This year’s Beatyard Festival down in Dun Laoghaire harbour was truly a weekend of funk, drunks and magic; all in all, a great event. From early Saturday morning right through to Sunday night, an atmosphere of excitement and care-free vibes descended upon the sea-side town, punctuated only by the sounds of people who had one too many and were convinced they knew the words to every song.


From a foodie perspective, one was simply spoiled for choice. Big Dublin culinary names like Pitt Bros and the Big Blue Bus were out in force, feeding the masses as they re-energised for some evening grooving. You also couldn’t say that you were ever stuck for a drink, with Jameson pulling out all the stops to provide some ice cool, delicious refreshments round the clock all weekend.


In terms of the music, for me, headliner George Clinton (Parliament/Funkadelic) took the award for most entertaining act hands-down. His ensemble of 10-plus musicians and singers provided an absolute spectacle for nearly 2 hours, and closed the festival in fine fashion. Other big names to play over the two days were German disco veteran Tensnake, who rocked the Eatyard tent on Saturday night, and Roy Ayers, who, in his mid-70s, can still work the crowd with ease.  Personally, I felt that the Beatyard’s main headliners, Boney M, were slightly disappointing. Although they certainly had the assembled audience rocking throughout the majority of their set, you couldn’t help but feel it was all a bit rushed and under-practiced. Plus the lack of a real live sound doesn’t cut it for most, including myself.


Photo credits: Patrick Kelleher.

But not to end on a bad note, the Beatyard 2016 was definitely a massive success for both the organisers and people of Dun Laoghaire. I’m already ready to part with my money to go again next year, and I’m eagerly awaiting the announcement of the ever-eccentric line-up for 2017 and the chance to don my disco attire once again!

Kevin O’Neill.