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Members of Sixmilebridge Folk Club getting ready at Bunratty Castle and Folk Park for the Shannonside Winter Music Fesitval. Pictured are Tony Ahern, Shearie Fean, Cationa Ahern, Jennie Boucher, Brendan Walsh, Mary Leahy, Catherine Shirley and Liam Leahy.

Tuning up for a winter weekend of top class entertainment

MORE than 1,000 people are expected to flock to Bunratty and Sixmilebridge for the annual Shannonside Winter Music Festival and visitors to Bunratty Castle & Folk Park will be in for some special performances as part of the line-up.

The castle and folk park will play host a number of events on Saturday, January 17, from 12noon to 5pm, giving its visitors a flavour of all that the international music event has to offer.

Each year, the Winter Music Festival showcases a variety of music genres and has been growing year-on-year both in popularity and in the diversity of the acts.

For the fourth year-in-a-row, Bunratty Castle and Folk Park will play host to the best of this year’s talent across five venues. The acts change every hour and perform a 45 minute set each.

John Ruddle, CEO of Shannon Heritage, which manages and operates Bunratty Castle & Folk Park, said, “It never ceases to amaze me how, each year, the event attracts such a wonderful eclectic mix of talented performers from at home and overseas. For example, we have four UK and two US groups travelling here to be with us. Visitors on the day will get a unique opportunity to experience the wonderful acoustics of 15th century Bunratty Castle and explore the superb range of musical genres in selected venues throughout the folk park.”

In an action-packed programme, 21 performances from 13 separate acts are scheduled throughout the afternoon, among them The Niall Toner Band, The Boat Band (UK), Brendan Walsh and the Athenry Youth Orchestra, Cross Harbour (UK), Cintron Bros Flamenco (USA), Acafella’s, the Kellehers, Colonel Bullshot Rides Again, London Dixieland Jazz Band (UK), JigJam, The Golden Star Morris Dancers (UK), The Doyle Family (UK), Sixmilebridge Folk Club and the Kirby Family.

The Shannonside Winter Music Festival, now in its 16th year, embraces the wider geographical area of Sixmilebridge and Bunratty. Between Thursday, January 15 and Monday, January 19, almost 70 concerts, pub gigs, sessions and shows will take place.

Family tickets are available for the all day festival of music at Bunratty Castle and Folk Park on Saturday, January 17 and more information is available from www.shannonheritage.com or at 061 360788, or just turn up on the day.

The full programme of events is available at www.wmw.ie.

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