Clifden extends invite to annual Trad Fest


From this week's Galway City Tribune

From this week's Galway City Tribune

Clifden extends invite to annual Trad Fest Clifden extends invite to annual Trad Fest

Riverdance composer Bill Whelan will officially open the 13th Annual Clifden Traditional Music Festival, which will take place in the town from Thursday to Sunday, April 4-7.

The music will kick off on April 4 with a Seisiún na nÓg in the Abbeyglen Hotel.

Events on Friday will start early, with the Scoil Mhuire Marching Band performing on the town square at 11am.

Bill Whelan will officially open the festival in the Station House Theatre at 7pm that evening and the launch will be followed by a concert featuring a host of artists from across Ireland, as well as lots of local talent.

Events on Saturday start at 10am, with workshops in fiddle, button accordion and concertina from top-class tutors running until 12.30pm in Scoil Mhuire National School.

Music sessions are a big part of the annual festival and guests this year will include an array of champion musicians: Fergus Bogue (accordion), Ademar O’ Connor (fiddle/banjo), Anthony Kavanagh (banjo), John Carroll (accordion) Chloe Feeney (concertina), Róisín Broderick (concertina), Gearóid McNamara (piano), Colm and Ciarán Slattery (box and banjo), Liz and Yvonne Kane (fiddles), Nathan Piltazke (dance) and more.

All musicians are invited to take part in the sessions which begin on Friday, April 5, at 10pm, when there will be music in Lowry’s Bar, Foyle’s Hotel and Tom King’s Bar.

Saturday’s sessions will start  at 1.30pm in the Alcock and Brown Bar and there will be one at 3pm in Vaughan’s Bar and at 4.30pm in Griffin’s. On Saturday night from 10pm, there will be gatherings in McGrath’s Bar, Ravi’s Bar and the Woodfield Hotel.

The ‘Farewell Session’ will be in Mannion’s Bar at 12.30pm on Sunday, April 7, following a special musical Mass at 11.30am in Clifden Church.

A highlight of weekend will be the return of the outdoor gig on the street on Saturday evening at 7.30pm.

The headline musicians for this outdoor show are Mick Conneely (fiddle), Brendan Browne (accordion), Pat Coyne (guitar and vocals) and singer Anne Brennan. They will be joined by a host of dancers and guest artists.

The Clifden Trad Fest 5K Run will take place earlier on Saturday, leaving from the town centre at 2pm.

There will be street entertainment and music and song on the Gig Rig from 2.30pm on Saturday with Peter Carey Jnr, while a busking competition will also be held around the town. That starts at 1.30pm.

Marie Walsh of the Festival is encouraging everyone to go to Clifden for what promises to be a great weekend of music, song and dance.

“I think there is something to suit everyone,” she says, and it’s hard to argue.

■ For more information on events and to book, go to or email

Pictured: A session at Lowry’s during last year’s Traditional Music Festival.

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