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Details have been announced in relation to the Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann programme, which will take place in Sligo later on this Summer.

From outdoor concerts on the Gig Rig with Sligo favourites Dervish to a series of Fleadh Fusion events presented by Music Generation to gala concerts such as the Boroimhe and De Cuellar Suites, Fleadh 2014 promises to be a superb mix of concerts, sessions, exhibitions and different eclectic events which will appeal to the broad church of Fleadh visitors to Sligo this August 10th-17th.

Speaking ahead of the official Fleadh Cheoil 2014 launch on June 21st, Chairperson of Fleadh Cheoil 2014 Bartley Gavin said that “Sligo is open to visitors from all over the world this Summer. We think that the Fleadh programme offers something for everyone. The musicians will have scope for playing music on the streets or in the pubs, concerts will cater for a wide range of traditional music fans, and we also want to create a carnival atmosphere in the town to make sure that everyone will return home with great memories, not just of the Fleadh itself, but of Sligo.”

Some of the Fleadh highlights include concerts, pageants, a Fleadh river festival, street theatre, lectures and exhibitions, competitions, street sessions and much more besides. And in this regard, programme director Rhona McGrath says that the focus will be on returning to the roots of the Fleadh by providing space and access to musicians who want to play on the streets in impromptu sessions, a key part of the traditional Fleadh.

“Anyone who knows Sligo will be aware of the great tradition of music in the county. We want to revisit the theme of the rambling house made famous by the likes of Michael Coleman by encouraging pubs, hotels and restaurants to open their doors to musicians, and as the entire centre of Sligo will be closed to traffic, this means that there will be plenty of opportunities for musicians to set up on the streets as well,” she says.

The Fleadh will be bookended by  the Peace III Colmcille street pageant which takes place on the opening day of the festival, while the River Pageant will end Fleadh 2014 with a spectacular closing ceremony which will take place along the banks of the Garavogue River, which runs through the centre of town.

During the week, visitors can take in any number of fringe events such as workshops covering many aspects of traditional Irish music from instrument making to expert tuition, to guided walks and tours of Sligo’s most iconic historical sites like the megalithic tombs of Carrowmore, the climb to the top of Knocknarea and walks around Sligo Abbey – to name but 3 locations that lie on Sligo’s doorstep – and a large number of family and youth-focused events such as the trad disco, youth Céilí and much more.

Then you’ve got the competitions. Up to 10,000 musicians are expected to descend on Sligo to compete at all levels and in all age groups, from individual musicians to Grúpaí Ceoil, and one of the highlights is certain to be the annual All-Ireland Céilí Band Competition, which takes place at the Knocknarea Arena on Fleadh super-Sunday, a fitting way to close the competitions for this year.

All in all, it looks like Fleadh 2014 will appeal to the huge numbers of people expected to travel to Sligo this Summer. And it’s hard to think of a more spectacular setting for the Fleadh. With blue flag beaches located just minutes from the town centre, golf clubs, riding stables, walking trails and every other conceivable outdoor pursuit on Sligo’s doorstep – just take a look at the Fleadh Promotional video to check out some of the options available -  and the Fleadh itself taking place in the shadow of Ben Bulben, one of Ireland’s most iconic mountains, Sligo looks set to be a spectacular celebration of our culture and music.

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Permalink - Posted: May 29, 2014 at 2:48 pm