MusicFest to 're-ignite' live scene with week of gigs by local bands

Sarah Slevin

The new Mullingar MusicFest has big plans to “re-ignite” the live music scene with a week of gigs by local bands.

Mullingar Music Collective was set up last year to support and promote local musicians and bands, and from Monday, June 20, to Sunday 26, there is a full line-up of bands performing at The Stables, including free and paid-for gigs.

The festival coincides with another new local festival for art and design, Cuige, on June 22-26 on Dominick Street.

Mullingar man, Marty Mulligan, who is also a producer of Electric Picnic, has been a driving force for Mullingar Music Collective and the upcoming festival.

“It’s to help local bands to set up and get back to live performing. Any money we get through the events will go to the bands,” Marty said.

“The idea was to put on a week of gigs of original Mullingar bands. It’s thanks to the Department of Tourism, Westmeath County Council, and the Westmeath Arts Office that we have this initiative to re-ignite the live music scene here.”

Mullingar Music Collective consists of Marty, Frank Byrne, Ethan Scally, and Kieran Smith.

“We are here to give local bands more of a voice and there is a really good buzz around the festival now with rehearsal spaces all booked out,” Marty said.

Bobby and the Blunts.

As well as the local bands, Marty said they are inviting people from the wider music industry across the country, to show off what Mullingar has to offer.

“We are also inviting bands from Dublin to show them the scene here in Mullingar, because I reckon there’s no other town in the country that could put on a week-long festival of original music with original bands,” Marty said.

“We have three bands a night to Mullingar MusicFest, because there are that many local original bands in Mullingar.”

Paulie Martin.

Marty said they want the festival to become an annual event, but they have also been busy helping bands record music.

“Last Christmas, we got all these bands out to Grouse Lodge studio to record singles and we filmed a special which was over three hours of original Mullingar music,” Marty said.

“This festival is the next strand; we’ll film again with a live audience, which we hope to make into a movie of the Mullingar music scene,” Marty said.

Marty hopes, through his work with Electric Picnic, that these bands will get to play at the major festival in what he calls his ‘Mullingar tent’.

To buy tickets and find out more about Mullingar MusicFest, find Mullingar Music Collective on Facebook or visit

Skas Good Gravy.
Markas Carcas and the Trail Gang.