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August 2nd – August 5th, 2012

The 35th Ballyshannon Folk and Traditional Music Festival will kick–off on Thursday August 2nd – Sunday August 5th, 2012 with a comprehensive line–up of folk and traditional music stars from Ireland and beyond including: Paul Brady, The Lost Brothers, Alan Kelly Gang featuring Eddi Reader, Cara Dillon, Fidil, and Faduda.

This years event will go right back to its roots celebrating the heady early days of the festival with Paul Brady headlining on the Sunday night. The singer, songwriter and multi–instrumentalist from Strabane Co. Tyrone is one of Ireland’s most enduringly popular acts and continues to push out the boundaries not only of his own talent but of Irish contemporary music. The weekends entertainment is indeed complimented with both new and emerging entertainers such as the multi–award winning voice of Cara Dillon who has recently finished recording in the legendary Abbey Road Studios a song with a 96 piece orchestra as part of Disneyland Paris 20th anniversary celebrations and Fidil who have been described by Siobhan Long in the Irish Times as “a masterclass in the marriage of tradition and musical exploration, and a milestone in traditional music” make a welcome return.

Making a first appearance on the famous Ballyshannon stage is Alan Kelly Gang featuring Scottish singer extraordinaire Eddi Reader. Fronted by Ireland’s piano accordion maestro, described by New York’s Irish Voice as “in league with the best piano accordionists in the world”, and with three of Ireland’s finest musicians in tow, all critically acclaimed masters of their own craft, The Alan Kelly Gang have been taking their audiences by storm, impressing both music lover and critic alike. Their album Small Towns and Famous Nights has been named as one of Folk Worlds top ten trad albums of 2011 for Folk World Magazine.

Faduda is a band of traditional musicians from the north west of Ireland and are sure to thrill audiences with their powerful blend of traditional tunes from Ireland and Scotland, all beautifully arranged. They also play self penned and traditional songs. Coincidentally, they were formed in 2008 when they supported Eddi Reader at the city of song festival. The free live street entertainment is another aspect of the festival that is at the core of the weekend – with a selection of live acts to choose from every day on the streets including Aoife Scott Band, The Rockhill Ramblers, The New Free, Whiskey Tears and the Seamus Sweeney Ensamble. The street entertainment concludes on the Sunday afternoon with a free open air gig by The Lost Brothers who recently released their second studio album  So Long John Fante. The Irish Examiner wrote “The Brothers have an ear for effortless poetry and stark powerful melodies underpinning to die for, harmony singing. A powerful musical punch” and awarded them 4 Stars.

There will be a full array of workshops to suit all musical and vocal tastes and the festival kicks–off with a Barn Dance on the Thursday night. The pubs in the small north western coastal town will provide Live impromptu music and singing sessions not to mention the ever popular story telling experience. To round up what is sure to be a busy festival weekend the Talent Showcase competition will allow the best of up and coming musicians and vocalists to perform in front of a live audience and the winner of this competition will enjoy ?500 in prize money, a support slot to Paul Brady on the Sunday night as well as dedicated recording time at a local studio.

This year the Ballyshannon Folk Festival will go on tour to officially launch the festival and to exhibit some of the now world famous Ballyshannon Folk and Traditional Music Festival posters and associated art work by local artist, Barry Britton, who has been associated with the festival since it’s early years. Belfast has been chosen as the location for the 2012 launch and exhibition which will take place in the John Hewitt, Donegall Street, Belfast at 6.00pm on Monday 4th June, 2012.

For further information

Permalink - Posted: April 30, 2012 at 12:11 pm