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SHANNON’S past and present is embraced in an inaugural festival which runs from Monday (June 20th) to Sunday (June 26th).

Multiple venues are to be utilised for the Wings Festival including Shannon Springs Hotel, Hope Café, Shannon Town Centre, Swive Stage and the Pat Costelloe Stage.

Organised by Damien O’Rourke, the idea of spreading events across the town like a musical trail is inspired by the Shannonside Winter Music Festival and Doolin Folk Festival.

Luka Bloom, Cyril O’Donoghue, Katie Theasby, Ali Hayes, Adam Moloney, Eoin O’Neill, Clara Butler, Pa and Fionn Hayes plus Lee Wall are among the acts set to perform over the course of the week for Wings.

When coming up with a name for the festival, Damien was brought back to his youth and a chipper located in the old town centre. “It’s going back to the 90s when I was a young fella, Wings was the name of a chipper in Shannon that a lot of people in my vintage would remember and even younger people. It was the place everyone went to after the Knights, everyone gravitated there for bag of chips, everything happened there, chats, shifting and fighting but it was all in good spirits. If you say wings to anyone in Shannon and it will bring a smile to their face. Wings also represents Shannon as an Airport town”.

Support from Clare County Council’s Arts Office has helped Wings to spread while O’Rourke is also grateful to the assistance of Shannon Town Centre manager, Brian O’Leary.

Speaking to The Clare Echo, Damien expressed his hope that the festival could become an annual event in Shannon. “I’d love it to be, it’s something I’ve been thinking for years. If it goes well I’d be hopeful it could happen every year. There are a lot of venues in Shannon that could be involved”.

He believed that if people were positively reflecting on Wings towards the end of June that would mark the festival as a success. “I’m still on a high from the Doolin Folk Festival, I’ve been meeting people this week talking about our highlights, that is a good barometer if people still talking about in the week or two after it, that brings a good spirit, that’s how you grow the culture”.

“I remember the Shannon Festival which was run by Derek Barrett, that was a huge success and had close to a thousand people, it was full. I’d love to emulate that, the intimate gigs will have about 40 people for and the Leisure Centre would be able for 150, I’d be delighted to fill all of them”.

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