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The Best Laid Plans of Children with Crayons

Festivals are like small children. You treat them with unconditional love, you nurture them and help them to develop into something special and you invest a lot of time in them. But they still draw on the walls with crayons and throw up on your furniture. What am I trying to say? Actually, I kinda got lost in the metaphor, pretty sure there’s a moral in their somewhere though…

Oh, yeah! Even though we approach every element of the festival with buckets of enthusiasm and a critical eye sometimes it still throws up on our furniture. Ever since we started Spirit of Folk it’s been more of an evolutionary process than a straight progression from Point A to Point B. Ideas become infeasible, over priced or better, newer ideas spring up to replace them.

Exhibit A, our troublesome stage. I think it’s easy to understand why we’ve been quite pedantic with it. I mean it is one of the main folkal points (see what I did there?) of the weekend. We didn’t want a mass manufactured looking prefab type structure but something unique and rustic that would fit in with our ethos. Because of this we decided, hell, we’ll build our own stage! Enthusiasm was poured in, designs were sketched on napkins, back pattery ensued.

Unfortunately what we overlooked at the time is that none of us are qualified engineers (it seems that’s quite important, they do courses for it in university now and everything) and as such we’re not experts on stage construction. While we had some people on board with experience in the area in the end time constraints and safety and insurance concerns meant our beautiful pyramid stage was not to be.

So what can we do? If the child throws the toys out of the prams do we just give up and do the same? No, we change our plans and adapt to our new situation. If your kid throws up in the back seat of your car you don’t put them up for adoption. You find some food that agrees with them better (and clean your seats thoroughly I hope. Your next passenger will thank you). In this case we change our stage plans to something more fiscally and physically feasible as well as something that visually fits in with Spirit of Folk. We found Magna Kata, a company that specialises in beautiful marquees based off a Nordic design. These are designed to withstand the worst of Arctic weather so I reckon they’re up to the challenge of County Meath in September. Check out their website at (I especially love the day/night button in the top right corner). Though we were reluctant to let go of our designs in the end these changes might work out for the best. Less strain on our human resources, more weather shade for punters and a more intimate, tent atmosphere. That and our hand built stage not lifting off like a thirty foot kite at the first gust of wind taking half our line up with it. That’s usually a plus.