Tuesday, August 6th, 2019, (the day before the beginning of the Festival) we were welcomed by Sion with its head held high and with a sparkle in its eyes. Proud of being the center of the Celtic world during the following days. Certainly, there was a good reason for It, Sion was going to hold between its mountains and lakes, the 25th edition of the emblematic “Guiness Irish Festival”, one of the most remarkable Celtic music festival in Europe where the best folk stars bring together year after year.
We had the privilege of enjoying the performances of the following bands and artists among others, in this lastest edition: The Chieftains, Fiddler’s Green, Lila, Four men and a Dog, Trad Attack!, Carlos Núñez or Elephant Sessions.
A little sleepy and tired from the journey, we arrived at the campsite, enabled just next to the festival place and decided to set up tent and rest. But, we realized soon that sleeping was going to be difficult thanks to the breathtaking landscape and the deafening noise of the silence.
Given this, we decided to explore the area and we were fascinated to see how all technicians and workers finalized all preparations for the next day. Among this quiet and busy atmosphere at the same time, we were surprised to see the first attendees wearing the typical vikings and celtic clothes. This led the atmosphere to a fascinating realism.
Everything did predict that the silence won’t be with us for a long time but, on the contrary, the feeling of peace would remain during the whole festival. It was late and, finally, we went back to the tent and it was just in that moment when an electric storm interrupted us and all the stuff around there blew up. Perhaps, they were Thor, Haakong Jarld and Olaf Tryggvason. Good, then we were all!
Definitely, the Guiness Irish Festival is an event to attend, at least, once in life, especially recommended for those who don’t live in Switzerland because a back to the past, good music and tons of fun in the middle of an awesome landscape are granted. Proof of this is that this Festival has gained so much relevancy that, nowadays, is one of the most remarkable Celtic music event in Europe and, like in previous editions, Les ílles has been the perfect place to hold it in its 25th edition, from August 7th to 11th.
Viking and celtic spirit was present in the atmosphere during the four days. This had been imposible if it was not for the Swiss hosts whose involvment was total and invaluable. The day before to the starting, we witnessed the high quality of the infrastructure during the sound check. Both, stage and sound were comparabe to those festivals that take place at big stadiums
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Wednesday. August 7th, 2019
It was the first day and those attending the festival were looking forward to seeing the Glen of Guiness return ten years later. The mhythical band from Sion offered an amazing performance to the devote audience. The starting signal was unbeatable! They were followed by the Germans Fiddler’s Green who standed out because of their vibrant live, full of rock beats and catchy songs. To finish, people could enjoy the Bodh’aktan’s powerful live performance confirming through this way that the first day was the livelest day in terms of sounds and rhythms.
The area was plenty of food trucks with several options: hot dogs, burgers, asian food, high quality wine, typical swiss cheese and beer…a good deal of beer. Santé!
Given this and the viking atmosphere, where lots of boys were dressed as Ragnar Lodbrok and girls just looked like true vikings, the funniest party was ensured after the concert. Hávamál!
Well…It cannot be said that the campsite is the most recommended place for a good sleep but, definitely, staying there is the best way of being yourself fully envolved in the festival celtic espirit.”
One of the best ways to recover energy for the next music session was to spend time in the nice restaurant nearby and enjoy of a relaxing bath in the wonderful lake which was like the best pool ever.
Thursday. August 8th, 2019
The second day started with the Estonians Trad Attack offering an stunning live performance. We had listened them into Spotify before, but we were absolutely surprised by their unique character and sounds. While they were playing, lots of people started to dance folk dances.
They shared with the public a funny anecdote confessing that they used to lay about their tours in their beginnings saying that they had to visit so many countries. Well, nowadays, they really have been in many of them. Their success could be expected buecause of their musical talent and their genuine style.
The festival carried on with two Irish bands: Four Men and a Dog and Kila, both well known for their traditional Irish folk music. It could be said that whereas the first day concerts were more hard-hitting, the second day was for traditional folk performances.
Once the concert finished, we went stright to sleep since we were exausted after such an intense day. It is worth to mention that we slept particularly well in Switzerland, perhaps due to the pure air and the atmospheric pressure.”
Friday. August 9th, 2019
After a good night’s sleep, we woke up fully recovered and spent the whole morning in the lake, immersed in nature. We had the luck of being invited by the organisers of the Festival to the backstage. It was a real pleasure to chat with all of them and share anecdotes and impressions.
The Damien Mullane Band started giving away the public an amazing concert. People didn’t stop dancing during the whole performance. Same with the mythical band “The Chieftains” whose concert was just technically brilliant and full of inspiration.
Saturday. August 10th, 2019 – (The Last Night)
We must confess that we were quite tired after Friday’s night, therefore, a short sleep on the banks of the lake was the best medicine. It was the last day and the concerts started one hour before than the previous days with the Swiss Sang D’ Ancre who played catching melodies plenty of rock and country influences.
At 20 p.m It was the Scotish ‘Elephant Sessions’ turn who gave away a brilliant performance. After them, around 22 p.m. It was the turn of the most remarkable Celtic musician in Spain, Carlos Núñez. It was not his first time playing in the Guiness Irish Festival and offered an amazing concert not only lonely but also with parteners from different countries. The devote audience was excited and couldn’t stop dancing mainly with emblematic songs like Andro.
Manaú closed the Festival with electronic music with Celtic nuances leading people to a non stop party which was extended during several hours. It is true that all those present were exausted by then, but anyone wanted to miss a thing of this unusual and amazing experience where everything flew through their loved celtic mythology.
See all of you in 2020!