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North Atlantic Fiddle Convention launched in north west

John Sheahan, the iconic fiddle player from The Dubliners, formally opened the North Atlantic Fiddle Convention in McGrory’s of Culdaff , County Donegal last night. (Tuesday 26th).  Apart from being one of the most recognizable musicians in Ireland, Sheahan writes poetry and he took the time to both play a tune and read from a forthcoming collection in launching the event.

The North Atlantic Fiddle Convention or NAFCo 2012 is an international gathering of fiddle players, fiddle music lovers and dancers which meets every two years.

It’s been described as part fiddle festival and part academic convention.

This is the 6th NAFCo Convention

NAFCo has previously been held in Scotland (three times), Sweden and Canada and this is the first time that it will have been hosted on the island of Ireland.

NAFCo is a cross-border event running from June 26th until Sunday July 1st.

There are in excess of 500 visiting musicians booked to play as part of NAFCo with many more expected to descend on Derry and Donegal.

NAFCo 2012 will host:

7 major concerts,

74 organised pub sessions,

7 lunchtime concerts,

28 Youth Camp Masterclasses,

11 Free Community Outreach Events.

8 Fiddle Masterclasses

25 classes in the NAFCo Fiddle School

1 Donegal Bus Trip

1 Ceili – with dances and dancers from Canada, Sweden, Scotland, Ireland.

2 Exhibitions in the Regional Cultural Centre, Letterkenny

1 Family Fun Day at the Waterfront in Derry (in conjunction with Clipper)

8 Dance Workshops

7 Fiddle Talks

New Work @ NAFCo includes 4 world Premieres with commissions from Chris Stout (Shetland), Breandan de Gallai (Donegal), Neil Martin (Belfast) and a special dance project- Step-Off.

Films @ NAFCo –

10 film documentaries will be shown

200+ enrolled in Youth Fiddle Camp

100+ enrolled for Academic Convention

100’s of musicians and dancers booked to attend

84 Conference Papers will be delivered at the University of Ulster, Derry.


Events in Derry, Buncrana, Letterkenny, Culdaff, Moville, Ballybofey, Ballyshannon and Glenties.

NAFCo is expected to generate of £3 million for the economy of the north west.

Among the artists playing concerts at NAFCo are The Chieftains, String Sisters, Martin Hayes and Dennis Cahill, Fidil, Four Men and a Dog, Fidil, Tommy Peoples, Caoimhin O’Raghallaigh and many, many more.


International guest musicians and dancers include:

Norway - Frikar, Majorstuen, Annbjorg Lien),

Sweden -Goran Premberg,  Pernillla Stendahl,

Denmark – Habadekuk, Fiolministeriet

Scotland- Alasdair Fraser & Natalie Haas, Paul Anderson, Mary Ann Kennedy, Fin Moore, Caroline Reagh,

Canada- Andrea Beaton, Troy MacGillivray, Shane Cook, Jake Charron. Pierre Schryer Trio, Eric Favreau & Sabin Jacques, Pierre Chartrand, Janine Randall, Dawn & Margie Beaton, Oh My Darling.

Scotland- Chris Stout & Catriona MacKay, Alasdair Fraser and Natalie Haas. Simon Bradley and Anna Wendy Stevonson, The Wrigley Sisters

USA- Cleek Schrey & Stephanie Coleman, Nic Gareiss, Liz Carroll, Mick Moloney, Seamus Egan, Liz Knowles



For further information Contact Tom Sherlock –

Programme Manager NAFCo  Ph. + 353 87 2234 541.

Permalink - Posted: June 25, 2012 at 10:10 am