AURORA – The Fox Valley Irish Fest on Saturday, Sept. 5, at RiverEdge Park in Aurora promises to serve up plenty of Irish fun.
The festival, which starts at 3 p.m., will offer Irish dancing, a bags tournament, the best legs in a kilt contest as well as Irish-influenced music. This is the second year of the festival, which will take place at RiverEdge Park at 360 N. Broadway Ave., Aurora.
Tickets cost $10 for general admission, $5 for children ages 14 and younger, and children ages 2 and younger will be admitted free of charge. Tickets are available by calling the RiverEdge box office at 630-896-6666 or by visiting www.riveredgeaurora.com.
Live music will start at 5 p.m. when Brendan Loughrey takes the stage, followed by The Ploughboys at 6:30 p.m. and the festival headliners, Blaggards, at 8:30 p.m.
Kane County Chronicle reporter Eric Schelkopf had the chance to talk to Blaggards frontman Patrick Devlin, who grew up in Dublin, Ireland, about the upcoming show.
Eric Schelkopf: So, what should people expect from your show? I know the band is known for its energy on stage.
Patrick Devlin: The band's been together for 10 years now. I like to think we can put a good show on. We like to mix up a lot of stuff and just really put a show on that we would all like to go and see.
Schelkopf: Do you like doing festivals like this?
Devlin: I love it. If I could, I would play nothing but festivals. I love playing the pub gigs because it's very intimate, but I love the festivals. You get a large swath of age groups. The kids love it because the music is kind of fast, and the older people like it because there's a lot of melodies.
Schelkopf: The band does a version of the Irish standard "Drunken Sailor." What did you guys try to do to that song to kind of put your stamp on it?
Devlin: We really wanted to make it fast. It's basically a nursery rhyme to a rock beat.
We didn't want it to sound like a nursery rhyme or folky, so we had to put a lot of energy in it.
Schelkopf: I know you guys refer to your music as Stout Irish Rock. Do you think that kind of fits what you guys do?
Devlin: I wanted to put a label on it. To tell you the truth, I really wanted to get Guinness' attention, so we put stout in there.
I was kind of joking around, calling it Stout Irish Rock, and a couple of people latched on to it. We thought referring to rock would tell people that we can put heavier rock riffs into the music.
We really get away with murder. We play basically whatever song we want to play. Because it falls under the blanket of rock or Irish, we can really do whatever we want.