Mau­rice O’Ke­effe Tra­di­tional Mu­sic Festival 2020

This year’s Mau­rice O’Ke­effe Tra­di­tional Mu­sic Festival is unfortunately cancelled due to the Coronavirus and the governments recommendations. Instead the committee are planning on having a mini festival online – stay tuned!

The 19th annual Mau­rice O’Ke­effe Tra­di­tional Mu­sic Festival will take place in Bal­ly­desmond and Kiskeam over the Easter weekend. It is a four day event that will see talented musicians from all over Ire­land and abroad perform in a series of events both in Bal­ly­desmond and Kiskeam. The Festival highlights the Sliabh Luachra style which is essentially the playing of the melodeon, tin whistle and other instruments in fiddle style.

This years Mau­rice O’Ke­effe Tra­di­tional Mu­sic Festival kicks off in the Bal­ly­desmond Com­mu­nity Cen­tre with a Céilí getting the music and dancing off to a flying start on the Friday night at 9.30pm.

Saturday will see a Fiddle Workshop followed by the Fiddle Competition in the Kiskeam Community Centre. In the evening you will have the chance to attend Ceolchoirm na nÓg (Young Peoples Concert), again in the Kiskeam Community Centre.

The Concert on Sunday night is in honour of the renowned fiddle player Paddy Jones, and will feature Donie Nolan; Matt Cranitch & Jackie Daly; Caoimhin O’Fearghail & Paddy Tutty; Alan Finn & The Crossfields Céilí Band.

During the Mau­rice O’Ke­effe Tra­di­tional Mu­sic Festival, there will be traditional music sessions occurring in John D’s, Ballydesmond and Shamrocks and the Why Not in Kiskeam where enthusiasts of the Sliabh Luachra style can either participate in or attend as appreciating audiences. These sessions are marvellous free entertainment open for all to enjoy. For details and times of the sessions please visit Session Trail.

So for a great Easter weekend of Sliabh Luachra style music, dance and craic, Ballydesmond and Kiskeam are the places to be. Full details of the programme for the Festival can be found by visiting, or by following on Facebook or Twitter for the latest up to date information. If you have any queries about the festival, then please email them to [email protected].

Ballydehob Traditional Music Festival 2020

Due to the current Covid19 crisis this year’s Ballydehob Tradfest is being postponed. It is hoped to organise another weekend later in the year.

The annual Ballydehob Traditional Music Festival will happen from the 3rd through to the 5th of April this year. With the programme covering a wide range of events, there will be something for the whole family with a veritable feast of traditional Irish music and dance. The festival will be featuring famous musicians from far and wide as well as local musicians, with a programme of wide-ranging events including an all star concert, session trails, music, song and dance workshops, a singing session, a céilí, street seisiún competitions and recitals.

This years headline act will be Eleanor Shanley & Garadice, who will be performing in Ballydehob Community Hall on Friday, April 3rd starting at 8pm.

On Sunday afternoon, the Festival Céílí with the All-Ireland Champions, The Shandrum Céilí Band will be playing in the Ballydehob Community Hall from 3pm until 6pm. Tickets for the Céilí will be available at the door for €10.

Over the festival period, Traditional music sessions can be found in nearly every public house in the village. These sessions will be happening at different times, day and night and are marvellous free entertainment open for all to attend. All musicians are invited to join in one of the many sessions or initiate their own. Please visit Session Trail for location details.

The Ballydehob Traditional Music Festival will have a series of Workshops which will be held in Scoil Bhríde on Saturday the 4th of April with the aim of promoting Irish traditional music in the Ballydehob area. The morning workshops will run from 10am to 1pm. For these workshops the Tutors will be for Fiddle: Alan Finn; Concertina: Tadgh O’Sullivan; Guitar Accompaniment: Flor Rahily and Banjo: Michael ‘Tosh’ O’Sullivan. In the afternoon from 2pm to 4pm, a Traditional Singing workshop will be held in Bank House with the tutor being Elle Marie O’Dwyer.

