Martin Hayes & Dennis Cahill Cherish the Ladies & Don Stiffe MacNamara, Costelloe & Cotter Danny O’Mahony & Liz Kane Tulla Céilí Band Jack Talty & Cormac Begley The Raw Bar Collective MacNamara, Ryan & Quinn Ryan Young & Dennis Cahill Seán Garvey Therese McInerney & Brian Donnellan Helen Hayes & Katie Greene The Brian Corry Band Star of Munster Shandrum Céilí Band ...
30 years ago a small festival started in the village of Feakle, County Clare. Feakle is at the centre of traditional music in Ireland. That small start has now brought us to our 30th year, with visitors from all over the world coming to a festival that now has international recognition.
Since it's humble beginnings, Feakle International Festival of Traditional Music has brought many of the finest musicians and performers to our small village which is at the very heart of Traditional Music in Ireland.
For a few days each August the village becomes a very special place where the best in traditional music can be heard, songs sung, dances danced and friends meet up again for another 'Feakle Festival'. We do hope that you'll be able to join us in Feakle this August for some unforgettable musical adventures!
Feakle, in County Clare, is a parish with very proud credentials: many well known people have their roots here. People of the past of high renown include Brian Merriman who wrote the wonderful poem The Midnight Court and Johnny Patterson who composed many songs. Later years brought playwright Kieran Sheedy, sociologist Fr Harry Bohan, former Clare hurling manager Ger Loughnane and many more who have graced the national stage with great success.
Our musical culture has always been a major focal point over the years. People like PJ Hayes, Francie Donnellan, Paddy Canny, Martin Rochford together with present day players like Mary McNamara, Mark Donnellan, Andrew McNamara, Vincent Griffin, Paddy O'Donoghue, Seamus Bugler and many more who have kept the tradition alive. Martin Hayes can be heard worldwide as he enthrals audiences with his unique style. The famous Tulla Ceili Band, founded by the late PJ Hayes, still plays regularly for ceilis including the closing ceili in Feakle on the Sunday night of the Festival calendar.
The musical tradition is kept alive all year round with regular sessions at Shortt's Bar on Thursday nights and in Pepper's Bar on Wednesday nights. Many impromptu sessions take place on other nights of the week throughout the village and concerts are regularly held at Pepper's. The younger musicians are taken care of with top quality music teachers Mary McNamara and Vincent Griffin.
A Constant Festival in County Clare
Seán Laffey talks to Gary Pepper about the 30th Feakle Festival (Irish Music Magazine #264 August 2017)
There can't be many festivals that have had the same team steering them for three decades. Feakle may be the exception, but its success is due in no small measure to the vision and dedication of a small team of people who have been determined to keep the festival's character intact over the years.
Consequently the festival has grown into a connoisseur's week. Gary says that the rise of other more eclectic festivals
in Clare has actually benefitted Feakle. Other towns may have gone for a bit of rock and roll or a novelty theme, Feakle
has stayed very much to its roots, so if you are looking for the pure drop in the East Clare style Feakle is a key destination.
Photo Credits: (1) Feakle Festival, (3) Don Stiffe, (4) Karen Ryan, (6) Jack Talty (unknown/website). (2) Martin Hayes & Dennis Cahill (by Walkin' Tom); (5) Raw Bar Collective (by Seán Laffey).