Shandrum Céilí Band, Senior Céilí Band Winners, in 2015 (image on Fleadh TV - see YouTube link below).

Fleadh Cheoil to live stream Senior Céilí Bands competition

In another Fleadh Cheoil first, a number of competitions will be live streamed this week, including the main highlight, the Senior Céilí Bands competition, which will be broadcast on Sunday evening August 7 from 6.15pm.

The competition streams will be available on the Fleadh Cheoil Facebook page, as well as on the TG4 Player throughout the weekend.

Thousands of competitors will take to the stage in hundreds of competitions, and a selection will be streamed free to air from St Finian’s College and from the Cathedral of Christ the King.

These include solo uilleann pipes, whistle, concertina, melodeon and banjo, as well as the senior flute and men’s singing competitions.

The competitions will be streamed using multicamera productions, and will also feature interviews and features on music and tourism.

“It’s a great initiative, and we are proud to be the first to roll out these Facebook Live broadcasts,” said Joe Connaire, chair of the Fleadh Cheoil Executive Committee.

“The competitions are popular, and we have to deal with challenges in accommodating everyone who wants to attend. This way we can bring the competitions to people at home, wherever in the world they want to tune in from.”

The live streamed competitions will include participants from places like the US, England, Scotland, Australia, Switzerland and Japan, as well as from all over Ireland.

Family members, friends and tutors of musicians taking part will be able to follow the competitions live on their phones or other devices, and a big screen has also been erected in the centre of Mullingar to host the webcasts.

“We have branches of Comhaltas in all five Continents and the music continues to grow and to thrive worldwide,” says Labhrás Ó Murchú, Ard Stiúrthóir of Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann.

“It makes sense for us to use technology to bring the music to many of the people who would like to be here in person but are unable to attend. This will give viewers a real flavour of the fleadh, and we have selected some of the best competitions, solo and group, for the public to enjoy.”

The live streams will be hosted by TG4 presenter Darren Ó Dubhgáin and musician Freda Hatton, both of whom have competed at the Fleadh Cheoil.

Everyone is invited to get involved online, by posting messages and comments, and a selection of these will be read out during the webcasts.

Competitions Live Stream Schedule.

Friday August 5, Live at 1.45pm, Uilleann Pipes 12-15, Whistle 12-15

Saturday August 6, Live at 9.45am, Concertina O18, Melodeon 15-18, Banjo 15-18

Sunday August 7, Live at 9.45am, Flute O18, Irish Singing (Men) O18, Céilí Bands O18