Irish Independent, June 29, 1981

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Irish Independent

UK & Irish newspapers

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Macroom Festival is good fund for boys and girls


Tony O'Brien

Loud rock music and nearly 10,000 dedicated fans helped swell the funds of a boys' club and the local Girl Guides in Macroom, Co. Cork, at the weekend.

Paying £12 for a weekend ticket, the huge crowd endured nearly 15 hours of rock music during the fifth Macroom Music Festival.

And in the two days, Gardai made only a handful of arrests for minor drug offences and petty larceny.

As the crowd enjoyed an international line-up which included top British acts Elvis Costello and the Attractions, and the Blues Band as well as leading Irish bands, they were adding to the funds of two local charities.

The two day rock event — which cost more than £60,000 to stage — came as the culmination of the week long fifth Macroom Mountain Dew Festival.

Money raised from the festival goes to local charities and this year it is the turn of Macroom Boys Club and Girl Guides.

About £2,000 will be raised from the festival.

Gardai patrolled the site but kept a low profile and stewarding was left to 150 specially-employed security men.

The rock festival opened on Saturday afternoon on a site leased from a local family and about a mile from Macroom town.

Under an indifferent sky a crowd of more than 8,000 reacted listlessly to the music blasting at them from a 15,000 watt sound system until the arrival of the Blues Band just before 7 o'clock. The band, led by ex-Manfred Mann pop idol Paul Jones, had the crowd shouting for more with a blistering delivery of blues standards in the same way they lifted last year's Lisdoonvarna festival out of the doldrums.

And then, amid tight security and the attention of a burly road crew, the star of the Festival, Elvis Costello arrived. Pressmen and even his own record company were banned from his presence.

Costello, with the aid of the Attractions, turned in a worthy performance — despite poor sound — which marred only by his own arrogant attitude and the heavy handedness of his henchmen.

A bout of can throw broke out at the front of the stage and Costello was force to interrupt his act to reprimand the trouble-makers before things quietened down again.

With Costello off the stage and into a waiting limousine by two minutes past 10 to be whisked back to his Cork hotel, the crowd dispersed quietly and contendly to the tents, cars, pubs, guest houses, and hotels.

Yesterday the show kept to a stricter schedule with Scullion opening the show followed by Q-Tips. Then it was the turn of Ireland's latest rising rock star, Paul Brady.

British hard rock band Wishbone Ash played a work manlike but mediocre set before Derry's proudest sons the Undertones, took to the stage and brought the festival to a happy climax.

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Irish Independent, June 29, 1981


Tony O'Brien reports on the Macroom Festival, including Elvis Costello & The Attractions, Saturday, June 27, 1981, Macroom, Ireland.

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