The last few weeks of my life have been wholly consumed by preparing for and going to the Rathlin Jigs and Rigs festival. This year the Audio Terrorists crew excelled themselves and went above and beyond the call of duty to present a truly festival worthy stage and crew kitchen. I feel so lucky to get to work with such a dedicated and focussed crew of people.
Huge shouts out to the Force 10 crew once again for staging the best festival, and consistently working their asses off to get everything to fall into place. I love these guys.
This year we once again ended up leaving Dublin at stupid-o’clock on Thursday morning after a mammoth packing session in Bree’s house in Clontarf. We had so much stuff that our intended convoy of 2 vans plus one car full of people did not go ahead. Instead we had to bring 3 cars packed to the gills with food, marquees, and every heavy item we could manage. Steve Nour, our fantastic van driver, must have been stunned by the full on immersion into Rathlin craziness but himself and Christian reacted by wholesale throwing themselves into the work load and I’m not sure what we would have done without them. The convoy finally got on the road by about 3am, although I had to detour to Sara’s gaff for offloading of some excess stuff and finally got on the road about 4am.
We finally made it to Ballycastle at about 7.30am with our eyes hanging from their sockets. What better way to start a festival than driving through the night. Jay and Kat took us in at Slacky’s gaff and fed us breakfast. The rest of Thursday was spent getting over to the island, and setting up all the marquees and the kitchen tent in glorious sunshine. It felt fantastic to be back.
Feeling fully refreshed after a whole 5 hours sleep, Friday was a hectic day of preparation. First up we had a visitation from a contingent of ambulance, coastguard, fire safety, police etc, who were absolutely great and we walked around the site surveying all the preparation and making sure everything met their standards. Really nice bunch of guys and we passed with flying colours. They were delighted to hear of the number of first-aid trained crew, something which I’m really happy to see having happened.
More crew arrived throughout the day and the kitchen tent was in full swing. The rest of us focussed on getting the Audio Terrorists rig up and going and as daylight drew to a close the stage was set to go with Daragh Thomas kicking off the sounds for the weekend. Our tent quickly filled up with the Force 10 crew experiencing some fun and games trying to get going thanks to some odd Serato setup.
Music carried through late into the night with pounding techno courtesy of Steve McCullagh, George, Oisin and Jay Galligan, followed by a mix up of heavy tunes from 2BiT, Ste Nour, and Deadman MBE.
Thanks to a false alarm missing person just as I was about to go to sleep on Saturday morning I only got 2 hours sleep, so Saturday started a little slowly.. Still, we got the music kicked off after finishing the decor on the AT rig by about 7pm. Chris Chapman and Pron started us off, fueled by Bushmills. This was followed by an excellent guitar powered set from Love Rhino. The Force 10 stage had gotten started a good bit before us this evening and had all sorts of stuff going on including an excellent samba band. The AT rig got truly pumping with Nedule, DJ Acroplane Recordings and peaked with incredible sets from Sunken Foal & Spectac back to back, followed by a rave-tastic high-octane Herv sending the crowd mental. Ronan Dunne kept things pumping through til late when myself and Steve Collins took over (whereupon I made a bollox of things not assisted by my sound card dying mid way through – next time I’ll be better prepared for some proper Audio Terror). 2BiT saved the day until we powered down!
I should point out that at some point on Saturday night there was a magnificent bit of Culinary Terror thanks to Alan Quigley and Shelley who made fresh pasta with some truly delicious accompaniments. I sort of missed out on a lot of the kitchen action whilst trying to keep the AT rig flowing, but between walkie-talkies and a caring crew I was kept well fed!
I think I managed a wholesome 5 hours sleep on Saturday night/Sunday morning, which helped to keep me alive a little longer. More delicious meals abound on Sunday along with DJ Speweywalshe kicking off the AT stage with a mix of punk, ska, reggae, and many things in between. Captain Moonlight’s “Dirty Cunts” drew quite the reaction! Donn was followed by the excellent Scurvy Lass who’s looped cello and vocals was truly fantastic. I got a chance to redeem my mess up of the night before and played an Ebauche live set which sounds like it went down well (despite my sound card dying again just prior to starting my set). I stuck around to catch Alan Coholan spin an eclectic mix of excellent tunes before retreating to the kitchen for some much needed nutrition. I missed out on sets from A-Force and a topless Thalamus both of which kicked ass by all accounts.
The night carried on til 5am or so and I’ve lost track of who else played. I’m raging that I missed the Jahm Band on the Force 10 stage which was apparently a highlight for many people. Definitely going to catch them next time around.
Monday through Thursday
The next few days were spent slowly dismantling everything, eating a lot of food, and cleaning the field. I had to chase a wayward pop-up tent through a marsh, we made chocolate mousse from 2kg of organic dark chocolate and 40 separated eggs. It was incredible. We finally caught the first ferry on Thursday morning when the lack of sleep was seriously catching up. A long and difficult drive from Ballycastle to Belfast to Longford ensued but was made possible by staying in close convoy with Donn. We’ve got a lot of stuff piled up in our gaff and I believe Steve Collins had to drive back to Ballycastle yesterday to collect speakers that were weighing down Steve Nour’s poor abused truck.
Huge thanks again to the Force 10 crew for an absolutely incredible party. Massive shouts out to all the Audio Terrorists crew who worked their collective arses off for the whole festival as well as the weeks running up to it.
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