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Love: Live Music whistles up a storm

THEY may not have broken a world record but that certainly didn’t stop the music at Ennis’ Love: Live Music concert at the weekend. According to organisers, it is hoped more overseas tourists will visit the town as a result of the event.


Holly Alderson and friends gather with their tin whistles for the Love: Live Music and  Guinness World Record breaking attempt event in Abbey Street Car Park in Ennis. Photograph by John KellyVisitors from as far afield as New Mexico travelled to Ennis for the concert on Friday, which also featured an attempt to break the current Guinness World Record for the largest tin whistle ensemble. Almost 400 people took part in the tin whistle performance led by internationally acclaimed group Lúnasa and joined onstage by Joanie Madden and Anthony Quigney. Unfortunately, it was not enough to make it into the record books.

There was, however, still plenty to enjoy, despite the rain, as a host of musicians took to the stage at the Abbey Street Carpark. According to Tracy Crawford of BallyO Promotions, “A number of things went against us for the record attempt. It was the end of the Leaving Certificate and many of the younger students were  finishing school. However, it was fantastic to see some young ones with their tin whistles so close to the end of term. The weather also seemed to put off some people. But we had a lot of overseas people coming along and it was great to see the amount of people who did turn up despite the weather.”

She added that expensive flights also put off some would-be record breakers. “We had one person contact us who told us they wanted to come but it would cost $9,000 for him and his family to travel here. That is certainly an issue from an international visitor’s point of view. But there is certainly good value there, once people get here.”

Tracy said plans are already underway for next year’s concert, adding, “Next year, we will try and put a roof on with a marquee”. She has not ruled out another record attempt at another time of the year.

“The event was certainly something that we can build on. Lúnasa have already been promoting us in America and a lot of people know about what we’re doing. We had a YouTube tutorial for people to learn the tin whistle tune before the record attempt and that did really well with over 7,000 views. It’s had more hits than the video for the current record holders. We have had great support from people who were delighted to be involved with this and who really got into it with tweeting and sharing. We want to put Ennis and Clare ahead and even if people couldn’t come this time, hopefully this will attract them to come here another time.

“We have already had some amazing emails from people telling us how much they enjoyed the concert. I just had one from the UK saying they had the most amazing four days in Ennis. And there was a couple from Wales who rearranged their holidays to be here for this. The music was all free and the line-up was amazing, Ennis is certainly the ideal place for something like this with its musical heritage.”

As well as Lúnasa, there were performances by The Lost Brothers, the Kilfenora Céilí Band, Siomha Brock and new Americana group featuring Pauline Scanlon, Noriana Kennedy, Méabh O’Hare and Jefferson Hamer. Love Live Music is Ireland’s National Music Day, in association with International Music Day or Fete de la Musique, an event that began in Paris in 1982 and is now celebrated in more than 100 countries, worldwide.

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