Irish 2000 Festival, 2012

We’re back from the Irish 2000 Festival in Ballston Spa, New York. The good points were the hotel, the music a certain pub. Sadly, our enjoyment was diminished by smokers and idiots who acted like high school kids.

Before we go further, here’s a quick list of my photos and videos from the event.

Okay, so we’ll start with the good stuff. We discovered a few new bands that we’re very happy with. We were happy to see the Screaming Orphans for the first time. Even bought a few of their CD’s. In addition, we discovered Ashley Macissac. You can see him below. He played so fast that his bow kept shedding hair after every song.

Ashley Macissac

And of course, we saw Enter the Haggis again. We try not to miss an opportunity to see them. They played all the favorites, and talked a little about their upcoming album. Fantastically nifty. Here’s a YouTube clip of a sweet fiddle/guitar jam.

And we didn’t stop there. We also saw the Prodigals, the Mickey Finns, Killdares and a little of Hair of the Dog. Everything was great as far as the music is concerned. The trouble was with the food and the rampant carcinogens.

Lung Cancer, Headaches and Heart Attacks

The food was all carnival style. Heavy on the grease, with the ability to clog your arteries at range. The other problem was the horde of smokers. Seriously, it was everywhere. It’s bad enough to be a non-smoker around the stuff, but my wife is actually allergic to cigarette smoke. She gets headaches and an all-around crummy feeling. It can be a real problem when we’re trying to enter a non-smoking building and there are bunches of smokers blowing cancer around the entrance.

In this case, it was an outdoor concert. People weren’t allowed to smoke inside the pavilion and especially in the crowd, but they could stand just outside of it, upwind of the folks watching the show. It was almost impossible to walk around the event without being bathed in toxic smoke. The event even had a booth just for cigars. Our clothes smelled like smoke within minutes. Cara wavered between being okay and being a little sick.

Even worse, there were three douchebags who ran around the main pavilion like a bunch of jackass children. One tackled the other and spilled the guy’s beer all over both of us. They didn’t care. Only their own enjoyment mattered. One of them was smoking for most of the day inside the pavilion, forcing Cara and I to back away from them. He also ran into me at one point while running through the crowd with his girlfriend. Or maybe it was a prostitute that he hadn’t paid yet. There’s no way to tell.

At one point he was ejected by security for the duration of one cigarette, after which he ran back in and continued dancing while waving his beer over other people’s heads. You can see him (with my notes) in this YouTube video. You can also see the Prodigals perform “Work’s Too Bloody Hard.”

A quick word on smoking: If you’re addicted to the stuff, you should quit. Period. I know it’s not easy, but you should still do it. It really is for your own good. Your health will improve by bunches afterward. At the very least, you should respect the health of the people around you. And if you must have tobacco, then please should consider chewing tobacco. That stuff is just as gross, but it (hopefully) doesn’t float across the room to poison myself and my wife.

Sigh. In the end, the weekend was still a win. We had a nice little hotel, we saw some cool bands and Cara even got to shop in a Target. We also discovered a nice little pub called the Factory Pub & Eatery. We’re glad we went… but we’re reconsidering outdoor concerts for a while.