Missed an earlier news item? Visit the news archive.


at The Ennis Trad Festival

Árd Ghaisce na mBuīonta is an exciting new and innovative development in Irish music which will take place from 7pm on Sunday 11th November at The Ennis Trad Festival and in The West County Hotel. The Ceili Band has held a justly proud place in Irish music on account of the strong disciplined and finely arranged performances they are expected to deliver to lift hoards of eager dancers and listeners feet alike all around the world. Historically the ceili Band was the only real showcase opportunity for ensemble group playing of dance music on stage and precursored and helped spawn everything from the showbands era to the development of the many great Irish music bands from the 70’s onwards. In the past Ceili bands had to wear several hats , playing waltzes, two-steps and quicksteps along with regular Irish dance music for ballroom, step and set dancing; fusing the modern and the traditional. Many togged out with saxophone or double basses in addition to flutes, fiddles and the usual instruments associated with the genre. County Clare has a particularly noted record of producing fine bands. John Rynne, the event organiser explained that this will be a sporting opportunity for several of the best Ceili Bands in Ireland today to compete for a first prize of 5,000 euro and in a public setting designed to test their mettle against each other in carefully chosen conditions of fairness and impartiality.

Such is the interest shown by bands in the event that 8 bands from all over Ireland have already agreed to perform and compete in what will surely become a nationally coveted annual trophy. Second and Third prize winning bands will receive 2,000 and 1,000 euro each and the competition is set up in a way to ensure the battle will be hotly and vigorously contested. Most of the bands have competed, toured and performed at all the highest level events including Fleadh Cheoil na hEireann.

Four experienced adjudicators will independently assess each band and the audience will cast their own ballot with their preferences. The band with the most audience first preferences will be deemed the audience’s first placed band, the second highest number of first preferences will be their second choice and so on. The audience will, in that way form a 5th adjudicator, en masse. This is a bold and open new way of testing bands’ performance abilities, and is sure to attract a large number of willing pencil-wielding punters eager to have their opinion counted. The 4 individual adjudicators will uniquely not see the bands but will hear them from behind a screen and will have bands identified to them by numbers only to ensure a great degree of fairness. An equalising weighting system will then be applied to each of the 5 adjudications and the totals will decide the winners. The organisers expect that this system will encourage accomplished and new bands alike to participate fully in the event annually. One completely new band has already formed in Corofin, County Clare. More bands are welcome and can address their enquiries to John Rynne of Ennis through the Trad Festival website:

The competing bands so far are: The Tribes, The Turloughmore, The Corofin, The Kinnity, The Awbeg, Ceolteoiri na Manistreach, The Cottage and Craobh Naithi.

The 15 euro entry ticket guarantees a voting paper in addition to a vibrant night of the most accomplished level of ceili band music as well as a high quality interval act while judging takes place. Tickets are available on the door and the public is advised to attend early. All Prizes are sponsored by Lynch Group Hotels, The West County Hotel and The Ennis Trad Festival.

Permalink - Posted: October 17, 2007 at 12:42 pm