Irmandino Festival


This was my first time visiting Moeche, although previously I had passed the Station on the winding FEVE, Narrow Guage, Railway line that runs between Ferrol in Galicia and Oviedo or Gijon in Asturias.


I had heard the story of the Castle and how in the 15th Century the People had sacked the Castle, burned it to the ground and driven out the local Lords. I thought at the time how inspiring.


So this year I heard about the Irmandino Festival which has been held every year since 1980 to celebrate this 15th Century Revolutionary event when in 1431 the people had risen up in arms as a part of the Revolutionary Irmandino Brotherhood to challenge the abuse and the tyranny of the Feudal nobility.

I travelled on the Friday, getting the bus to Ferrol and then taking the FEVE Train to Moeche, I walked from the station up the stairs through the woods towards Moeche, I passed a Cafe and stopped to ask directions and recieved a lift down to Festival site,


I got to the free camping site, which was a couple of fields and I was one of the first there, there was a couple of tents and one person on the site, I went over and introduced myself, we chatted and he gave me a bottle of home made Sangria.


The Festival was lively, with music, Food Drink and and Games and there was plenty of activity, there was plenty of activities, including a ritual storming of the castle by the locals and then on Saturday night a wide selection of Galician Folk music including: Xabier Diaz and Adufeiras De Salitre; Huntza; Sanjurio and Donico; Liviao Da Marrao; Bhuba; Encrucillada and finally the band that I knew, Luar Na Lubre, the music started at 8.00 pm and finished at 4.00 am then followed by a Cannonade of fireworks.


All of the bands were great but for me the finale was Luar Na Lubre who played a wide selection of traditional and their own compositions there ethos is very much of the left and that was very much in keeping with the theme of the Irmandino Festival, for their encore they played ‘When Johnny comes marching home from their 2007 Camiños da fin da terra album and two songs by Victor Jara, the Chilean Socialist Folk Musician who was murdered in 1973 by General Pinochet’s troops.


On the Sunday most of the festival visitors had gone, it was a more laid back scene with local amateur Folk Bands playing a small stage outside the Castle walls to a mainly local audience, I thoroughly enjoyed the Moeche, Irmandino Festival.

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