29 Nov 2021

Eclectic music mix for Shakefest

This year Shakefest promises an electric evening lineup such as The North Strand Kontra Band from North Dublin, who have no problem getting their audiences and fans to jump to their energetic, cultural electric beats.

This year Shakefest promises an electric evening lineup such as The North Strand Kontra Band from North Dublin, who have no problem getting their audiences and fans to jump to their energetic, cultural electric beats.

They’re an instrumental band who play a mix of original and traditional material influenced predominantly by the music of Romania and Bulgaria. The band has played to critical acclaim in many of the leading venues and festivals like the Festival of World Cultures in Dun Laoghaire, The Galway Coors Light Festival and the Cork Midsummer Festival to name a few, and also abroad with their live shows being lauded for their high energy levels and explosive musicianship. The band uses Clarinet, Saxophone, Trombone, Keys, Banjo, Double Bass and Drums to get their audiences moving.

Shakefest, a Celebration of Dance and Culture, was formed at Charleville Castle in 2006 with an eclectic mix of Middle Eastern, Cultural Dance and Artistic Workshops that ended with a multicultural evening of dance performances. Seven years on, Shakefest grows from strength to strength and will be offering much more interactive activities and performances for all ages.

Also in leadup to the much anticipated performance by The North Strand Kontra Band is the fabulous Bugle Babes a superb 1940’s style harmony trio, performing a cocktail of jazz, swing and jive, with a touch of vintage glamour and romance, reminiscent of the days of the wireless.

This trio of pencil-skirted, vintage coiffed, stocking’d ladies perform a magical blend of music with vintage and modern hits, all delivered in a nostalgic style, and are the icing on the cake at any tea party! Enjoy ‘The Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy’, ‘In The Mood’, ‘Rum and Coca-cola’ and a WW2 version of ‘I Will Survive’, as well as pop songs with vintage arrangements, and plenty more surprises in the Biscuit Tin!

Attendants will also be treated to a compelling Fire Dance Show by Charleville Castle’s Oriental Bellydance and Fire Troupe The Red Embers who have performed at The Burning Man Decompression celebration at Charleville Castle, Gateways and Knockanstockan Festival and most recently performed at the Tullamore Arts Festival, as well as special guests Babylon’s Inferno, a body-painted band of amazing artists from County Meath whose show consists of a fire display performed by body painted dancers, and of which their festival art has been used for Le Cheile’s garden stage, Festival of the Fires, Helium Festival and Rock D Lough.

Shakefest also boasts a large mix of dance and culture workshops and family activities for allages a special workshop called ‘Dance Like Michael Jackson’ instructed by Declan Kiely who performs regularly as a tribute to Michael Jackson. Hip Hop, Jazz, Knight Combat Simulation workshops, Poi and Ribbon dancing, Bachata and Argentinian Tango are also on offer. African dance, Poetry, Open-Mic sessions, Kid’s gigantic Dragonfly and Butterfly hunt, Punch and Judy, Magician, Bouncy Castle, Juggling and Stiltwalking show by Stagecraft Ireland, Drum Circles, Mad Hatter’s Tea Party and Fairy Glen are all on offer for a fun-filled day.

Tickets for Shakefest can be purchased on or and range from €10 general admission, €10 camping, €20 family day pass or only €15 for evening entertainment and gates open at 12pm. All proceeds will be going towards Charleville Castle Restoration Fund – Operation ‘Raise The Roof’ project in which money will be raised towards putting a protective roof on the castle chapel.

Shakefest is supported by the Offaly Local Development Company, the Offaly County Council, The Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government, the European Commission, the Offaly Leader and The Offaly Arts Office.

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