THERE'S a green oasis in a very busy part of North London that will be forever Ireland.

Between 1990 and 2004, Irish eyes were smiling every summer at Finsbury Park when rock bands from the Emerald Isle gathered for the one-day Fleadh festival.

I went to quite a few of the Fleadh concerts and was disappointed when the jigging and reeling finally came to an end.

But I'm delighted to see that iconic music promoter Vince Power has decided to bring back the Irish celebration, with a two-day festival at the same venue on the weekend of June 18 and June 19.

And the headliners are out of this world - none less than Bob Dylan and Van Morrison!

And they are backed up by the likes of Christy Moore, The Cranberries and the surviving members of Thin Lizzy The County Waterford-born promoter built up his music empire in the 1980s and, under the Mean Fiddler umbrella, it burgeoned into a £60m brand, overseeing eight music festivals, 14 live venues, and umpteen clubs and restaurants.

And in 2000 his experience led to the organisers of the Glastonbury festival seeking his help after the 1999 event descended into chaos.

Mr Power told The Guide it was now the perfect time to provide a platform for a new Irish music celebration in the capital following the latest economic crash in the Republic of Ireland.

"When we started the Fleadh in 1990 there was a huge recession in Ireland and now the same thing is happening again so it's very timely - there must be about 50,000 people coming from Ireland every year to seek better working conditions.

"Lots of second generation and third generation Irish in London will come along but the festival is for everyone who loves music," he says.

"You can fit about 30,000 people into Finsbury Park and I hope it will be full - the tickets are selling well."

The promoter is so hands-on that he will make a phone call to fix a problem with toilets on site, or even to contact one of the headline acts.

"I've been doing this for a long time so I've got some good connections," he explains.

"I had to speak to Dylan's people to get him to agree to play but I spoke to Van Morrison directly.

"Some of the acts clearly aren't Irish - take Jimmy Cliff or The Gaslight Anthem, for example - and there are a lot of singer-songwriters."

Other rabble rousers include The Waterboys, The Saw Doctors, The Undertones, Shane MacGowan and Indie band The Coronas.

And one ear-splitting highlight should be a performance on Sunday by Thin Lizzy, fronted by Ricky Warwick.

It's going to be a busy couple of months for Vince Power as he is also in charge of Hop Farm Music Festival and Benicassim in Spain.

"It will be a manic two days at the Feis and I will probably collapse on Monday, but I'll be back at work on Tuesday," the promoter confides.

His dedication to putting on a good show should guarantee a sea of smiling faces in the park in June, and a few pints of Guinness held aloft.

And in case you were wondering, Feis, pronounced 'fesh', is a festival devoted to Irish music, a bit like the Welsh Eisteddfod, and was first mooted by the Dublin Gaelic League in 1897.

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