Went ti the Indy Irish Fest with some friends this morning/afternoon. When I got there, I made the bad choice of thinking that Military Park (the festival's venue) was shady enough the I didn't need sunblock. My red forehead hurts!
Other then that, I had a great time. They had four stages going, so we got to hear a lot of great Celtic and Irish music.
I heard, for the first time, a band called Siochain ("SHE-uh kahn," at least that's how they pronounced it -- yes, it sounds like a character from Star Trek) that blew my mind. I had thought the idea of "Celtic Rock" sounded a little too far-fetched and forced to be really interesting. But they rocked!!! They had the drums and bass as a foundation, a guitarist who "doubled" on bagpipes, I woman on keyboard and bodhran, and the main man Nathan Klatt on fiddle. I saw them on two stages, and both sets were wonderful. I especially liked their surprising rendition of Amazing Grace.
The best part is that this is a band from Indianapolis, so if I keep my eye out, I can catch them live at the Claddagh Irsh Pub or somesuch. I liked them so much that I bought their CD.
This festival was so much better than this summer's Jazz Fest -- and I love jazz. The jazz fest had only two stages. PREPAID admission was over $20, it was probably $30 at the door. "Food tickets" were either $1.25 or $1.50 -- and a beer cost 6 tickets. That's right, a single beer for the cost of an entire six-pack. It was just too expensive for what you got.
On the other hand, admission to the Irish Fest was CANNED GOODS! That's right, bring in some cans of corn and you get in essentially free. Food tickets were only a dollar, and a beer -- on draught, not from a can -- was either 4 or 5 dollars. (The real Irish beers -- Guinness, Harp, and Smithwicks -- cost an extra dollar.)
The food at these kinds of festivals is always great. They don't have carnival food. Local restaurants -- and in the case Irish ones like the Claddagh and O'Malley's Steakhouse, as well as others -- peddle their yummy wares.
Summer in Indianapolis is a wonderful thing.
Now I have to go apply lotion to my stinging forehead.