Cavan contingent ready for National FleadhFest 2021

The annual festival of traditional arts is adapting to the times as Fleadh Cheoil na hEireann keeps the show on the road with the National FleadhFest 2021. The cancellation of the Fleadh Cheoil na hEireann in Mullingar last year saw Sligo take up hosting duties in this interim year.

Cavan's contingent of National FleadhFest participants will compete in many of the usual competitions, however restrictions on attendances will make it a very different festival of music, dance and drama.

The event will be a mixture of actual activities on site in the Yeat's county, as well as virtually online and TG4 will feature four two-hour broadcasts.

The Irish language broadcaster are following up their programmes celebrating 70 years of Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann in each of the four provinces, with a full weekend of concert films starting this Friday.

For three consecutive nights, in the company of presenters Daithí O Sé and Doireann Ní Ghlacáin, viewers will be treated to the cream of traditional music.

Filmed in Sligo, in locations including Lissadell House, there will be a wealth of musical talent from all over Ireland and beyond. With performances from Iarla O’Lionaird, Dervish, Moxie, Declan O’Rourke, Sean O’Sé, Laoise Kelly, Liam O’Maonlaí, JigJam, Joanie Madden, Mairtin O Connor, Cathal Hayden, Seamie O’Dowd, West Ocean String Quartet and many more.

Included from Cavan is Martin Donohoe on button accordion and Karen McMahon on guitar. Their selection included a composition of Martin’s; Pucker Hornpipe and an old reel, Boys of the Lough.

Competitions in the virtual Fleadh will run from this Friday [August 6]. Solo competitions from a central part of Fleadhfest 2021. Musicians and singers who qualified form the All Ireland Fleadh Cheoil in 2019 were invited to take part in the virtual Fleadhfest programme, with hundreds signing up.

Restrictions mean it was necessary to move all venues outdoors. There are now four venues. Venue one to three are located on the grounds of the Mercy College, Chapel Hill, Sligo. The competitions scheduled for this venue will be facilitated in covered outdoor spaces. Venue four will be situated on the Gig Rig at the Peace Park, The Lungy, Sligo and it is hoped it will be streamed on TG4 player.