The countdown is on with only a few days to go until Ireland’s 'live-in' music festival, It Takes a Village, takes over Trabolgan Holiday Village, East Cork, from Friday 10th to Sunday 12th May, 2019. Co-director Joe Kelly tells us a bit about this unique no-camping festival…

It Takes a Village has been brewing in some shape or form as a festival idea in my head for almost twenty years...

The idea that 1000 people could live side by side over a weekend with the common thread being music was always intriguing. Your festival neighbours becoming your new friends, with the comfort of a roof over your head.  A musical family creating a new community can only be a positive thing.

Trabolgan is only 30 minutes from Cork City, where myself and Ed O’Leary my business partner are based. We decided to take on this unique festival idea last year and to bring something original and new to festival folk.

ITAV organisers Ed O'Leary and Joe Kelly

The difference with our festival is you get to live in one of the 172 houses or apartments on the 121-acre Trabolgan site. We have beds, showers, kitchens, and all the mod cons that you would expect in a permanent dwelling - you can even have a bath! There are also fully-serviced camper van pitches on site - no slumming it for our villagers! Everything is within a few minutes walk from your residence to the central area, where most of the shows happen. We have pool parties and synchronized swimming lessons with Lords of Strut in the indoor pool, the Gay Future disco in the amusement arcade with Eddie Kay, Tonie Walsh, and Glamo spinning and drag queens a-plenty.

Enjoying the sounds at It Takes a Village 

We try to combine the fun bits that Trabolgan has onsite - crazy golf, zip lining, go-karting and even a birds of prey centre - and add in some world-class bands, DJs, writers, and poets. There are no VIP areas, as everyone is a VIP. As someone described it last year: "It’s like a school holiday - without the teachers".

This year we have some world-class Irish and International acts joining us for the weekend. DJs like Gilles Peterson, Sister Nancy, Don Letts, and Herbert have been wowing dancefloors for years; Awesome Tapes from Africa plays amazing music off cassettes, while Kojaque is bringing Irish Hip-Hop to a new place; Le Boom, New Jackson, Bantum, Meltybrains, and Ships fly the flag for live electronic sounds, and James Holden and the Animal Spirits and Snapped Ankles are sonic voyagers with amazing live shows.

On top of all that, we have the likes of David Kitt, Lisa O’Neill, Junior Brother, Katie Kim, Susan O’Neill and a host of other great acts. We have poets, podcasters and writers like Kevin Barry and Lisa McInerney entertaining us in the afternoons. In a new addition to the festival this year, we’ll have a Bon Voyage Boat Party around Cork harbour on the Sunday. There’s a little something for everyone in the audience...

The community spirit on site at last year’s event was phenomenal - we’re really looking forward to welcoming the villagers this year.

It Takes a Village, takes over Trabolgan Holiday Village, East Cork, from Friday 10th to Sunday 12th May, 2019 - find out more here.