One of Ireland's biggest cultural events, Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann, is about to make it's way to Ireland’s Ancient East for first time in many years when it it staged in Drogheda from Sunday 12th August to Sunday 19th August.
The festival is set to attract traditional Irish music musicians, singers and dancers from far and wide. The large numbers travelling to the Fleadh, either to perform or be entertained, are sure to give the north-east a significant economic boost during the week-long event.
The Fleadh is the pivotal event in every traditional Irish musician’s annual schedule and this August marks the first time in many years the festival will be held on the east coast with Drogheda perfectly positioned to capitalise on the big populations in cities such as Dublin and Belfast.
Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann 2018 offers Drogheda and the surrounding region a unique opportunity to showcase itself on both a national and international stage. Over 400,000 people are expected to visit the region for the week-long festival ( 30% of which are expected to travel from overseas).
Drogheda is expected to reap significant economic benefits from the week-long event, with an estimated €40m expected to flow into town and surrounding area as a result of the Fleadh.
Commenting on Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann, Dr Labhrás Ó’ Murchú, Ardstiúrthóir Comhaltas Ceoltóiri Éireann said: “Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann is now the largest and most unique cultural festival in the world. Its significance is cultural, economic and social and it is a tribute to all those who kept our cultural traditions alive down through the decades. Drogheda is an ideal venue for this celebration of whom we are as a people.”
Colm Breheny, Ireland’s Ancient East Manager, Failte Ireland added: “Failte Ireland is delighted to support Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann 2018 in Drogheda this August. Hosting such a prestigious event affords County Louth an unrivalled opportunity to showcase the many things it has to offer to both residents and visitors alike from heritage, culture and Irish tradition. 2018 also marks the first time that the Fleadh will take place on the north east coast of Ireland, allowing us to shine a spotlight on what makes Ireland’s Ancient East truly special.”
The organisers emphasise how for those attending the Fleadh Drogheda as well as counties Meath and Louth offer a wealth of attractions and the warmest of welcomes to visitors this August.
Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann 2018 boasts some of the country’s most talented musicians, singers and dancers including Martin Hayes and Denis Cahill, Zoë Conway, Damien Dempsey, Pádraigín Ni Uallacháin, Sibéal Davitt and Gerry O’Connor.
Visitors can look forward to seeing Stockton’s Wing reform for a one-off performance for the first time in decades, whilst Irish traditional band Beoga who were recently announced as the support act for Ed Sheeran’s greatly-anticipated Irish shows, are sure to draw large crowds into Drogheda this August.
This year’s line-up has been described as one of the most exciting to date, with an array of artists of local, national and international significance including the Hot House Flowers, Julie Fowlis, Frankie Gavin, Odhrán Ó Casaide, Mairead and Triona Ni Dhomhnall, Andy Irvine and Donal Lunny, Moya Brennan & Cormac De Barra, Ulaid, The Voice Squad and Sibeal O Casaide. Completing the line-up are Kieran Hanrahan, this year’s recipient of the third The Flanagan Brothers, Michael Holohan, Mick O’Brien & Family, banjo player Stevie Dunne, the RTÉ Contempo Quartet and the RTÉ Concert Orchestra in a programme that also celebrates Irish traditional music song and dance and its importance through families and the intergenerational exchange that takes place.
Aoife Ruane, Chair of the Programme Committee said: "We have taken great pleasure and pride in exploring and preparing the concert programme for this year’s Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann; reflecting the immense wealth of talent, experience, and ingenuity in traditional Irish music today, and in particular highlighting the work of artists in the Oriel Region. Drogheda is situated at the southern end of the ancient kingdom of Oriel, stretching northwards across borders and boundaries to Armagh. It is one of the richest areas of traditional music in Ireland and has a wealth of music collected in manuscript and transmitted orally down through generations."
Tickets are now available to purchase for Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann 2018 and the line-up of events and performances, which will take place every day from Sunday 12th through to Sunday 19th August 2018, is available to view at www.fleadhcheoil.ie
The 46th Annual Scoil Éigse organised by Comhaltas takes place in Drogheda, August 12th to 17th, the week preceding Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann. At Scoil Éigse – CCÉ’s annual international Summer School students of all ages register for the various instrumental music, singing, dancing and Irish language classes.
There will also be classes for adults where they can learn Amhránaíocht, Banjo, Bodhrán, Button Accordion, Concertina, Fiddle, Flute, Harp, Piano Accompaniment, Piano Accordion, Uilleann Pipes, Rince ar an Sean-nós, Traditional Singing, and the Whistle.
Seachtain na Gaeilge
Make sure to learn a cúpla focail at this year’s Fleadh Cheoil with the extensive line up of classes, music and chit chat lined up for the week of the Fleadh!
The Irish language has a central role in the activities of Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann and at Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann in Drogheda. 2018 has been designated as Bliain na Gaeilge and we are proud to present a very full programme of events.
Seachtain na Gaeilge features a wide range of activities for all age groups and all abilities: Irish classes, dancing classes, historical walking tours, lectures, song-writing workshop, fun for all the family, quiz, treasure hunt, Pop up Gaeltacht and music and song in Irish on the gig rig etc..
The Coiste Gaeilge na Fleidhe is very grateful to Foras na Gaeilge for their generous sponsorship of the programme of events for Seachtain na Gaeilge and all are welcome to attend the official launch of the programme of events for Seachtain na Gaeilge on Tuesday at 5pm in the Highlanes Gallery.
Seachtain na hÉigse
Seachtain na hÉigse is a series of lectures given by reputable hosts about different aspects of the history of the culture of Ireland. One of the lectures is hosted by Dr. Adele Commins and will surround an evaluation of the legacy of notable musicians who have made a significant contribution to the development of Irish traditional music, very often through their teaching or mentoring of young musicians.
The speakers will present personal insights, share recordings and perform examples that will illustrate the contribution of selected individuals to the transmission of the tradition. There will be a particular focus on acknowledging and recognising the contribution made by musicians associated with Co.Louth, but figures from throughout the Irish traditional music world will be celebrated.
Youth Events at the Fleadh
Fleadh Choil na hÉireann Drogheda aims to ensure there is something for the whole family to enjoy throughout the week. There will be a number of Children’s Mid-Morning events hosted in the Barbican Theatre between 11am and 12pm to cater for the children attending the Fleadh. These fun, interactive sessions will be hosted by some wonderful musicians from both Ireland and Scotland and will teach the children a wealth of knowledge about the irish culture through music, song, dance and language.