With a stellar line-up including Finbar Furey, Brian Kennedy, Scullion, The Henry Girls, ZoDoMo and many more, the Kilkenny Tradfest also offers dozens of activities, including street performances, masterclasses, workshops and trad discos.
Only 6 years in existence, Kilkenny TradFest is a firm favourite on the Irish Festival circuit and caters for all tastes, ages and budgets. The four-day feast of traditional music in the Marble City kicks off on Friday 16th March with a very special event in Ryan’s Bar to honour Kilkenny’s finest music advocate, the late Willie Meighan who's wife Aisling accepted the Outstanding Contribution to Live Music accolade at the IMRO Awards last week on his behalf.
On top of the headline events, the popular Bulmers Music Trail will offer over 60 free gigs in city venues – highlights include Irish acts such as The Bonny Men and Notify who'll be performing in Paris Texas as well as a long list of talented Irish musicians playing over the 4 day festivities.
Kilkenny’s medieval architecture offers some of the most unique concert venues in Ireland with Finbar Furey taking to the stage in St. Canice’s Cathedral while Máirtín O’Connor, Zoë Conway and Dónal Lunny are holding masterclasses in the iconic Kilkenny Castle. There's a chance to 'Dine with the Henry Girls' at award winning Anocht Restaurant and the Donegal Diamonds will also host a masterclass in the stunning surrounds of St. John's Priory. The Watergate Theatre will play host Brian Kennedy, while the beautifully preserved 13th Century tavern Kyteler’s Inn will be hopping to the sounds of Scullion and Caladh Nua which will be followed by a mid-night Trad disco with DJ Ollie Mullooly – providing craic galore for St. Patrick's weekend celebrations.
At the yard of Kilkenny Castle, the Design and Crafts Council of Ireland are co-hosting a unique event with uilleann piper and maker Mickey Dunne and the Kilkenny Pipers Club. This free event is all about how uilleann pipes are made and played and has been organised as part of Kilkenny TradFest to celebrate the recent inclusion by UNESCO of Uilleann Piping on its Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.
Kilkenny’s multi-instrumentalist, Jeremy Hickey aka R.S.A.G. will be hosting drumming and percussion workshops for all ages offering an enjoyable way to learn new skills and make some noise which compliments the broad array of new young trad bands coming to the festival for the first time. The festival will have some of the most interesting trad acts in the country such as Jiggy, Moxie, Ye Vagabonds and The Remedy Club which are not to be missed.
For fantastic traditional music, song and dance, world class performances as well as all the St.Patrick's Celebrations, Kilkenny is the place to be this March bank holiday weekend!