It should be noted that Beginners are NOT accepted for the instrumental classes as a good standard of musicianship is required.

Due to Workshop places for each instrument being limited, early booking is recommended. If you would like to book a place on one of the workshops then please visit where you can book a place. Tickets for the concert can also be booked on the festival website. For any other queries please email [email protected]. You can also follow on Facebook for the latest details.

This festival is a community-organised festival run entirely on a voluntary basis. The organising committee consists of local musicians and music teachers – whom are all passionate about the promotion of Irish traditional music in the village and surrounding areas.

Cruinniú na bhFliúit – The Flute Meeting 2020

The Cruinniú Committee very regretfully announce that this year’s Cruinniú na bhFliúit – The Flute Meeting is cancelled due to the Covid-19 situation.

This years Cruinniú na bhFliúit – The Flute Meeting will run from the 15th to the 18th of April, that is, from the Wednesday after Easter Sunday to the following Saturday.

Although official events begin on Thursday morning with registration for the classes, it has been a tradition for people to gather for a session at The Mills Inn (An Muileann), Baile Bhuirne on the Wednesday night to greet old and new friends and play a few tunes. This welcome session will commence at 21.30.

All events bar the classes are open to the public with registration not being required to attend.

Registration for classes is now unfortunately closed, but sometimes there are some cancellations of those registered, so if you’re still interested in attending send an email expressing your interest to [email protected]. and if a place comes available, then you will be contacted. But please note that these will be allocated purely on a first come first served basis. 

Cruinniú na bhFliúit is a must attend gathering for anyone with an interest in the flute in traditional music. For full details and further information about events taking place over the festival, please visit, or follow on Facebook or Twitter for the latest details. If you have any queries about the festival then please email them to [email protected]

Kilfenora Trad Music Festival 2020

If Covid-19 restrictions are lifted and conditions are safe – Kilfenora will stage its 12th annual Kilfenora Trad Music Festival from the 14th through to the 17th of August this year. Having commenced in 2009 with the 100th anniversary of the Kilfenora Céilí Band, it has gone from strength to strength each year.

This years headline concert on Saturday night, in Kilfenora Hall, will feature Mike McGoldrick with Dermot Byrne, Steve Cooney and Dezi Donnelly, with special guest Katie Theasby. Also performing are Sharon Howley – current TG 4 Gradam Ceoil Young Musician of the Year – and two even younger stars of Irish tradition, Bethan Marsh (from Kilfenora) and Simon Crehan (from Tipperary).

Throughout the festival there will be concerts and set-dancing in the home of Irish Céilí, and of course, the legendary Kilfenora Pub Sessions. There will also be a number of CD launches at various times over the weekend including, Kathleen Lynch “Fallout”; Charles Monod & JB Samzun “Aughavinna”; Katie TheasbyI Remember you Singing“; The Clare Céili Band “Clare Céili” and more.

The Singers’ night will be on Friday evening in Linnanes pub and will gather together some of the finest and most humorous singers and storytellers. This will be hosted by Noirin Lynch. Also on Friday night, the Kilfenora Comhaltas branch will stage a Variety Concert in Kilfenora Hall. Entry will be €7, families €10 (Tickets on the Door). This will feature some of the abundance of local talent, both young and old from the area.

Saturday will see a Master Fiddle Class with renowned Irish-American fiddler Brendan Mulvihill in Linnane’s  Pub (Back Room) and then later the ‘Riches of Clare’ concert in the atmospheric Kilfenora Cathedral with some of North Clare’s talented musicians. Finally, the Star of Munster Céilí Band band leads the Saturday night céilí in Vaughans Barn at 10pm.

Sunday will commence with a Food Fair of local food producers in Linnane’s Courtyard commencing at 11.30am and at 11.45am in Vaughan’s Pub Parlour, the launch of Paula O’Regan’s Music Tuition Book & CD  “Tunes by Paula” will occur followed by the Trad 4 Teens workshop.

In the afternoon at 3pm, the great Kilfenora Céilí Band will play for a free céilí in the Square – dancers and spectators welcome. They will be preceded by the The Clare Céilí Band who will be launching their CD.

