It’s hard to describe Castlefest if not as one of the most magical Celtic Folk Music Festivals in North Europe, that’s because we truly speak of Magic and Fantasy in this case: “Where Fantasy becomes your Reality.” This was the slogan of the 2018 edition.
From August 1st to the 4th of this 2019 in Lisse, a Dutch town nearby Amsterdam, there will be 4 days of Celtic Music and Medieval Folk Rock, wonderful choreographies of folk dances, and parades of beautiful Fantasy-themed masks.
This is what the Castlefest Staff means when they talk about turning Fantasy into Reality, just entering the festival grounds, the air you’ll breathe will be somewhat different: it is not a Comicon but cosplays are welcome and the most popular way of dressing in Castlefest is reminiscent of a medieval style with tunics and long coats.
On Castlefest there are countless things to do: from shopping in the numerous stalls selling silvery jewels, horn-shaped beer glasses and clothes with a medieval taste, to the practice with the art of the sword (made of rubber), to flirt with Offline Tinder up to listening to concerts in 3 different stages. Forest Stage, Village Stage and Meadow Stage.
…What is Offline Tinder ? Let’s open a short parenthesis here: for all the singles out there, Castlefest provides paper numbers to be worn during the event, it will be necessary to go to the stand of Offline Tinder and say the number that one saw on another person and if she/he also named your number to the stand is a Match! Then you will receive his mobile number.
Returning to more serious things, it is possible to access the cultural event in many ways: there is the possibility of buying a ticket for all the festival days, or even just for one or two, so you can freely decide to stay in Lisse or in Amsterdam, only 33 minutes by bus with the 852 line, but surely the most suggestive solution is to camp in the vast and colorful campsite, near the Meadow Stage.
Another peculiarity of Castlefest compared to other Music Festivals is that Celtic Folk bands of the caliber of The Dolmen, Prima Nocta and The Sidh have the possibility of playing several times in the cultural event at different stages, so if for some unfortunate reasons one should miss a concert it is always possible to go and listen to any of the bands at the next one.
Among the most awaited events for each edition of Castlefest the Wickerman ritual surely deserves a mention: the cultural event in fact also celebrates the Celtic harvest festival Lughnasadh, which falls around the same dates. A festival dedicated to the Sun, which was worshipped by the Celts as the god Lugh. So on Saturday night, for every edition of Castlefest takes place a ritual in which a large wooden doll is set on fire.
Castlefest: a Festival dedicated to all the lovers of the Medieval Age and Celtic Folk Music, and now it is really the case to say: “Where Fantasy becomes your Reality.”
Written and Translated by Gerardo Iannacci.