Spirit of Folk 2014 preview - meet the Folkers!

With the Spirit of Folk festival entering its fourth year, we took the opportunity to catch up with some of the good folk involved this year. Spirit of Folk, running September 19th – 21st offers a weekend of folk music, storytelling, holistic therapies, talks and workshops, falconry, archery, Vikings and lots, lots more. Early bird tickets are available until 16th August at just €65 for the whole weekend!


What is your favourite part of performing at Spirit of Folk?

Last year I performed in a place that resembled a Hobbit house or a Teletubby hill. So that's was a novel experience! Aside from that the people are chilled, and they give you their ears. It like you can feel them listening to you which is a blessing when you're there to talk to them obviously.

How did you get into poetry? Do you prefer writing or performing?

I got interested in poetry by accident. It stemmed from writing a few songs and stumbling into a poetry open mic night. The other poets there brought poetry to life for me. I attempt to do that for others when I perform, so yes I enjoy performing poems. But poetry is an oral art form, I didn’t realise that when I was in school.

What other areas of the festival do you enjoy?

The family friendly nature of the festival is wonderful, from the face-painting to the archery and the storytelling events. Then there are the wonderful craft stalls and workshops...you can take home mementos of new skills with you. The vibe created at SOF is wonderfully inclusive, which is passed down from the wonderful volunteers they have. But the whole thing has a deadly buzz to it.

What would you say to anyone that would like to write poetry?

Just do it, and be fearless. All you need is a pen, a pad and an imagination. You’ve nothing to lose and a new journey to gain.

Find out more about Stephen at www.stephenjamessmith.com
Find him on Twitter @sjsWORDS
Watch his poem ‘The Gardener’ at http://youtu.be/GTexZXtm2k8



How did you get involved with drumming?

I got introduced to West African Drumming 6 years ago. Myself an Lez began attending a local drum circle and before long the drum was really important to me. A little later I began to study with some African teachers for short periods and to offer workshops to people.

What is your favorite part of drumming together in a community?

My favorite part is that moment when it all clicks, falls in together and we are now moving as one ,a powerful thing.

Can people who’ve never drummed before join in?

The drumming is very accessible, previous drumming or musical experience isn’t necessary to be able to enjoy playing djembe. This reason is probably what enables it to empower an individual so easily. One can sit in playing simply pieces layered over each other creating something gorgeous.

What is your other favourite parts of Spirit of Folk?

Listening to Bunoscionn and eating the Falafels!

Find out more about Barra and his drumming workshops at www.slinacroi.net


How did you get interested in holistic therapies?

My background is in nursing and midwifery, and in the 90s I trained in Reflexology and Acupuncture, in a quest for seeking alternative methods of pain relief during labour. This lead me down a path of self-discovery and healing, and also of the realization that within the Indigenous healing systems there was so much more to be offered when used alongside Western Medicine. 

How did you get involved with the Spirit of Folk Festival?

I was invited to Organise and create the Healing Area at Spirit of Folk by Martin Duffy, who is a good friend, and colleague of both me and my husband James.

What treatments can people expect to see at the tent?

We will have a great range of treatments including massage, acupuncture, reflexology , reiki, chigong, rolfing, craniosacral therapy, shamanic healing, and more – so you can rest assured we will have something to help you chill out and enjoy yourself.

What else do you enjoy seeing at the festival?

I really enjoy meeting new and old friends. It is a gathering of like-minded people. I love the music and the different stalls. And I also just love being part of the beautiful Dunderry atmosphere.

Kate runs a healing practice at Golden Spears Centre in Kilmacanogue, Co. Wicklow. She also practices in Greystones, Co. Wicklow. For more see www.goldenspearshealing.com


You will be doing the fairie rites in the new Soul Seminars tent, what can people expect to experience?

Magic, initiation, merriment and mischief! We’ll share who the Faerie Folk are and their relevance to our world today. Understanding and mutual respect are important - you don’t mess with the Faeries! To receive the Rites is to awaken your wonderment, oneness and ability to commune with Na Sí.

What else do you enjoy at the festival?

Everything! We really enjoy the community of like hearted folk, the freedom to be who we truly are uncensored, unfettered and open in a safe festival environment. Music’s always powerful, the creativity of the nature art is always stunning and our personal favourite - the wild wackiness of the Hall of Heroes. There’s so much more, the storytelling, re-enactments, falconery and inspirational opening and closing ceremonies with Martin and Annette.

Tell us more about Sli an Chroi...

Slí An Chroí is native Irish shamanism and lineage in the Celtic and pre Celtic tradition. Co directed by husband and wife John Cantwell & Karen Ward, we offer training programmes, clinic practice and community/expedition creations, (Ireland & International). The foundation level Medicine Spiral training takes place in Dunderry Park.

To find out more about the work that John and Karen do with Slí an Chroí visit www.slianchroi.iewww.pathwayoftheheart.ie


About the author: 

Tickets for this year’s Spirit of Folk festival, running from Friday 19th to Sunday 21st September are now available at a special early bird rate of €65 (this includes camping).
Day tickets for Saturday are also available for a special early bird rate of €35.

You can purchase weekend or day passes now by going to: https://entertainment.ticketsolve.com/shows/873515816/events
or find out more at www.spiritoffolk.com