WestfestThe first Knights of WestFest in 2011 saw the rebirth of the Knights of Desmond festival which had been run annually in the town of Newcastle West from 1971 until 1996.
Since 2011 the festival has grown year on year with the attendance in 2013 almost double what it was in 2011. From 2011 – 2014 the centre point of the festival was the “gig rig” erected just in front of the Desmond Castle in the Square which has hosted high profile acts such as The Coronas, Boyce Avenue, Mundy, The Saw Doctors, Sharon Shannon, The High Kings, Hermitage Green, Mary Black, Frances Black and Mary Coughlan.
In 2015 to cater for the increased popularity of the festival Westfest moved to the Castle Demesne in the town boasting a massive lineup including leading International and Irish artists such as UB40, Example, Walking on Cars, The Stunning, Ryan Sheridan, Roisin O, The Riptide Movement and many others.
The Knights of WestFest has also combined all the traditional festival events that were synonymous with the old Knights of Desmond festival with exciting new events such as Bungee Jumping, Soapbox Derby’s, Adventure races, Family Fundays, Color Fun Runs, Cycling Sportives and Taste of WestFest.
The original Knights of Desmond festival had a long and proud history and is fondly remembered in the town and local area.
Michael Hartnett – ÉigseNow an annual event, the Michael Hartnett Éigse Festival was established in 2000 as a tribute to the life and work of Michael.
Éigse is an intimate festival taking place in the very street which Michael wrote about and offers a mix of poetry and music, literature and drama, visual arts and dance.
In 2015 Éigse hosted international best selling novelists Joseph O’Connor and Kevin Barry.