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Tag Archives: Feakle Festival

Féile Brían Ború called off as Covid-19 restrictions continue

THE latest East Clare festival to fall foul of the Covid-19 restrictions is the hugely popular Féile Brían Ború, which organisers have decided to call off in the interests of public health and safety. Chairperson of East Clare Tourism and member of the organising committee, Arlene White, said that while the decision had been a tough one to make, hopes had been gradually fading over the last couple of weeks. The 2019 festival took place on the second week in July, and in the context of the roadmap for re-opening the economy, organisers couldn’t envisage a similar gathering on the shores of Lough Derg in just over five week’s time. “Last year, we had 2,000 people for the fireworks display, and we just couldn’t have crowds of that size in the context of the coronavirus restrictions,” Ms White explained. “Our organising committee also arranges the Killaloe St Patrick’s Day parade, and once we had to call that off, we started …

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Scariff Harbour Festival cancelled due to pandemic restrictions

THERE has been a further blow to the county’s calendar of summer events, with confirmation in recent days that the annual Scariff Harbour Festival will not go ahead this year. The news follows the cancellation of a number of high-profile events, including the Willie Clancy Summer School, Spancilhill Fair, the Feakle Festival and more, and is in line with government recommendations and Covid-19 restrictions. The Waterways Ireland-sponsored festival, scheduled for the August Bank holiday week-end, is internationally regarded for the quality of its contributors, drawing key-note speakers, entertainers and performers of renown. The event, which was to have marked its 18th year, also showcased key attractions in East Clare and offered a host of free outdoor music, walks, talks, guest speakers, boat tours and children’s entertainment, making it a social highlight and a key driver for the local economy. “It is a huge disappointment for the community, festival-goers and the organising committee that this year’s festival cannot happen,” said Chairman, Mike …

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Blow to East Clare as Feakle Festival is cancelled

THE festival calendar for East Clare has suffered another major blow with the cancellation of the Feakle Festival, due to the Covid-19 restrictions. Organisers said they decided to cut this year’s event – which would ordinarily attract thousands to the region at the height of the summer season – “with deep regret,” in order to minimise the risk to the general public. Already, the legendary Spancilhill Fair has been called off, with organisers deciding that they could not guarantee social distancing at the event which draws thousands annually on the now immortalised date of June 23. A number of smaller community festivals, including the Bodyke May Bank Holiday Weekend, have also been shelved, with hopes of postponing some of them as the government’s road map for the re-opening of public life begins to unfold. In Feakle, a world-class programme of traditional music had been under wraps since February and there is widespread disappointment that the hugely popular festival won’t go ahead …

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Music sends tills jingling in Feakle

THE 27th Feakle Festival of Traditional Music came to an end on Monday but the memories will  live on for locals and visitors alike. GaryPepper was involved in its organisation and, as the dust was settling, he was exuberant about how well things had gone. “It was a total success. The crowds were similar to last year and maybe a little bit bigger than last year. It was very well supported, the concerts, céilís and recitals all had more people at them than last year,” he said. He added that people had travelled from far and wide to attend the event and there were numerous musical highlights. “It was a fabulous festival, the atmosphere was absolutely brilliant. The general warm feeling that we’ve had in the last number of years was there again this year. We had people from all over the world, all followers of the music, who came to listen and play and enjoy and participate. All in all, …

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Japanese musicians flock to East Clare

JAPANESE woman, Erika Mochizuki, together with another compatriot, have set up an Irish music project called Blackbird Music, which will see 11 musicians from their homeland come to East Clare this week. Dai Komatsu, who is an Irish fiddle-player based in a city called Nagoya in Japan, and Erika have been using their project to provide Irish music material over the internet. Erika originally had the idea of introducing this rich musical culture to Japanese people. She met Dai for the first time in Ennis in 2005, when he came there to learn traditional Irish fiddle-playing. The idea of this project gradually evolved from that first meeting. Together, they organise and coordinate concert tours and workshops in Japan for traditional Irish musicians. The music summer camp in East Clare is another element to this. Erika organizes instrumental lessons for Japanese people visiting Ireland and she also provides technical advice and translation for Japanese people interested in Irish music. They share …

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Concertinas assemble at Feakle

THE Feakle Festival’s enduring legacy is its commitment to the best in Irish traditional music and this year’s programme is no exception. From ICE, an ensemble of concertinas, the dulcet harmonies of Lumiere, accordion great Donal Murphy and his band to Feakle’s own Martin Hayes and Dennis Cahill, there is much to choose from. “Music with heart, music with soul, music to inspire, music with fun and laughter, that’s what we look for when putting our programme together,” Gary Pepper, festival director, said. One of the most notable performances at this year’s event is the second performance ever of ICE The Irish Concertina Ensemble, a new departure in Irish music. ICE brings together five master concertina players in Tim Collins, Pádraig Rynne, Mícheál O’Raghallaigh, Caitlín Nic Gabhann and Edel Fox. This innovative group’s performance in Feakle will include the premiere recital of newly-composed material by Tim Collins. Tim, a native of West Limerick, resides in Crusheen and is a well-known …

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