Téada and Séamus Begley for free gig at Clifden festival

The fourth annual Clifden Traditional Music Festival will take place from Thursday, April 4 to Sunday, April 7.

Clifden will be immersed in music for the weekend, with sessions in the pubs and hotels, as well as on the streets and on a specially constructed stage in the town’s Market Square. The highlight will be a free outdoor performance on Saturday night, April 6 at 7.30pm, from world-renowned traditional Irish music group, Téada with Kerry singer Séamus Begley.

Téada, which is made up of a host of champion musicians, is one of the top groups on tour at the moment while Séamus Begley has been named this year’s TG4 Traditional Singer of the Year. Many other local and national musicians will participate in the weekend sessions. Among them are All-Ireland champions including Maura Walsh, James Duggan, Graham Guerin, Lorna Davey-Fitzgerald, Brian Fitzgerald, Cian Kearins, Padraic Kerins, Josie and Una Canavan, Michael Curran, Teresa O Grady, Declan Payne, Sacra Furey and Daithi Gormley.

The Festival has been extended by a day this year, starting on April 4 with a special event, Emigrant Musicians from Our Locality, to coincide with the year of The Gathering.

The organising committee has carried out research into musicians/performers from the area who emigrated and played music in their new homes.On April 4 a talk will be given on these people. Family members are invited to attend this celebration but all are welcome, not just families. A music session will take place afterwards.

Clifden’s Festival will be official opened at the Station House Hotel on Friday, April 5 by Leo Hallissey and there will be a concert afterwards, which will give a flavour of what’s to come over the weekend.

On Friday evening there will be Pub Sessions in Lowry’s and Guys Bar. On Saturday afternoon from 2pm-4pm the session will be in O’Malley’s Bar, and from 4pm-6pm it will be in EJ King’s Bar.

Saturday night sessions will take place in Mannion’s, The Central and Tom King’s Bar, while Saturday morning will see music workshops and masterclasses in button accordion, fiddle, concertina and a learning workshop. There will also be a sean-nós dance workshop with All-Ireland Oireachtas champion Liam Scanlan. A youth session will also take place on Saturday.

Sunday starts at 11.30am with a Traditional Music Mass in St Joseph’s Church, followed by a farewell ‘One for the Road’ session in Foyle’s Hotel.

Full details on all events at www.clifdentradfest.com