All Together Now!

Curraghmore Estate prepares for its inaugural food & arts festival


Michelle Heffernan Reports

This is going to be an August Bank Holiday Weekend like no other. As I write the stages are being set for an exceptional event in music, comedy, food and arts right here in the heartlands of the Deise.
All Together Now (ATN) 2018 gets underway at the amazing 3,000-acre Curraghmore Estate near Portlaw from August 3rd to 5th; a 10,000-capacity festival with a truly dazzling line-up of internationally renowned musicians, artists, performers, chefs, comedians and so much more.

I caught up with All Together Now PRO Jenny Headen this week on why ATN 2018 is truly a festival with a difference.“This festival will offer a weekend of freedom and escapism,” says Jenny, through “music, spoken word, food, comedy, theatre and more”. The idea for ATN was actually inspired in part by Waterford’s own renowned festival calendar, Jenny explained, as well as some major creative events held internationally. “The creative ideas encompassing ATN have been inspired by people from Spraoi in Waterford to as far as the Lightning In The Bottle in California or the Rainbow Serpent Festival in Australia,” according to Jenny.

The breathtaking 3,000 acre Curraghmore Estate will be the site for this year’s inaugural All Together Now music and arts festival

The breathtaking 3,000 acre Curraghmore Estate will be the site for this year’s inaugural All Together Now music and arts festival


Certainly All Together now encompasses a line-up fit to rival not just Spraoi but world famous festivals like Coachella or Glastonbury.
This 10-stage festival will feature well over 50 artists with massive names in music like Underworld, Fleet Foxes, Villagers, Groove Armada or the incredible Chaka Khan all flocking to Curraghmore. Leaders in comedy Tommy Tiernan and David McSavage will join over 30 more comedians too over this three day festival that is certainly unlike anything Waterford, or perhaps even Ireland has ever seen.“We are indebted to Lord and Lady Waterford for opening the grounds of Curraghmore Estate to us,” said Jenny.

Indeed, the particular location for this festival is likely to set it apart from all others. Every festival act is set against the backdrop of an exquisite estate encompassing 3000 acres of landed splendour.
“This world is home to lakes, tree lined lanes, stone circles, crystals, streams, woodlands, scenery truly befitting an intimate festival of this nature,” Jenny Headen continued.
“Twelve miles of stone walls enclose the grounds, creating a magical space…there will be plenty to see and do to spark your imagination!”The festival aims to not only create an attractive atmosphere and line-up, but also a welcoming and family friendly place that even children will relish. Said Jenny: “A key part of our creative work is to create a festival for families and kids to enjoy, to be safe at and to be inspired by. In doing so we are creating an area to fulfil this ethos called “Kids Together”.

Multi Grammy Award Winner Chaka Khan plays this year's All Together Now Festival

Multi Grammy Award Winner Chaka Khan plays this year's All Together Now Festival


A special area within the estate grounds will be reserved for a Kids Together Festival, Jenny explains, while an acclaimed producer of children’s events is spearheading this family orientated “festival within a festival”. “We have chosen a beautiful garden space in the Curraghmore Estate , where kids will have the freedom to run among the abundant flora and explore the streams within,” says Jenny.
“Promoting creativity and the innocence of children’s imaginations is what we want to achieve,” she adds. To this end, the ATN team have partnered with local artists to create a host of specialty creative workshops for kids. Everything from giant bubble workshops to mad hatter parties, scavenger hunts to ‘kids- friendly’ raves will be on offer, with a special graffiti based workshop by Waterford Walls also on the Kids Together agenda. “We see this area as being wholesome to the whole family,” Jenny concluded, with activities that bring together elements important to children’s wellbeing.

Furthermore, if the setting or set list for All Together Now doesn’t tempt you, the food certainly will! With celebrity chefs, whiskey tasting, children’s cookery classes, chefs obstacle courses, even Bloody Marys with locally grown tomatoes – ATN encompasses a “food festival within a festival”, offering an Eden of epicurean delights.
“Finding the perfect assortment of food for All Together Now was an essential part of our ethos” Jenny explains. “It’s something we believed was the utmost importance since the festivals very inception”. Indeed food writer with the Irish Examiner and the Sunday Business Post ,Joe McNamee, will co-ordinate the ATN dedicated food quarters, which comes crammed with its own food related event line-up. Runner up of the GQ Food & Drink Awards “Carousel” are the food festival headliners, and renowned chef Kevin Thornton will host the foodie highlight at sunset on the Saturday evening – a three course unique dining experience in a secret garden!

Tommy Tiernan heads up the comedy line-up at All Together Now August 3rd-5th

Tommy Tiernan heads up the comedy line-up at All Together Now August 3rd-5th


“All Together Now is also proud to partner with Ardkeen Quality Food Store,” says Jenny “and they will be providing the fresh ingredients for the ‘Theatre of Food’ and the ‘Taste of Waterford’ event.
Certainly, with everything from fresh vegan, probiotic produce to barbecued lobster or Neapolitan wood-fired pizza on offer, I’m working up a fierce appetite for this August bank holiday weekend already!With “music to dance to, spoken word to be moved by, bespoke cocktails and fantastic feasts,” All Together Now promises to be an all together amazing event, marking Waterford even more on the map as a top destination for culture agus craic. Get your tickets now at alltogethernow.ie

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