Then at 9pm it will be time for a céilí with the Four Courts Céilí Band in Vaughans Barn.

Sessions in Kilfenora’s pubs will be occurring from Friday to Monday, with the cream of musicians from Clare and beyond. These are great free entertainment open to all to attend or partake in.

For up to date information regarding further information about the festival and the artists appearing please visit or follow on Facebook. If you have any queries concerning the Festival, please send an email to [email protected].

Consairtín – The National Concertina Convention 2020

It is with regret, that the decision to cancel Consairtín 2020 has been made. The health of all Consairtín’s patrons, tutors, performers and volunteers, and their families, is the most important consideration.

Consairtín – The National Concertina Convention will commence on Thursday the 16th of April in Ennis, Co Clare. This is an annual gathering of concertina players and enthusiasts from all over the country and further afield celebrating the music of the concertina.

Over the weekend there will be concerts, workshops, lectures, discussion sessions, instrument maintenance tutorials, a makers and menders EXPO and sessions.

There will also be a guided walking tour of Ennis on Friday starting at 4.30pm with the purpose of giving an insight into the history of the town and the many famous individuals associated with it. It will also cover Co. Clare’s unique contribution to the world of traditional Irish music.

This years Gala Concert will be on Saturday night commencing at 8pm and will feature Tim Collins, Derek Hickey, Liam Flanagan & Catherine McHugh, Alistair Anderson, Aoibheann & Pamela Quelly with Gearóid McNamara & Shane Creed.

Tutors this year will year include Mary MacNamara, Pádraig Rynne, Caitlín Nic Gabhann, Edel Fox, Mícheál Ó Raghallaigh, Jack Talty, Mairéad Cosidine, Lorraine O’Brien, Caoilfhionn Ní Fhrighil, Francis Cunningham, Katie O’Sullivan, Liam O’Brien, Sorcha Curtin, Clara Mannion, Conor O’Loughlin, Sinéad Mulqueen, Jamie Strappe and many more.

If you wish to take part in a workshop then Online Registration is available at Workshop Registration.

Consairtín is a must attend gathering for anyone with an interest in the Concertina in traditional Irish music. For full details of the programme please visit, or follow on Facebook or Twitter for the latest information. If you have any queries about the festival then please email them to [email protected] or call +353 (0)86 261 2127 or +353 (0)87 2605689.

International Pan Celtic Festival 2020

Sadly in line with latest measures announced by the Government of Ireland to curb the spread of coronavirus COVID-19, this year’s Pan Celtic International Festival will not now go ahead.

This year marks the 49th International Pan Celtic Festival which is being held in Carlow Town. It starts on Tuesday April 14th and continues on until Sunday April 19th.

The International Pan Celtic Festival is a celebration of the cultural links between the Celtic nations of Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Brittany, Cornwall and the Isle of Man and look forward to welcoming old friends back as well as new comers, including musicians and singers, choirs, dancers and storytellers from the six participating nations as we share our celtic language and culture at this great Easter gathering.

The Pan Celtic Festival offers the very best in Celtic music. You can expect to see pipe bands, harpists and fiddlers from Ireland and Scotland as well as traditional folk music, even Celtic rock and pop music.

Whilst primarily a competitive Festival, the Festival has a comprehensive programme of fringe events including themed concerts, walking tour of Letterkenny, music, song and dance workshops, competitions, talks, storytelling sessions, Celtic language workshops, street pageantry, Seisiúin & Céilithe, spectacle and drama. There are also many informal events to entertain those not involved in the competitions.

This is a must attend festival for anyone with an interest in Celtic arts, crafts and traditions. For full details, tickets and further information about events taking place over the festival, please visit, or follow on Facebook or Twitter for the latest details.

If you have any queries about the festival then please email them to [email protected] or call +353 (0)87 2857048 / +353 (0)85 1340047.

Clifden Traditional Music Festival 2020

It is with sadness that this year’s Clifden Traditional Music Festival will not be going ahead as planned due to the Covid-19 Health Emergency.

