The Millstreet Music Fair (1996)

GIG of the weekend: Millstreet Music Fair, Cork, Sunday [1]

The line-up for this one-day event in the spacious Green Glens Arena has something for nearly everybody, from full-blooded celtic soul brothers Van Morrison and Shane MacGowan to the glittery contemporary pop of The Corrs and the camp shenanigans of Bono’s buddy Gavin Friday.
Rabble-rousers The Saw Doctors are also in there somewhere, as are Canada’s The Cowboy Junkies, country queen Emmylou Harris, squeezebox ace Sharon Shannon and the legendary John Martyn, a man known to equal Van in the getting out of the wrong side of the bed of a morning stakes.
The action will take place over three separate stages – the Greenfield, the World and the Examiner Stage, with some 30 acts performing.
Organisers say if the gig is a major success they will turn it into an annual event.

notes: The Millstreet Music Fair took place on Sunday, 04 August 1996. John played with band on the World Stage. Other acts there included Emmylou Harris, Cowboy Junkies, Altan, Kiki Dee and Ann di Franco. Van Morrisson was scheduled for the Greenfield Stage.

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“Van Morrison story No. 2! Jim Casey mentioned on my earlier Van the Man post about the outdoor Van Morrison gig from the mid 90s. It was the 1996 Millstreet Music Fair. One stage in the indoor showjumping arena and another big stage outside. Van headlined, The Coors, The Saw Doctors, Altan, Paul Brady and a host of support acts. Gavin Friday played indoors. Emmylou Harris and Cowboy Junkies played. Van’s blacked out people carrier arrived backstage and out jumped the man himself with Michelle Rocha. The boxer Stephen Collins and his wife were with them. Van went straight on stage and launched into the first tune. Rocha and the others stayed backstage drinking champagne. I was crouched at the side of the stage watching the gig. Someone stood behind me and I looked up. There was Emmylou Harris – the Goddess. She watched every minute of the gig, sang along and when it was over walked past the event junkies still quaffing back the champers and made her way back to the other stage. That is all!!!!” – [Paul McDermott]

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