WATCH: Tullamore TradFest launch will get you in the mood for a session

Justin Kelly

Reporter:

Justin Kelly

Email:

news@offalyexpress.ie

The organisers of the inaugural Tullamore TradFest have thanked those who attended their press launch at the Tullamore Court Hotel at the weekend.

The official press launch for the first ever Tullamore TradFest took place last Sunday in front of a huge crowd in the Tullamore Court Hotel.

Music rang out from the hotel foyer by local youth group TradÓige, right through to the Goodbody Suite where harpist Grace Minnock entertained those gathered for the press launch.

There was also a great show of support from local bodies and organisations with Councillor Declan Harvey of the Tullamore Town Council, Ann Starling and Roger Guiney of Tullamore Chamber of Commerce, David Scahill of Tullamore Garda and many others representing groups like Offaly County Board Comhaltas, other local branch groups and representatives from Tullamore Library all in attendance.

Speaking at the press launch, committee Chairperson Tommy Craven thanked everyone for attending and for the huge goodwill that there has been so far for the festival both locally and further afield:

“We knew we would get goodwill from within the traditional music community but the extent of goodwill which has been received is truly remarkable. We have received great support locally and indeed from neighbouring counties like Laois and Westmeath, but we also know for certain that individuals and families are travelling from Cork, Clare, Limerick, Kerry, Dublin, Cavan, Roscommon, London and Birmingham."

"These are people who haven't been booked by us to come. They are all travelling for the weekend because the want to come and join in the fun in Tullamore. I think one big contributing factor to this was the success of the Tullamore All Ireland Fleadhs 2007-2009. People loved Tullamore, not just for its ease of access, wide streets and great venues, but they also have really fond memories of the local people in Tullamore."

"Since we started organising Tullamore TradFest last September, the most common remark we get when dealing with people from outside Offaly is that there are great people in Tullamore, that the local people are so friendly and looked after everyone so well during the three All Ireland Fleadhs in Tullamore."

"So, even 10 years later, the memories of the Tullamore All Ireland Fleadhs and the friendliness of local people linger. Let’s hope we can reignite more of those memories and make some of our own this April," Tommy remarked.

Vice-chairperson and MC for the evening James Hogan also stressed that: “This is a really great opportunity for the town of Tullamore, to harness the enormous positivity that is there for Tullamore TradFest, by making sure we all put our shoulders to the wheel ensuring a great weekend for all."

"The more that Tullamore puts into this, the more it will get out of it. That’s why we went with the hashtags/slogan of #yourtunes #yourtown #yourTradfest. We, even as a really dedicated committee, can only do so much. We are appealing to everyone in Tullamore and the surrounding areas to please support the weekend."

"Provide a bit of sponsorship, provide a raffle prize, offer to help out and sell tickets...or it could be as simple as attending the events and session trail. Having well-attended events will be a great success for us in our first year."

"We have a great concert line up in the Bridge House Hotel on Friday, April 12, featuring, Bríd Harper, Darren Breslin, Brian McGrath along with Aoife and Deirdre Granville. On Saturday, April 13, we have Damien Mullane and Eugene Quinn supported by emerging local group Splendid Isolation (Michael Buckley Ciaran Cooney and Sean Burke)."

"In addition to these concerts there will be at least 36 sessions (admission free) around town over the weekend in conjunction with the Tullamore Vinters. Hopefully, it will lead to an annual event which would be great for traditional music locally and the town of Tullamore."

The event concluded with outgoing Tullamore Chamber of Commerce Chairperson, Ann Starling, declaring Tullamore TradFest officially launched and MC James Hogan thanking all in attendance, the official dignitaries, TradÓige, harpist Grace Minnock, the Tullamore Vintners, the generous sponsors and the extremely dedicated Tullamore TradFest committee which includes, Damien Kearns, AnnMarie Kearns, Frank Walsh, Paddy Buckley, Michael Buckley, Brian McDaid, Lorraine Hogan and Eimear Craven. A full programme of events, which includes concerts, instrument workshops, accordion recital, session trail and family events along with a link to buy event tickets can be found on www.tullamoretradfest.com


 
Tullamore TradFest Events:

Friday, April 12

Session Trail – Trad sessions in 13 venues through Tullamore. Admission FREE

Main Concert in The Bridge House – Bríd Harper (fiddle) Darren Breslin (accordion) Brian McGrath (piano)

Saturday, April 13

Instrumental Workshops to be held in Coláiste Choilm – Tutors Aoife Granville (flute) Bríd Harper (fiddle) John McCann (accordion) Greta Curtin (concertina) Alisha McMahon (harp) Theresa O’Grady (banjo)

Session Trail – Trad sessions in 13 venues through Tullamore. Admission FREE

Accordion Recital – Featuring leading accordion players from around the country.

Festival Club/Late Gig upstairs in Fergie’s Bar – Damien Mullane (accordion) Eugene Quinn (guitar)

Sunday, April 14

Family Fun Event

Session Trail – Trad sessions in 13 venues through Tullamore. Admission FREE

Organisers are also hosting a number of fundraising sessions in the lead-up to the big event in April. You can support them on the following dates:

Thursday, February 28 - Table Quiz and tunes in The Brewery Tap

Sunday, March 3 - Trad Session in Fergie's Bar

Everyone welcome to attend and join in all events.

Concert tickets for Bríd Harper, Darren Breslin and Brian McGrath are now available from The Bridge House Hotel and online on the event website www.tullamoretradfest.com

For further details on all these events go to www.tullamoretradfest.com or follow Tullamore TradFest on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.