First published in Bloom Magazine September 2017
The pure magic of the Stendhal Festival…
Held on Ballymully Cottage Farm in Limavady Stendhal has won Best Small Festival in Ireland 3 years in a row any attendee over the past 6 years will know why. This was my second time at Stendhal and while the 2 day festival has evolved and grown over the years the unique Stendhal vibe has very much remained, an immersive friendly atmosphere with revellers of all ages coming together to enjoy home-grown talented artists and performers.
With a welcoming rainbow on arrival, my friends and I pitched the tent and headed off for Friday’s headliners, Ash, to sing our hearts out and bounce about reliving our teenage years. Hip Hop beats lured us to the Woolly Woodland where we busted some moves amongst illuminated crocheted trees. With Saturday sunshine hitting our bleary eyes we stretched out with Yoga in Karma Valley and spent the day discovering some great acts such as Rebekah Fitch with her compelling melodies and enjoyed firm favourites such as Ryan McMullan who toured with Ed Sheeran earlier this year.
Amongst this was a hilarious set from the whimsical David O’Doherty with his Grand Designs and demanding pizza from a 10 year old. The family vibe was buzzing this year with circus performers, crafts, workshops and faerie trails and if none of those kept the kids entertained there was always rolling down hills to enjoy.
The wondrous atmosphere begins with the organisers, staff and volunteers who are always on hand to help, guide and inform. They help create a brilliant setting allowing festival goers to just soak up the experience.
It was a weekend spent in wellies, listening to amazing artists, raving in the woods, being at one with nature and nettles, baby wipe showers, great vibes and all with the fantastic company of friends! If you haven’t experienced thee Stendhal Syndrome for yourself mark it in your calendars for 2018.