It's all systems go for the Old Fort Quarter Festival in Portlaoise this weekend as the sun shines on the brand new Old Fort Stage set to host an amazing lineup of live music.
This is the fourth year of the festival and the first time the headline music acts have been moved to their own new arena off Main Street.
The new stage and tent with its own bar are based in the former Scoil Mhuire schoolyard at Church Avenue, Portlaoise inside the Old Fort walls.
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The nighttime music part of the festival has been moved to its own purpose-built arena after the cost of staging the festival on Main Street increased substantially due to the ever-growing number of attendees (22,000 people last year over three nights), improvements to line ups, a rise in insurance costs and health and safety concerns.
Tickets are €15 per night or €40 for the weekend. Get yours on the Dunamaise Arts Centre website here. Some will be available on the door on the night but it is advised to secure yours in advance. Money raised from ticket sales this year will go back into the festival.
The Main Street will be pedestrianised all weekend with a huge variety of free children’s events, heritage events, artisan food market, free live music entertainment on two stages during the day featuring local talent and a new heritage pub trail with a host of live music.
There will be street theatre, giant games, face painting, drumming circles, medieval games, history reenactments, cooking displays, Irish history live, heritage walks and talks and much more for free at Main Street and Fitzmaurice Place.
Laois Heritage Society talks are on in Kavanagh's pub courtyard from 2-4pm on Saturday and Sunday. A walk will commence at 4pm of the fort by Teddy Fennelly. Talks will be given by Sean Murray of Laois Archaeology, Teddy Fennelly and fort archaeologist Colm Flynn on recent monitoring at the site. There will also be family friendly guided tours given by Trudy of Experiencing Laois at 12.30 and 4.00pm.
For those who don't attend the ticketed nighttime events, they can still enjoy plenty of free live entertainment on the heritage pub trail until the early hours.
MUSIC LINEUP AT THE OLD FORT STAGE