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WATCH: A look at the Old Fort music stage before the crowds hit this weekend

Today marked the official launch of the Fort Protector Conservation Phase and Old Fort Festival at the newly revamped Fitzmaurice Place.

The Old Fort Festival is a celebration of heritage, music, food and family entertainment based in and around the walls of the Old Fort Protector, Portlaoise.

At the official launch in the newly-revamped Fitzmaurice Place were; Minister for Justice and Equality Charlie Flanagan, Cathaoirleach of Laois County Council Willie Aird, CEO of Laois County Council John Mulholland, members of Laois County Council, Laois Heritage Society and different businesses and groups involved in the fantastic project.

It marks Medieval Times being brought to life in an entertaining way to capture the imaginations of adults and children alike. 

With live performances on Main Street throughout the day and top headline music acts nightly on the Old Fort Stage – minutes from Main Street – the Town Centre will be bustling with activity.  

The new Old Fort Stage sees Abbaesque, Qween & The AJs take to the stage from 7pm Friday. 

It continues on Saturday with Free family entertainment on Main Street from 12-6pm.

Lots of heritage displays and re-enactments will bring Medieval Times to life! 

The Artisan Food Market is a great place to refuel over the day. With two stages on Main Street there is lots to keep busy. 

LOWER SQUARE STAGE  Saturday 29 June 
12 noon  Medieval Melissa Sheils 
1pm  Irish History Live Michael Moylan 
2pm  Fun Family Show Ronaldo Fanzini 
3pm  Fun Family Show Ballet Poulet 
4pm  Fun Family Show Ronaldo Fanzini 
5pm  Irish History Live Michael Moylan 
5.30pm  65 Kitchen Choir 
COURTHOUSE STAGE  Saturday 29 June 
2pm  Cocoa Couture Chocolate Demo 
3pm  Kevin Quigley 
4pm  Nova Band 

Headliners King Kong Company, Pogueology, The Valves and The Jury play the Old Fort Stage from 5pm. 

Sunday will mark another great family day as the free street entertainment continues from 12-6. 

Street Theatre, Giant Games and Face Painting all continue. Enjoy a drumming circle from 12.30pm each day and Self-guided Family Treasure Trail running from 1-4pm on both days, meet at Lower Square Stage. Both stages on Main Street will be busy: 

12 noon  Medieval Melissa Sheils 
1pm  Irish History Live Michael Moylan 
2pm  Portlaoise Comhaltas 
3pm  Irish History Live Michael Moylan 
4pm  Laois African Support Group 
5pm  Vocalese 
5.30pm  Circus Coranco 
2pm  TBC 
3pm  Paper Planes [Music Generation Laois] 
4pm  Joe S

Bringing to the festival to a close with an epic finish are our headliners for Sunday night, Smash Hits, Transmitter, Strength in Numbers and the Dooley Brothers.

Tickets are €15 per night or €40 for the weekend.

SEE ALSO – 50 points in 50 games for Laois goalkeeper Rowland – but the milestone he’s focused on is the Joe McDonagh cup

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Siún Lennon joined LaoisToday in a full-time capacity after studying Journalism and New Media in the University of Limerick. She hails from Rosenallis and her interests vary from news, sports and politics.