WATERLOO, Iowa (KWWL) -- The 2021 Iowa Irish Fest in downtown Waterloo is only two weeks away, and there are some new additions to this year’s event.
Perhaps the biggest addition is the official Iowa Irish Fest app, which is set to launch on Friday. The app, which will allow users to view the entire schedule, create a personalized schedule, purchase tickets, view points of interest, and take part in the Photo Challenge, will be available for download on both Apple and Android devices.
“We’re hyper-focused on improving the Fest. After receiving feedback from past Festgoers, we knew now was the time to create an official app for our event,” Iowa Irish Fest Director Chad Shipman said. “This will allow us to connect with a wider range of people in addition to providing a greater amount of easily accessible information to those who attend.”
The event will take place August 6-8 around Lincoln Park in Waterloo. If you purchased or have a physical ticket for the 2020 Irish Fest, you will be granted entry to this year's Fest.
Some new faces will also take to the stage at this year’s Fest. Hailing from Detroit, Michigan, “new country/indie folk" group Brother Crowe, will perform all three days. The Young Dubliners will be returning for the first time in a decade. One of the world's leading Celtic Rock bands will perform on Friday and Saturday.
“These bands are extremely well-known and have received high praise for their style and energy. We’re over the moon to have them here at this year’s Fest,” Entertainment Chair Greg Tagtow said. “Another addition we’re excited about from an entertainment standpoint is the new LED stage and show lighting. These will be utilized all three days and improve the audience and performer experience.”
Several other acts will be filling in for groups that can't make it due to international COVID-19 restrictions. These include past Fest favorite The Gothard Sisters, traditional Celtic trio Poor Man’s Gambit, new addition The Ashley Davis Band and solo act Peadar Hickey.
The education aspect of Irish Fest will also see some new additions. On Saturday and Sunday, representatives from the Irish Consulate in Chicago will set up a Pop-Up Consulate. Festgoers can ask Consul General Kevin Byrne and Vice Consul General Sarah Keating questions about Irish heritage, travel, and studying abroad, among other topics.
Some of the events require pre-registration, and organizers are urging festival-goers to sign-up early. All events marked on the schedule with an asterisk require pre-registration.
More additions to the Fest include expanding workshops, adding a beverage garden, and new mobile video screens. Additionally, all drink locations will accept credit and debit cards.
Time is running out to purchase discounted tickets or sign up to volunteer. Discounted tickets are only available through August 1. Click here for a full list of locations where you can purchase tickets. You can also buy tickets online or sign up to volunteer by clicking here. All volunteers who register before July 31 will receive free admission and an exclusive T-shirt.