iFest Boston has come and gone, and overall, it was a nice contribution to Boston’s host of activities and events. It’s always nice when our city is chosen to host big events, and I think it brings people out and together in so many ways.
When I first heard about iFest, I was excited for a little taste of Ireland at a time when we weren’t sure when we would be going back. Booking tickets for this Thanksgiving changed that a little, but we were still excited to spend a day immersed in Irish culture.
I was a little disappointed when I saw blogger giveaways for iFest and a media event for Tourism Ireland and knew nothing about them as a blogger myself. I mean, I kind of blog obsessively about Ireland and spend a lot of time planning trips there. . .
All that aside, we went to iFest optimistic and excited that it was a MOST gorgeous day. We had a good time overall and would probably attend again. Below are a few hits and misses that stood out to us during the event.
Location – The Seaport is such a great event location, and their elevated outdoor space was perfect for the beautiful day we were blessed with.
Chefs – I was most excited to see Darina Allen. Going to her Ballymaloe Cookery School in Ireland is a dream of mine, and she did not disappoint. There were so many technical difficulties with her demo, but she was an absolute riot and rolled with it. The scones and barmbrack she made actually got me excited for cold weather baking! We were sad we sat through her demo and didn’t get to try any of the food though. There were definitely some organization issues. Other chefs included the young and adorable Mark Moriarty and Boston’s own Barbara Lynch, along with Kevin Dundon.
Variety of drinks – Though everything was incredibly expensive, I loved the variety of beverage choices available, from Jameson cocktails to Moet to Guinness and the new Guinness Blonde. There was a whole Moet room! It was like two of my favorite worlds had collided.
The Guinness booth also had some amazing Guinness cocktails like one that mixed Guinness, whiskey, and Crème de Cacao, SO chocolate-y and rich and dessert-like.
Recycled fashion – A recycled fashion show done by college students from around Ireland was such a cool expression of the creativity and confidence of young Irish women.
Hurling – There’s nothing like watching a match on the big screen and then being able to do a little hurling yourself downstairs!
Music – We only stuck around for Heathers, but I did quite a bit of dancing in a short time.
Food and beverage – a Guinness (less than a pint!) was $10. A full pint at Legal Seafoods next door, in comparison, was $7. Kerrygold was on hand supplying delicious cheese and bread and butter, but I think there could have been much more of an opportunity to do a free “Taste of Ireland” and feature tons of products. Food was as expensive as drinks. After seeing a $15 hot dog, we decided to go to Legal’s for a half dozen oysters for the same price. The variety of food paled in comparison to drinks, which is usually not a good thing, especially on a hot day when people are likely to knock beverages back quickly without springing for food.
The schedule kept changing. I don’t think it was the same any of the times we looked at it, which ended up being a bummer. There were a couple of reasons we got tickets, and seeing Jack L. and Paddy Moloney at the times originally listed were two of them. Paddy Moloney seemed to disappear off of the Saturday schedule altogether. The All Ireland hurling match may have moved some things, but I was sad to miss out on the main things I wanted to see.
Lack of social media interaction – iFest had SUCH a huge opportunity to engage with supporters, and I saw absolutely nothing along those lines. If they come back next year, I know an Ireland-loving Social Media Manager they could hire. . . just saying.