The 11th Annual Clifden Traditional Music Festival will take place this year from the 2nd to the 5th of April in Clifden, Connemara, Co. Galway.

Festival highlights will include Trad Sessions in the Pubs, Opening Concert, Outdoor Gig-rig on the Saturday night, Music and Singing Workshops, CD Launches, Street Entertainment, Youth Sessions and lots lots more.

The Clifden Traditional Music Festival kicks off on Thursday 2nd of April with a Seisiún na nÓg in Vaughans Bar Restaurant room.  On Friday the 3rd of April in the morning, the Scoil Mhuire Marching Band will be performing on the town square commencing at 11.30am. In the evening, the Official Opening and Concert will occur in the Clifden Town Hall at 7pm and will feature a host of artists from all over Ireland.

Saturday will see Music Workshops in Fiddle, Button Accordion and Concertina being given by top class tutors. Both intermediate and advanced students will be catered for.

Also on Saturday, the Clifden Trad Fest 5K Run will leave from the town centre at 2.30pm.  There will be Street Entertainment and music and song on the Gig Rig from 3pm and a Busking Competition will also take place from 1.30pm all around the town.

The 2020 Festival headline act will be All Ireland Champions The Blackwater Céilí Band who will appear on the Gig Rig in the Market Square on Saturday night. They will be joined by a host of dancers and guest artists.

Sessions are a very big part of the festival and again this year will feature a host of champion musicians from all over Ireland. Musicians will include members of the Blackwater Céilí Band from Co. Tyrone – Micky Curran (Accordion), George McAdam (Banjo), Mark McCrystal (Piano), Rosie Ferguson (Fiddle), Ursula McAdam (Fiddle), Lydia Warnock (Fiddle), James McCaffrey (Flute), Michael Coney (Flute), Ryan Hackett (Piano Accordion), Eugene McKenna (fiddle), Emmet Mulholland (Guitar and Vocals), Anthony Kavanagh (Banjo), Paul Clesham (Piano), Liz Kane (Fiddle), Damien McGuinness (Accordion), Jason McGuinness (Fiddle), Gearoid McNamara (Piano) and many many more musicians. All are most welcome to take part in the sessions over the weekend.

Pub sessions will take place throughout the weekend with everyone most welcome to take part. These sessions are marvellous free entertainment and open for all to attend.

For tickets, workshop details and fees, and full details of all events taking place over the festival weekend and their venues, please visit, or follow on Facebook or Twitter for the latest details.

If you have any queries then please email them to [email protected] or call +353 (0)86 401 5342.

Tullamore TradFest

It is with deep regret that Tullamore TradFest 2020 is being postponed until later in the year due to the Coronavirus. All tickets purchased will be valid for the rescheduled events.

Tullamore Tradfest is now back after a very successful first year and will present traditional music, song and dance at various venues around Tullamore.

The Gala Concert on Friday night will feature Téada, Séamus Begley, Samantha Harvey, Órlaith McAuliffe, Brogan McAuliffe, Ryan Molloy and Frances Kennedy.

On Saturday from 10pm the Festival Club will be in action with The Damien Mullane Trio plus Support in Fergie’s. Please be aware that this venue has limited capacity.

Then on Sunday the Hup Offaly! inaugural concert celebrating some of the best local talent in Co. Offaly will commence in The Bridge House Hotel (Doors at 5.30pm).

During the Tullamore Tradfest there will be instrument workshops taking place on the Saturday in Coláiste Choilm (O’Moore Street). The tutors will be for FiddleOisín MacDiarmada & Ryan Molloy; Accordion: Paul Finn & Chris Maguire; Banjo: Brona Graham & Joanne O’Connor; Concertina: Brogan McAuliffe & Niamh Kearns; Uileann Pipes: Ryan Murphy; Guitar Accompaniment: Seán McElwain; Tin Whistle: Cian Kearns; Bodhrán: Tristan Rosenstock; Singing: Séamus Begley and Sean Nós Dancing: Samantha Harvey.

