"I can't say I'll see you again because we won't".
Those were the last words said by lead singer of The Stunning Steve Wall at the final edition Féile Trip to Tipp in Semple Stadium Thurles in 1994 which also featured The Cranberries.
Well Steve was wrong because a 2018 version The Trip to Tipp returns in September
CWB.ie in association with Live at Semple Stadium proudly presents Féile Classical with The Stunning, Hothouse Flowers, An Emotional Fish, Something Happens, The 4 of Us, The Frank & Walters and Special Guests
All performing with the Irish Chamber Orchestra for one night only in Semple Stadium. Curated and Hosted by Tom Dunne on 22 September ‘18
The nineties, the tribal days of Irish music, the days where the music you loved defined your identity. Whether you were a punk, a grunger, a rocker, a britpoper, a raver or an indie kid – your hair, clothes, makeup, shoes and any other obscure place in between carried an emblem, a lyric, or an album title.
You wrote to fan-clubs waiting mostly in vain for a response, you worshipped your albums’ inlay cards, painstakingly learning every last lyric. The chances of seeing them live was slim, the chances of ever seeing a few of your bands on the same bill? That was inconceivable…. Then one glorious summer weekend in 1990 the Trip to Tipp happened and the lives of young Irish music fans changed forever!
Twenty-eight years ago, Féile, the first ever multi-day Irish music festival was born on the hallowed turf of Semple. It was revolutionary, a mecca for every tribe of music-fan, all clamouring to its one stage, each person’s anticipation adding to the build-up for the headline act. It was a rite of passage for both the Irish acts on its line-up as it was for ticket-holders.
After its long hiatus Féile will finally make an electrifying return to Thurles on Saturday 22nd September as Féile Classical. Tom Dunne, who’s band Something Happens performed at Féile ‘90, ‘91 and ‘93 and who’s album Tom Dunne 30 Best Irish Hits, was one of the biggest selling Irish compilation albums ever, is the driving force behind Féile Classical delights:
“The Feiles and Italia 90 tend to merge in my head: a time of incredible optimism and fun, when it seemed Irish bands – almost all of whom could lay claim to at least one timeless classic - ruled the day. The Trip to Tipp was the Mecca for Irish bands, a celebration of Irish rock music that had never been seen before.
This concert has been in the ether for some time now, and myself and the bands are really excited to be collaborating with the Irish Chamber Orchestra to put together a glorious in your face celebration of a special time in Irish music! Féile was special, it was iconic, it was our Woodstock and Féile Classical will be an even bigger, better, louder explosion of the best of those days and so much more.”
The audience can expect rapturous, spine-tingling versions of anthems such as Brewing Up a Storm, Celebrate, Parachute, Mary, Don’t Go, After All. Each song will be imperiously performed by the supremely talented combination of bands and orchestra, with the latter’s soaring strings and powerful arrangements adding sparkle to every song.
In stark contrast to the Féile days of the 90s Féile Classical will be fully-seated concert with modern-era luxuries like a choice of clean toilets, gourmet food tents, gin and prosecco offerings and pints that are poured from a keg!
The stadium is easily accessible via many transport links, Thurles train-station is such a walkable distance that high heels won’t even need to be removed. There are many Bus Eireann and private bus options and the ease and comfort of the large car parks will allow designated drivers to have a stress-free arrival and departure. For those planning on staying over there are many hotels and B&Bs in the vicinity that are a far cry from the Féile campsites of the nineties!
A very exciting pop-up Food Village will flank the pitch where concert-goers can pick and choose from food offerings from around the world. Inclusive of vegetarian/vegan stalls and an incredible BBQ area, the Food Village will satisfy even the most discerning of 21st century foodie, not to forget the drink offerings such as prosecco and gin bars, and pints poured from a keg!
Tipperary’s own John Meagher, both an Irish Independent music critic and GAA enthusiast, will curate the Tribal tent, dedicated to discussion of the Féile glory days when Semple was associated more with live music, than hurling! Discussions will also focus on the importance of sport and music in the day-to-day lives of Irish people and our tribal following of both.
The grounds flanking the pitch will display a photography exhibition of the fans and bands of Féiles past, featuring mohawks, dodgy jumpers, seas of cans and mosh-pits of dreams. You might even spot your nineties self in amongst the madness! And for those who might feel like recapturing those daring moments of Féiles of yore, Féile TV will be on-hand once again to record the craic in Semple!
Féile Classical.. The Trip to Tipp is back!
As Féile Classical is a seated event tickets are limited and go on sale Friday 27 April: www.ticketmaster.ie