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Introduction

From May 21st to 29th, thousands of Traditional Music lovers will gather in Ennis, Co. Clare – the home of Fleadh Nua since 1974. Internationally recognised as Ireland’s Premier Festival of Traditional Entertainment, Fleadh Nua ‘06 promises to be the biggest and best yet. An estimated crowd of 50,000 will generate a multi-million Euro boost for the area.

Ennis is justifiably proud of its status as Ireland’s Traditional Music Capital. Boasting not one but two annual internationally acclaimed festivals, a buzzing session scene in the pubs, a plethora of music classes and a first class performance venue in Glór – Cliabhán Cheol na hÉireann – well, “if it’s music you want, then go to Clare.” Many would say that the foundation stone for Ennis’ reputation as a traditional Mecca was laid in 1956 when Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann came to town. Immortalised in song by the legendary Robbie McMahon, “the Fleadh down in Ennis” quickly passed into lore as one of the great events in traditional music since the Belfast Harp Festival of 1791. It established a new format for the presentation of traditional music, song and dance which has grown from strength to strength. So much so that fifty years later Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann is one of the biggest outdoor events in Europe. Fleadh Nua ’06 looks back at this momentous event and traces its legacy to the present day.

Highlights of this year’s Fleadh include:

“A Terrible Beauty”
Ninety years after the Rising, our feature concert revisits the events of Easter 1916 incorporating the music, song, writing and reportage of the time. Singers Seán Ó Sé, Tadhg Maher, Edel Vaughan and Seamus Mac Mathúna will be joined by the Turloughmore Céilí Band with narration provided by noted broadcasters, Ciana Campbell and Pat Costelloe.

Remembering the Fleadh down in Ennis
The theme event promises to be a unique evening of music and memories as the characters of Robbie McMahon’s song are brought to life in Cois na hAbhna - a tangible legacy of the 1956 and 1977 All Ireland Fleadhanna in Ennis. Guests include Kevin Rowsome and Lorraine Hickey, Eileen O’Brien, Vincent Broderick and many others.

Fidil Beo Recital
The phrase “a living legend” is bandied about so much these days as to be rendered all but meaningless. But how else can you describe Accordion virtuoso, Joe Burke who will give the Fidil Beo Recital at this year’s Fleadh? Joe will be accompanied by his wife, Anne Conroy-Burke for what promises to be a very special evening. One piece of advice: come early as seats will be at a premium.

Aos Óg
This event is a showcase for the best young traditional musicians, singers and dancers in the country. Producer, Martin Connolly, has arranged a concert programme drawn from the ranks of underage All Ireland Champions which will feature the talents of Tara Breen, Eimear Arkins, Niamh Denmead, Oisín Ó hIarnáin, James Harvey and Máiréad Ní Chorradáin. A definite must-see event

As always Fleadh Nua has something for everyone - Céilithe, Music and Set Dancing Workshops, Street Entertainment, Traditional Singing Sessions, Conversational Irish Programme, Lectures, Exhibitions, Tóstal Sráide, Storytelling, Scoil Fleadh Nua, A Guided Walking Tour, Outreach Programme, The National Dancing Championships, Senior And Junior Cabaret Shows, Pub Music Trail, Club Fleadh Nua, and CD Launches. And that is only the organised part of the programme! A myriad of sessions both indoors and out ensures that the narrow streets of Ennis will resound with Traditional Music, Song and Dance throughout the Festival. See full event details at www.fleadhnua.com

Fleadh Nua is organised by Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann on a voluntary not for profit basis.


   

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