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Castle Palooza
Castle Palooza logo.jpg
Castle Palooza logo
GenreIndie rock
Dates1–3 July
Location(s)Charleville Castle, Tullamore, County Offaly, Ireland
Years active2006–present

Castlepalooza[1] is an annual Irish independent music & Arts Festival, held at Charleville Castle (described as being situated in Ireland's most ancient primordial oak woods) in Tullamore, County Offaly. The festival originated in 2006, and has been an annual success ever since. The festival attracts up to 4,999 patrons for a weekend full of magic, merriment and madness.

The 2006 festival was described by Hot Press as a "bite-sized Electric Picnic, held in the grounds of a 17th-century castle, with the added bonus of indoor toilets and showers". The festival being described by The Sunday Business Post as "The best little music festival in Ireland".Ticket holders have exclusive access to the castle all day over the weekend with art exhibitions, a fortune teller, masseuse, games, a cocktail bar, comedy club and burlesque shows on view alongside the music. Some of the proceeds from each ticket go towards the ongoing Charleville Castle Restoration Project.

The Festival was nominated for 'Best Small Festival' in the European Festival Awards every year since 2009.[2] The festival was also a finalist in the Event Industry Award 2011 in the categories 'Best Live Music or Entertainment Event' & 'Best Green Event'.[2] The festival was also a finalist in the 2011 Green Awards 'The Green Entertainment & Leisure Award'.[2] Among these the festival was shortlisted for Irish Music Rights Organisation Music Festival of the Year 2010.[3]


Castlepalooza first took place in 2006.[4] It is promoted by Cherrycool Promotions.The festival tends to focus on newer and more established Irish acts.[4] The first Castlepalooza had around 1,000 people in attendance but, whilst this has since increased to 4,999, Cherrycool Promotions intend to keep the capacity low.[4] One of the unusual traits of the festival is that those who attend can walk around the castle on site and discover events hidden within.[4]

2006 festival[edit]

The 2006 festival was held on the weekend of 30 July and was headlined by The Chapters, Saucy Monky, 8 Ball and The Blizzards, with penfold dm on the Saturday, whilst Republic of Loose and Delorentos took to the stage on Sunday with The Spikes beginning in an early morning slot. Also playing were The Gorgeous Colours, The Chakras and Neosupervital.

2007 festival[edit]

Castlepalooza 2007 logo.gif

The 2007 festival was headlined by Sister Sledge, Noise Control, Mainline, The Chapters and Neosupervital. It took place alongside the free Indiependence festival which is set to occur in Mitchelstown, County Cork on the same weekend. Castlepalooza, however, had full camping facilities and tickets were priced at €125.[5] 40 bands took to two stages located in the castle grounds.

2008 festival[edit]

The 2008 festival took place over the August Bank Holiday weekend. A number of international bands were booked, including South African band The Parlotones and the UK's Mystery Jets. They played the tiny event alongside Irish acts such as Republic of Loose, Fight Like Apes and The Flaws. The Castle Palooza capacity remained at 2000 and the flushing toilets and hot showers returned. The festival also added a charitable aspect with profits going towards the ongoing restoration project at Charleville Castle, which has been in progress for 12 years.[6] The event was nominated for "Best European Festival" in the UK Festival Awards 2008.[7]

Grand Pocket Orchestra and Joe Echo won slots at the 2008 event by triumphing in the Hot Press "Your Band at Castlepalooza" competition.[8] Dublin quartet Grand Pocket Orchestra trade in a distinctive "Pavement meets Liza Minnelli" brand of indie, whilst singer-songwriter Joe Echo, aka Ciaran Gribbin, has won massive acclaim left, right, centre – and Gary Lightbody.

2009 festival[edit]

The 2009 festival took place on 1 – 2 August. The line-up was announced on 22 April, including David Kitt, Dark Room Notes,[4] Project Jenny, Project Jan, R.S.A.G., Channel One, Robotnik, The Lost Brothers, Noise Control, 8 Ball, Glint and Le Galaxie.[9][10] More acts were announced on 2 June 2009; these included The Followers of Otis, Super Extra Bonus Party, 202s, Skibunny, The Lowly Knights, Toy Horses, Scribble Sound System, The Hot Sprockets, So Cow, Yngve & the Innocent, Hogan, Land Lovers, Lauren Guillery, The Spikes, Angel Pier and Not Squares.[11] Other entertainments include live performances of the Rocky Horror Picture Show, "crafternoon tea" and the Castle Palooza "party bus".[11]

Two bands were selected from twenty finalists chosen by the festival and Hot Press.[12] Killer Chloe were chosen to play the Saturday, whilst The Red Labels were chosen to play the Sunday.[13]

2010 festival[edit]

31 July and 1 August 2010. Early bird tickets went on sale from 2 March 2010.[14] Full tickets went on sale on 9 April 2010.[15]

The following line-up was announced on 7 April 2010: Mercury Rev (Saturday), Fionn Regan, Wave Machines, Taylor McFerrin, Codes, Cashier No. 9, Lonelady, Adebisi Shank, Tu-Ki, James Vincent McMorrow, O Emperor, Robotnik, Alessis Ark, Colm Lynch, Funeral Suits, The Cast of Cheers, The Lowly Knights, Readers Wives, Samantha Marais, Attention Bebe, Funzo, The Blue Choir, Sarsparilla, Yes Cadets, Daithí Ó Drónaí, Big Dish Go, Sounds of System Breakdown, Nakatomi Towers, Heroes in Hiding, Neptune City, Mercy The Sexton and DJs Steve Reddy and Scope.[15]

2011 festival[edit]

