Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann, 13th - 22nd August 2011.
Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann is the second biggest festival in Ireland. Attracting tens of thousands of visitors, the Fleadh is an exciting and entertaining week of fun for all the family. Sessions, fun-days, pageants, marching bands, competitions, ceili bands, concerts, singing, busking, exhibitions and the arts are all part of the biggest celebration of Irish culture in the world.
The fun began with a family fun day on Sunday 14th August in Con Smith Park. The remainder of the week and following weekend was jam-packed with fantastic events, many completely free of charge. Outstanding artists such as Sharon Shannon, Dervish, Beoga, Cherish the Ladies, Pride of New York, bluegrass legend Tim O Brien took to the various stages around Cavan town in what was to be a very exciting week of music and dance.
Background to the Fleadh
At the Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann inaugural meeting in September 1951 it was decided to create a national festival named Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann (Festival of Music in Ireland).
County, provincial and worldwide Fleadhanna are important events in the traditional Irish music calendar and annual Comhaltas events include Fleadh Nua, Fleadh na Breataine (an All-Britain Fleadh Cheoil), regional Fleadhanna in Britain, Japan and the USA.
The goal of the Fleadh Cheoil is to establish standards in Irish traditional music through competition. The Fleadh has developed as a mainly competitive event, but also showcases concerts, céilithe, parades, pageants, and street sessions.
The continued growth in the number and standard of Fleadhanna have facilitated competitors to qualify from county, provincial and regional levels for the All-Ireland finals. The Fleadhanna at each level provide a platform and a meeting place for over 10,000 musicians, who carry on the tradition of playing and cherishing our music, songs, and dances. And when the competitions are over, many impromptu sessions take place which sometimes last until the early hours.
Cavan will host the Fleadh for the third year in row! Dates are 10th - 20th August 2012.
Photo Credits: (1) Street Tunes @ Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann 2011, (2) Danny O'Mahony, (3) Karen Ryan, (4) John Joe Kelly (by Seán Laffey).