Yesterday, Shamrock Fest announced their 2019 line-up.

For me, it didn’t really matter; I’d already decided against attending this year.

I was already leaning against attending — Carbon Leaf announced last month part of their 2019 touring schedule, and they had already booked a show on March 23rd that was not at RFK Stadium — but Shamrock Fest held off on announcing anyone except The Mahones until yesterday, saying that they wouldn’t announce more acts until after they raised ticket prices. In other words, to get the cheapest ticket, one could have to buy blind, having no idea who would be playing. And that just rubbed me the wrong way. It showed a contempt for the potential audience — “Trust us! We know what we’re doing, you want to be here!” — when, based on the last several years, I felt there wasn’t any reason for trust.

The thing is, Shamrock Fest has a nice Celtic band line-up — The Mahones, the Shamrogues, and the Fighting Jamesons are all good, and Flatfoot 56 sounds intriguing — but I won’t be there to see it. No Mighty Mighty BossTones for me.

And, since the Annapolis Irish Festival is taking a year off…

…then I’ll have to see Carbon Leaf somewhere other than a festival. I traditionally didn’t pay a lot of attention to their tour schedule since at Shamrock Fest and June at the Annapolis Irish Fest made things easy. Last year’s trip to Lynchburg was the first time I’d seen the band in a non-festival venue since college almost twenty years ago. No, wait, I saw them Longwood Gardens in 2013. In any event, seeing them in another venue setting this year is on my radar.

For 2019, I’m out. It’s not me, Shamrock Fest. It’s you.

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