Hazel Fest 2023


Press Release via AS Written, May 2023


The upcoming June Bank Holiday weekend has a musical treat in store for midlanders, with an open invitation to “Get happy at The Hazel!”

THE HAZEL in question is the hugely popular Rahugh venue, where proprietor EMMA FOX will celebrate her first anniversary with HAZEL FEST 2023, a music jamboree that will see entertainers like folk and ballad masters THE WRAFTERS and country star JOHN MOLLOY dialling the party atmosphere all the way up to ten.

This is my way of saying as big a thank-you as possible to everyone who has supported me and The Hazel over the course of the last year”, revealed Emma. She continued, “We’re coming right into the height of summer-time now, so I wanted to put together an event that could kick-off the season in style. And I’m delighted that I’ve been able to bring together a line of amazing musicians for what I hope will be the first of many events like this at The Hazel”.

The Wrafter name is synonymous with a pedigree of talent that has the power to hush a room to a perfect stillness one minute, whilst raising the roof the next. In recent years, however, music fans will have grown accustomed to hearing about The Wrafter Family Band. That line-up encompasses the entire Wrafter family from Kilbeggan: parents Peter and Noreen, accompanied by their three children; Conor, Thomas, and Aimee.

Peter, Thomas, and Conor of The Wrafter Family Band will perform as ‘The Wrafters’ at Hazel Fest 2023

At Hazel Fest, though, the trio that will take to the stage as The Wrafters will be Peter, Conor, and Thomas. But rest assured, The Wrafter Family Band remains very much the focus of all five, and they’ll be back on stage together later this summer when they make a special-guest appearance at Billy Morrisey’s Stars of Irish Country Concert at the Tullamore Court Hotel on July 25th.

This line-up – myself and the two lads – is a side-project for us”, revealed Peter, adding, “It gives us another opportunity to do what we love so much, and that’s performing together. But it’s very much in addition to what we’ll be doing as The Wrafter Family Band”.

Also on the bill for the first edition of Hazel Fest is country star John Molloy. The Don’t Tell Me What To Do singer, already a much-loved fixture on the social-dancing scene around Ireland, shot into the limelight when he was mentored by Michael English on TG4’s long-running series Glór Tíre in 2019. Molloy’s easy-going stage personality, coupled with a voice that effortlessly exudes emotion, saw the Westmeath man gain new fans nationwide during his stint on the hit show. His growing popularity was reinforced with the release of his debut album, 2020’s Introducing John Molloy.

Country favourite John Molloy is also on the bill for Hazel Fest 2023

Hazel Fest will also feature performances from Rahugh Buskers, Mulligan, and Neil Moran.

As well as a fab line-up of music over the weekend, we’ll also have an outdoor-bar so everybody can enjoy the tunes and the craic in the good weather. And to make sure everyone keeps their strength up for the weekend, we’ll be having a BBQ too, and there’ll even be an ice-cream van there for good measure”, Emma declared.

When we talk about getting happy at The Hazel”, she added, “we mean it!”



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