Ennis Trad Festival
Ennis, Co Clare
Ennis has a long and illustrious tradition in Irish music, and this annual event is one of the premier dates in the traditional music calendar, bringing together the very best of Irish traditional musicians in a relaxed and informal atmosphere.
Headline acts include Dervish, one of Ireland’s best known and most celebrated trad outfits, NicGaviskey, featuring Meath sisters, Bernadette and Caitlin NicGabhann, Sean Gavin on flute and Sean McComiskey on accordion, and Arty McGlynn, who plays with a couple of different line ups over the weekend.
However Ennis isn’t so much about headline acts as the sheer amount of top quality traditional music that you’ll hear. Ennis is the place where the traditional music world comes to meet, relax and play and as a result some of the best musicians in the country are invariably in attendance, even if they are not on the official programme.
There will be events taking place in over 20 venues around Ennis, several concerts, recitals and ceilis, workshops and most of all sessions – expect more than 100 sessions over the five days, and that’s just the ones that are organised, there will be plenty of informal ones also.
For plain fun look out for Shuckin’ and Jivin’ with Andrew MacNamara and the trad disco with Ollie Mullooly, where beginners will enjoy the action as much as those with more expert moves. Those with designs on taking the spoils the trad table quiz will probably need to know the traditional music scene inside out.
The Great Céilí Band Challenge was a new innovation in 2010 and a massive success. Not surprisingly it’s back bigger and better, with more than 15 of Ireland’s best céilí bands competing for the top prize of €5,000.
There are 10 CD launches planned for the festival.
Any visitor to Ireland at this time is strongly advised to get to Ennis for at least a day or two of this festival and even those with only a passing interest in Irish music will have the time of their lives.
Event information & Location Map for Ennis Trad
For full programme details, visit the festival website. Events take place in numerous venues around the town – just arrive in Ennis and you’ll have no problems finding the festival, it’s everywhere.