|Irish Traditional Music: Festivals, CDs and Online Resources|
Irish Traditional Music: Festivals, CDs and Online Resources:On this page, I list my favourite festivals and CDs:
Takes place around the end of May each year. Ceilis five nights in a row, from Thursday to Monday.
Runs in parallel with the Willie Clancy Summer School. The highlight of the year for me, I never miss it. I generally dance every set in The Armada, afternoon and evening, for 10 days, hope to see you there.
The Willie Clancy Summer School starts of the first Saturday of July each year and runs all through the following week. The Armada Set Dancing Week runs in parallel with the Willie Clancy Summer School and, between the two, there is a choice of workshops every morning, ceilis every afternoon and a choice of ceilis every night. You can dance morning, noon and night for 10 days in a row!
Takes place the week after Willie Clancy. Workshops during the day and ceilis most evenings. The last ceili in the Armada is on the afternoon of the second Sunday and the first ceili in Tubbercurry starts that night - some people manage to attend both!
Takes place the week after Tubbercurry. Workshops during the day and ceilis most evenings.
Takes place the week after Drumshanbo. Workshops during the day and ceilis on Tuesday and Friday nights.
Takes place around the second week of August each year and has been running for 30 years. From the set dancer's point of view, there is typically one ceili on Friday night, two ceilis on Saturday night, one on Sunday night and a crossroads dance on the Monday night. There is also lots of other activities, including sessions, concerts, outdoor gigs, etc. etc. The atmosphere at this festival is very friendly and, if you stay for the weekend, you will make lots of lifelong friends. They have a great lineup of musicians for the ceilis, the concerts and the sessions.
The All Ireland Fleadh moves to a different town every two years or so. In 2016, it was in Ennis, Co. Clare, and, for the first time ever, they had a ceili every night for 9 nights in a row, with a choice of venues on some nights. It was a great week and I hope that they will do it again in 2017, but, as of writing (May 2017), there is no mention of ceilis on the Fleadh 2017 website.
A few weeks after the Fleadh last year, there was a great weekend of set dancing in Treacy's West County Hotel, Ennis. I hope they will make it an annual event.
Takes place in late August / early Septemver each year. A great weekend festival in the village of Labasheeda, Co. Clare, devoted to the memory of Dan Furey and James Keane. Typically, there are ceilis on Friday night, Saturday afternoon, Saturday night and Sunday afternoon. Dan was responsible for passing on the Labasheeda Reel Set and the Paris Set, as well as a large number of Traditional Irish Step Dances, such as The Priest and his Boots, Single Time and many more. Dan and James passed these dances on to Celine and Michael Tubridy, who documented them in the book "A Selection of Irish Traditional Step dances" and recorded an accompanying CD and DVD. At the 2013 festival, a plaque was unveiled, thanking Michael and Celine for the work they had done in carrying on Dan's work and preserving the dances for everyone to enjoy.
A weekend festival, which takes place in The Longford Arms, Longford Town, Co. Longford, in the latter part of November.
Claddagh Records, you can buy online or in one of their shops, details of which you will find on their about us page. These are some of my favourite music CDs:
For Dancing Sets:
For Dancing Sean Nós Solo Steps:
For Dancing Two-Hand and Ceili Dances:
For Listening to and/or Steps Practice:
Irish Traditional Music Archive - they have some lovely content, such as this video of Aidan Vaughan dancing Clare battering steps on stage at the Willie Clancy Summer School in Miltown Malbay, with music provided by father and daughter team, Mick and Louise Mulcahy.