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Fiddle maestro Martin Hayes at the Feakle Festival. This year's event will be largely online due to Covid-19 restrictions.

Feakle Festival goes virtual for second year running

THE 34th annual Feakle Festival gets underway on Thursday (August 5) with a programme that brings together some of the country’s finest musical talent and well-loved local performers.

For the second year in a row, the festival is largely online, with all performances available for streaming, free-of-charge on social channels. Festival organisers have been working hard to create an exciting programme which will reach an international virtual audience.

“Hopefully, things will return to normal for 2022,” said Gary Pepper of the festival committee. “It’s great that things are now slowly beginning to come back around. Recently, Cormac Begley did a concert by the shores of Lough Graney, for 50 people and it was wonderful. There was a session afterwards with Mark Donnellan outside Pepper’s.

“For many of those taking part in the festival, though, this will be their first gig of the year. They’re like children, they’re so excited about it.”

The festival will open with a gala concert at St Mary’s Church on Thursday evening, with streaming available, online from Friday. Artists to feature include Martin Hayes and Cormac Begley; Steve Cooney and Dernot Byrne and Éilís Kennedy, Pauline Scanlon and Donogh Hennessy of Lumiere.

There’s a feast of music on the Friday too with Tara Breen, Padraig Rynne and Conal O’Kane; Mary McNamara and Sorcha Costello; Aisling Lyons, Sean Lyons and Dermot Sheedy; The Boruma Trio and the exciting ensemble, All Strings Attached, a group of 25 young fiddler players from across East Clare. That concert will be available to stream from Saturday.

To recognise the 75th anniversary of The Tulla Céili Band, a very special performance will be available to stream on Sunday from 8pm.

To round off the festival, a singing session at Shortt’s Bar will be available to stream on Monday from 3.30pm.

Check out www.feaklefestival.ie/ for more details

About Fiona McGarry

Fiona McGarry joined The Clare Champion as a reporter after a four-year stint as producer of Morning Focus on Clare FM. Prior to that she worked for various radio, print and online titles, including Newstalk, Maximum Media and The Tuam Herald. Fiona’s media career began in her native Mayo when she joined Midwest Radio. She is the maker of a number of radio documentaries, funded by the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI). She has also availed of the Simon Cumbers Media Fund to report on development issues supported by Irish Aid in Haiti. She won a Justice Media Award for a short radio series on the work of Bedford Row Project, which supports prisoners and families in the Mid-West. Fiona also teaches on the Journalism programmes at NUI Galway. If you have a story and would like to get in touch with Fiona you can email her at fmcgarry@clarechampion.ie or telephone 065 6864146.

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