On 27-31 April 2018, Kilfenora staged its 10th annual traditional music festival, a series commenced in 2009 with the 100th anniversary of the Kilfenora Céilí Band. As usual, it featured great concerts, céilís and pub sessions.
- Sessions in Kilfenora’s pubs from Friday to Monday, with the cream of musicians from Clare and beyond.
- The Singers’ night on Friday evening (9.30pm, Linnanes pub) gathered together some of the finest and most humorous singers and storytellers, hosted by Joe O’Connor.
- Also on Friday night. Kilfenora Comhaltas branch staged a variety concert in Kilfenora Hall featuring some of the abundance of local talent, young and old.
- On Saturday at 1pm there was a Riches of Clare concert (free) in the fabulous setting of Kilfenora’s ancient Cathedral (off Kilfenora Square), featuring young Kilfenora and N Clare talent – Cathal Corbett (banjo), Adrian McMahon (flute), Áine O’Donoghue (concertina), Áine Griffey (fiddle).
- Our main concert featured one of Ireland’s most iconic bands – the great Stockton’s Wing with special guest, Katie Theasby, plus this year’s winner of the Meitheal prize for young musicians, Joseph Mannion. Read about them here.
- We had CD launch concerts on Saturday – Rachel Conlan & Alan Reid – “A Quare Yield” (Linnanes, 2.30 pm) and Tommy Guihan “The Torn Jacket” (Nagles, 6 pm); and one on Sunday – Bobby Gardiner “Melodeon Mad” (Vaughans, 1 pm). Read more about all of these here.
- There was a Trad for Teens workshop in Kilfenora Hall on Sunday at 11.45 am, led by Colm Nestor. Bring an instrument if you are a teenager!
- The Star of Munster band led the céilí on Saturday and on Sunday the Four Courts played (both at 9.30 pm, Vaughans Barn)
- And, as in previous years, on Sunday afternoon (3 pm), the great Kilfenora Céilí Band played for a free céilí in the Square for a large crowd of dancers and spectators. They were preceded at 2.15 pm by the young Kilfenora Comhaltas Céilí band, which is winning many plaudits.
Sessions in pubs continued on Sunday from 6.00 pm, and on Monday (7 pm Linnanes, 9.30 pm Nagles). See session list here – Session list Kilfenora Fest 2018
A full printable schedule for the festival is available here – Kilf Fest 2018 programme
Visitors to Kilfenora were also able to see the much-praised Kilfenora Céilí Band Parlour exhibition space in the Burren Centre, opened formally by Irish President Michael D Higgins in March 2015. This is one of very few permanent museums in the world dedicated to a living musical performer or group. It also features the plaque received from the Guinness Book of World Records marking Kilfenora’s achievement in creating the largest traditional Irish Folk Band (at our 2014 festival).