The workshops are geared for intermediate and advanced levels where there are two tutors per workshop. Please see the registration form for further details regarding the workshops. The Registration Form can be downloaded by clicking Registration.

Amongst the highlights of Tullamore Tradfest will be the Session Trail which features numerous free sessions spread around the pubs and venues of Tullamore. These sessions are marvellous free entertainment open for all to attend.

For full details of this years Tullamore Tradfest, and further information about events taking place over the festival weekend and their venues, please visit, or follow on Facebook or Twitter for all the latest details. And for Concert/Event Tickets, please visit tullamoretradfest tickets.

If you have any queries about the festival, then please send an email to [email protected].

Franco-Irish Literary Festival 2020

Given the current circumstances with the Coronavirus, this year’s Franco-Irish Literary Festival is being postponed and will now take place on the 26-28 March 2021 with the same theme and the same guests! It is never too late to “Make a Better World”!

The 21st anniversary edition of the Franco-Irish Literary Festival will take place starting on the 3rd of April and finishing on the 5th of April in Dublin Castle & Alliance Française de Dublin.

The aim of the Franco-Irish Literary Festival is to widen and enhance the long-standing friendship that exists between Ireland, France and other French-speaking countries. It welcomes writers in both the English and Irish languages, together with writers of the wider francophone world. Each year the festival presents a central theme with this years being ‘Making a Better World’. Writers, professionals and artists of the English, Irish or French language are given the opportunity to exchange experiences and ideas on the subject in an informal setting.

Amongst the prominent guests this at this years Franco-Irish Literary Festival will be documentarist Nicolas Hulot, poet Michael Longley, editor Sarah Davis-Goff, journalist Aymeric Caron, writers Natacha Kanapé Fontaine and Éilís Ní Dhuibhne, vocalist Siobhra Quinlan, and many more!

The Franco-Irish Literary Festival’s will commence on Friday at 3pm  when international concert pianist Máire Carroll joins singer Síobhra Quinlan and other guests for an afternoon of music at Dublin Castle. Later on the evening will kick off at the multimedia French library located within Alliance Française Dublin’s city headquarters. This is situated at the corner of Nassau and Kildare Street in the heart of the capital, the first day will centre around a special performance.

This will then be followed on Saturday at Dublin Castle with the main events, book sales and various exhibitions taking place. The festival will then come to an end with a literary brunch on Sunday back at Alliance Française HQ.

The Franco-Irish Literary Festival offers a rare opportunity to spend three days in an exciting and stimulating literary environment. All events are open to the public and free of charge with simultaneous interpreting being provided in English and French.

For full details and further information about events taking place over the festival, please visit, or follow on Facebook or Twitter for the latest details. If you have any queries about the festival then please email them to [email protected] or call +353 (0)1 638 1441.

Cork International Poetry Festival 2020

Due to the situation with the Coronavirus (COVID-19), this years Cork International Poetry Festival is Cancelled.

The Cork International Poetry Festival, which is one of the biggest annual poetry events on the Irish Festival calendar, kicks off this year on the 24th of March. It celebrates Cork as a vibrant poetry scene with international connections. The festival is produced by the Munster Literature Centre and is funded mainly by the Arts Council and Cork City Council.

Paula Bohince who is the 2020 John Montague International Poetry Fellow will read and present workshops. As well as Readings there will be a number of Award Ceremonies including the Farmgate Café National Poetry Award, the winners of the Gregory O’Donoghue International Poetry Competition and the Fool for Poetry International Chapbook Competition.

This years Workshops include a masterclass on Poems of Clarity and Mystery given by Paula Bohince; Four-Morning, Four Masters and Manuscript Makeover.

The Munster Literature Centre also produces the Cork International Short Story Festival each year.

There will be a mixture of free and ticketed events. Tickets can be booked online at If you have any queries about the festival, then please email [email protected] or call +353(0)21 431 2955.

For full details and further information about events taking place during the Cork International Poetry Festival over the weekend and their venues, please visit, or follow on Facebook or Twitter for the latest details.