29 to 31 July 2011. This year's festival had a maximum capacity of 3,000 attendees.[16] The following line up was announced (in alphabetical order). Naughty by Nature, Clock Opera, Django Django, Hudson Mohawke, Daithi O Dronai, Admiral Fallow, Elaine Mai, Adebisi Shank, Bad to the Bone DJs, BigDishGo, Codes, Conall Bailey, Dazboy, Dogs, El Hombre Jokes, Electric Penguins, Enemies, Go Panda Go, Jape, Jogging, Kid Karate, Lasertom & the Blast Crew, Le Galaxie, Lost Chord, Moths, Onra, Papa Gee & The Colours Afrobeat Foundation, Planet Parade, Sacred Animals, Sleep Thieves, Squarehead, Steve Reddy, The Casanova Wave, The Danger Is, The Jimmy Cake, The Minutes, The Riptide Movement, The Young Folk, These Charming Men, Toby Karr, TransAutoRadio, Tu-Ki, Visionair, We Are Losers.[17] Many more acts were announced closer to festival date. Including but not limited to. Attention Bebe, Doved DJs, Krystal Klear, The Kanyu Tree, Mercury Rev DJ's, We Cut Corners, Moths, Maud in Cahoots, Diamond Dagger, Dry the Rive, Evil C, The Pacifics, Somadrone, Bitches With Wolves, Ghost Estates.[18]

Along with the many acts. Many art exhibitions and workshops were performed throughout the weekend within the Castle. Including massage therapies Holistic therapies. Graffiti installations featured across the site, with open free work spaces being provided within 'The Carphone Warehouse Courtyard'.[2] The carphone warehouse provided free phone charging, along with a free Android application that listed venue acts and times on a daily basis.[19]

2011 Festival partners included, 98FM, Barefoot Wine, 3e, Lucozade, Newstalk,, The Carphone Warehouse, Spin South West.[2]

2012 festival[edit]

3 to 5 August 2012. Earlybird tickets went on sale on 9 December. The first line of acts was announced on 26 April. including The Charlatans, Mercury Prize-nominated singer Ghostpoet, new British "glam-folk" artist King Charles (band) and UK beat producer Jon Phonics.Donal Dineen's Parish, Little Green Cars and recent Choice Music Prize winner Jape (band) are among the Irish acts on the bill. The Festival also features dan le sac vs Scroobius Pip, Solar Bears, Mmoths, The Ambience Affair, Hush War Cry, Bouts, Le Galaxie, Katie Kim, Windings, Big dish go, Arman Giorgio, Cat Dowling, Cloud Castle lake, Diamond Dagger, DJ Baz, Double Agent 7, John Blek & the rats, Maria V, Melodica Deathship, Misselayneous, North Strand Kontra Band, REID, The Altered Hours, The Violet Roadkills, Toby Karr, Trumpets of Jericho, Tu-Ki,Young Wonder, and Many more.[20]

The 2012 Festival also offers a luxury day spa, Drumming classes, life drawing classes and various other workshops. There is also a series of short film screenings. A free iPhone and android application supplies stage times and acts.

The sponsors for the 2012 festival include 3e, Red Bull,, Kopparbergs Brewery, Tullamore Dew, Erdinger, RTÉ Radio 1, Budweiser Budvar Brewery, Aer Lingus, Deezer, Metro Herald.[2]


  1. ^ – Castle Palooza – 31 – Fille – IE – Archived 17 November 2007 at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^ a b c d e f
  3. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 5 January 2012. Retrieved 15 January 2012.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  4. ^ a b c d e "Playing the field". The Irish Times. 19 June 2009. Retrieved 19 June 2009.
  5. ^ "Castlepalooza line-up announced". 9 May 2007. Archived from the original on 18 April 2008. Retrieved 19 May 2008.
  6. ^ "Mystery Jets, Republic of Loose for Castlepalooza". Phantom FM. 22 April 2008. Archived from the original on 27 April 2008. Retrieved 25 April 2008.
  7. ^ Jim Carroll (17 October 2008). "Castle Palooza's magic". The Irish Times. Retrieved 16 August 2009. Now the Co Offaly event, headlined this year by The Parlotones and The Mystery Jets, has made the shortlist for Best European Festival in the UK Festival Awards, where it's competing with such giants as Exit (Serbia), Benicassim (Spain), Roskilde (Denmark) and fellow Irish fest Oxegen.
  8. ^ "Your Band at Castlepalooza winners announced!". Hot Press. 24 July 2008. Retrieved 26 July 2008.
  9. ^ "Castle Palooza announces line-up". Hot Press. 22 April 2009. Retrieved 22 April 2009.
  10. ^ "Acts set for Palooza fest". The Irish Times. 24 April 2009. Retrieved 29 April 2009.
  11. ^ a b "Castle Palooza adds to line-up". Hot Press. 2 June 2009. Retrieved 2 June 2009.
  12. ^ "Vote for your favourite band to play at Castle Palooza!". Hot Press. 20 July 2009. Archived from the original on 19 October 2012. Retrieved 24 July 2009.
  13. ^ "Winners of the Play at Palooza Comp announced!". Hot Press. 23 July 2009. Archived from the original on 19 October 2012. Retrieved 24 July 2009.
  14. ^ "Early Bird Castle Palooza tickets go on sale". Hot Press. 2 March 2010. Retrieved 8 March 2010.
  15. ^ a b "UPDATE: Full Castlepalooza line-up!". Hot Press. 7 April 2010. Retrieved 7 April 2010.
  16. ^
  17. ^ Carroll, Jim. The Irish Times Missing or empty |title= (help)
  18. ^
  19. ^[permanent dead link]
  20. ^ The Irish Times. 27 April 2012 Missing or empty |title= (help)

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