centre. This venue allows the festival to still have a large scale music event in a safe and secure environment. 

In the 1900s this location was known as Rampart’s field and often held brass band concerts and other musical entertainment so it’s great to see the location going back to its original use! 

This is a ticketed event and will offer superb value to see multiple acts each night.   

Headline acts over the weekend include ABBAesqe, Qween, King Kong Company, Pogueology, Transmitter, Smash Hits and many more. 

Early bird tickets are €10 nightly or €15 nightly after that. All the money raised from ticket sales goes directly back into the festival funds and will help finance bigger and better events to celebrate the Old Fort Protector for future years. Tickets go on sale on Friday 10th May at 10 am.

This year also sees the introduction of a Laois Heritage Pub trail with all participating pubs having live music and entertainment each night of the festival. 

This gives people the choice of multiple venues and the ability to see a wide variety of acts in different settings. 

Currently, there are 10 pubs on the trial and the choice and diversity of entertainment will be huge.  The main street will be closed for the festival both day and night adding to the overall festival feel.

There’s lots of other family fun over the weekend along the main street with puppet shows, giant games, face painting and lots more to keep everyone entertained. 

The main street is pedestrianised for the full weekend making it the perfect spot to spend the day enjoying music, heritage, food and entertainment. Two stages will provide daytime family entertainment, an artisan market with food stalls and food demonstrations will make sure everyone is well fed. 

The whole street event is wrapped up in the local heritage stories, characters and re-enactments and overall good fun.

For more festival info follow our social media sites @oldfortquarter on Facebook and @oldfortquarterfestival on Instagram or check out our website www.oldfortquarter.ie