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FairPlé presents RISING TIDES, Liberty Hall, Dublin

SAT. 8th & SUN 9th SEPTEMBER 2018

Rising Tides swells opinion at Liberty Hall

FairPlé, the recently established coalition of musicians whose aim is to raise awareness about gender balance in the production, performance, promotion and development of Irish traditional and folk music, presents Rising Tides; a 2 day festival of music and ideas in Liberty Hall, Dublin on Saturday September 8th and Sunday September 9th. The initiative, supported by The Arts Council, and in conjunction with the Musicians’ Union of Ireland, is the first of its kind in Irish traditional music, and includes presentations, panel discussions and concerts featuring many leading Irish artists.

FairPlé Chair and founder member, Karen Casey, says, “There are loads of fantastic women musicians out there, but it seems to us that they have not been enjoying the same opportunities. Why is this? How can we address it? How deep do these issues really go? This is a chance to open the floor to our community and share ideas, engage in the issues at hand, and move towards positive change”.

Beginning with a series of panel discussions on Saturday September 8th, Rising

Tides will celebrate and elevate the musical contribution of women artists in Irish traditional and folk music. The discussion will look at the under-representation of female musicians in Irish Music, and panellists will explore the support networks that women need in order to put creative work out there successfully. Leading figures in the world of Irish music will examine some of the issues that women grapple with in the industry; provide career advice for emerging artists; share insights about managing the business aspects while holding down a career on the road; face down sexual harassment issues, and analyse the challenges faced by older women in Irish music. Participants will be encouraged to tackle the issues in an open and frank way; inspiring positive culture change from the bottom up.

The Festival will culminate with a gala concert featuring an impressive line-up of artists. Among others, The Friel Sisters, John Spillane, Muireann Nic Amhlaoibh, Síle

Denvir, Barry Kerr & Dónal Lunny, ATLAS, Niamh Parsons, Graham Dunne, Emma

Langford, Úna Monaghan, Jane Walls and Séan McKeon will join to celebrate the creativity and diversity of women artists’ contribution, and highlight FairPlé’s advocacy to pursue a more equitable gender balance in traditional and folk music.

“Even though this is a gender issue, it’s important that it doesn’t become a gender argument,” says singer Pauline Scanlon, a founding member of FairPlé. “It actually detracts from the focus of what we want to achieve and how we achieve it. This isn’t about a turf war. It’s just about taking a big, deep breath and moving forward together”.

Note to Editors

After years on the road, being the only woman, or one of very few on the tour bus, and backstage at gigs, and following lots of whispered conversations with other women on the scene, Karan Casey again found herself, in January 2018, the only woman on a line-up of men for a collaborative concert at Liberty Hall. She made an impassioned speech calling for change. Following this, the wheels were put in motion and FairPlé was born. Established in February 2018, FairPlé is a coalition of women and, crucially, men whose aim is to achieve better gender balance in the production, performance, promotion and development of Irish traditional and folk music. It advocates for equal opportunity and balanced representation for all.

Further information from email:

Niamh Dunne 0044 77 45958979



10.30am: Launch by Aibhlín McCrann; ‘FairPlé – The Story So Far’ with Karan

Casey; Coffee

11.45 – 13.00pm: She Means Business: Making Music Work

Evaluate the role of women in the business of Irish traditional and folk music with our panel of key industry professionals. What are the big issues? What kind of challenges face women in the business? How do musicians and performers negotiate the politics and practicalities of making their art work for them?

Panellists: Eleanor McEvoy, Peter Cosgrove, Liz Doherty & Dermot McLaughlin.

Chaired by Lynette Fay (please see for bios).

2.00pm – 3.15pm: Playing with Power: Sexual Harassment & Workplace Policy

Join our panel of experts to address the issue of sexual harassment in Irish music.

What are our rights and responsibilities as employers, promoters, agents, sound engineers, teachers, producers and performers of all genders? A great opportunity to get a unique insight into these panelists’ life experiences.

Panellists: Ellen O’Malley Dunlop, Paul Henry & Pauline Scanlon. Chaired by Úna

Monaghan (please see for bios).

3:30pm – 4.15pm: Emerging Artists: Shaping the Future.

Is there a career in music for you? A session focussing on a blend of career advice and open floor discussion. Are there equal numbers of boys and girls learning and playing Irish music? Are men and women equally represented on our big stages?

Identify the pitfalls and listen to advice from our expert panel.

Panellists: Eamon Murray, Shane Gillen, Muireann Nic Amhlaoibh, Ciara O’Leary Fitzpatrick, Tola Custy & Nuala O’Connor. Facilitated by Joanne Cusack (please see for bios).

5.30pm: Music Session in the bar

RISING TIDES CONCERT: SUNDAY 9TH SEPT. @7.30pm (TICKETS €22.50, available here)

A concert featuring leading folk and traditional artists celebrating the creative contribution of women in Irish music.Artists on the night include: The Friel Sisters, John Spillane, Muireann Nic Amhlaoibh, Síle Denvir, Barry Kerr & Dónal Lunny, ATLAS, Niamh Parsons & Graham Dunne, Emma Langford, Úna Monaghan, Jane Walls and Séan McKeon.

Permalink - Posted: August 16, 2018 at 9:45 am