From 26-29 April 2019, Kilfenora staged its 11th annual traditional music festival, a series that commenced in 2009 with the 100th anniversary of the Kilfenora Céilí Band. With great concerts, céilís, some cracking CD launches and pub sessions, it was a great line-up.
Sessions in Kilfenora’s pubs occured from Friday to Monday, with the cream of musicians from Clare and beyond.
The Singers’ night on Friday evening (Linnanes pub) gathered together some of the finest and most humorous singers and storytellers, hosted by Noirin Lynch.
Our main concert (Saturday, Kilfenora Hall, 7.00pm) featured Ireland’s top fiddle maestro, Frankie Gavin, and his celebrated Roaring 20s Irish Orchestra. The concert was opened by this year’s winner of an award from the Meitheal Summer School to play at the Kilfenora Trad Festival – Naoise Kettle. See more details here.
On Friday evening, Kilfenora Comhaltas also featured an array of talent, young and old, at a Variety Concert in Kilfenora Hall.
Saturday afternoon included 2 special free events. First, at 1pm a ‘Riches of Clare’ event with some of North Clare’s talented musicians (James & Carol Cullinan, Seanie Vaughan, Noel O’Donoghue). Then, at 2.30pm a tribute to the late Tommy Peoples – who was a former member of Kilfenora Ceili Band – hosted by his daughter Siobhan, including a fiddle session (Linnanes Pub).
There were céilís on Saturday night with The Star of Munster Céilí Band (Vaughans Barn, 9.30pm) and on Sunday with the Four Courts Céilí Band (Vaughans Barn, 9.00pm).
There were several CD launches at various times over the weekend – Josephine Marsh (Music in the Frame); Stevie Dunne (Live at the Crosskeys); Peter Casey (Out in the Day).
A Trad for Teens workshop took place on Sunday (c.11.00) in Kilfenora Hall, following a mass with traditional music at St Fachanans Church. And, as in previous years, on Sunday afternoon (3pm), the big event was the great Kilfenora Céilí Band playing for a free céilí in the Square – dancers and spectators welcome. (Their brand new CD “Both Sides Now” was available for sale.) They were preceded at 2.00 pm by the current young Kilfenora Comhaltas Céilí Band.
Check www.kilfenoraclare.com and Kilfenora festival Facebook page for further information about the festival and all the artists appearing.
Visitors to Kilfenora were able to see the much-praised Kilfenora Céilí Band Parlour exhibition space in the Burren Centre, opened formally by Irish President Michael D Higgins in March 2015. This one of very few permanent museums in the world dedicated to a living musical performer or group. It also features the plaque received from the Guinness Book of World Records marking Kilfenora’s achievement in creating the largest traditional Irish Folk Band (at our 2014 festival).