Ireland’s largest gathering of Trad and Folk music is back 

100 concerts over 5 days & nights across Dublin City & County - running from 24-28 January

by Alison O'Hanlon
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TradFest presents a stellar line up of nationally and internationally renowned artists. With 100 concerts over 5 days & nights across Dublin City & County, it will be running from 24-28 January.

In keeping with the festival’s commitment to equity, diversity & inclusivity, TradFest 24 will again see a strong showing of women headline artists. During the festival an industry event will be held to share findings of a 3-year research project by academic, Emma Grove, looking at women’s participation in TradFest.  

TradFest 24 will honour some true legends as well as introducing exciting new voices.

It will feature an extended programme of artists for National Stadium concerts as well as a new TradFest musical commission by composer Neil Martin and performed by Actor, Stephen Rea commemorating the 170thanniversary of the tragic sinking of The RMS Tayleur, off Lambay Island, also known as the first Titanic.

TradFest will celebrate “Janis Ian – A Life Between the Lines” where legendary folk artist Janis Ian will talk about her life in a special evening event. And while the event will not showcase singing by Ian due to vocal fold scarring, it will feature a rich program celebrating her vast contributions to music with performances of her work by Mary Black, Wallis Bird, Aoife Scott, Mairéad Ní Mhaonaigh (Altan), Nuala Kennedy, Eric & Ulrika Bibb and rising stars Toshín and Séamus & Caoimhe Uí Fhlatharta. 

TradFest will also honour another folk stalwart Ralph McTell, with a very special 80th birthday celebration concert. Ralph will be accompanied on the night by Folk Legend Tom Paxton, award-winning Irish music band Lúnasa, as well as actor/musician Camille O’Sullivan and singer songwriter Declan O’Rourke. 

Stephen Rea with Louise and Michelle Mulcahy are pictured on Portane Beach, Fingal where the RMS Tayleur – the ’Victorian Titanic’ was wrecked off Lambay Island in January 1854. PHOTO: Mark Stedman

This year will see TradFest greatly expand its musical footprint across the Dublin region with 28 concerts in historic Fingal.  Performances will be held in a variety of intriguing venues including Malahide Castle, Swords Castle Chapel, The Millbank Theatre, Skerries Mill, Draíocht, Theatre and the iconic The Seamus Ennis Arts Centre, among others.

TradFest & Fingal County Council have also commissioned Neil Martin to compose a new suite of music, commemorating the RMS Tayleur – the ’Victorian Titanic’ which was wrecked off Lambay Island in January 1854., entitled Ocean Child, and inspired by the miraculous survival of one anonymous infant, who was plucked from the sinking ship. The stellar lineup of performers includes acclaimed actor Stephen Rea, The West Ocean Strinq Quartet, Louise, and Michelle Mulcahy and promises an emotionally charged and unforgettable experience. 

The hugely popular Smithwick’s Sessions will return with over 50 free concerts across the pubs of Temple Bar featuring an impressive array of established and emerging artists such as Fin Furey, from the famous musical family, new folk legends Ispini Na hEireann, SuperCéilí, Fintan Warfield, Juggy Blonde featuring Faye O’Rourke from Soda Blonde & Aoife Kelly of Jiggy and lots more.  In addition to the concerts, there will be music therapy workshops, a céilí, film screenings, panel discussions, outdoor markets, a record fair, family events at the Ark, pipe bands and more.

Tickets start from €14.99. There are also family tickets (admit 2 adults and up to 4 children under 16) available for the National Stadium shows.

Go to www.tradfest.com for full details.  

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