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The 15th Shannonside Winter Music Weekend, organised by the Sixmilebridge Folk Club in Co Clare, will take place from the 16th to 20th January, 2013. The popular event which has seen its attendance numbers double last year to over 1,000 people is a unique showcase for a variety of music genres.

As part of the event and for the third year in a row, visitors to Bunratty Castle & Folk Park are in for a special treat on Saturday, January 18th from 12 noon to 5 pm when the famous day visitor attraction hosts a feast of music from at home and overseas.

The best of music will be showcased in five venues around the Castle and Folk Park. The acts change every hour and perform a 45 minute concert covering such diverse genres as Classical, Jazz/Blues, Vocal group, Traditional Irish & French music as well as Bluegrass, Oldtimey, Gypsy, Folk & Rock.

Commenting on the success of tremendous popularity of the event John Ruddle, CEO of Shannon Heritage, the company which manages and operates Bunratty Castle & Folk Park, said: “We are delighted once again to offer visitors this unique opportunity to experience the wonderful acoustics of 15th century Bunratty Castle and to explore the superb range of musical genres in selected venues throughout the Folk Park with its thatched farmhouses, village street, pub and speciality shops.”

With twenty-one performances are scheduled throughout the afternoon among them: Tim Rodgers & Clew Bay Critters, Grown men, Rue du Canal (Belgium/France), Sixmilebridge Folk Club, La Compagnie Maribel (France), Full Throttle, Tuxedo Jazz, High Plains Tradition (USA), Brendan Walsh, Papirossi (Germany), Mikey & the Scallywags, Hastings Family, Tuxedo Junction.

Brendan Walsh the Festival Director says he is more excited than ever with the overall programme this year. Entertainment value has always been high on his requirements when picking bands and Brendan claims that this year will be one of the best. With regards Bunratty Castle and Folk Park he has built on the success of last year with the bands changing venues regularly and very few repeating a concert at the same venue. This means that if you stay in the barn venue for example, you can catch 5 different 45min concerts from noon to 5.00pm. Most artistes play two concerts allowing people a chance of catching them a second time if they are late for their first performance.

The festival itself is now called the Shannonside Winter Music Weekend which embraces the wider geographical area of Sixmilebridge & Bunratty. It has been going from strength to strength over the last few years, and this year’s event marks another step forward for this eclectic festival of the best in acoustic music. Between Thursday 16th and Monday 20th January, almost 80 concerts, pub gigs, sessions, and shows will keep the villages of Sixmilebridge and Bunratty buzzing and bouncing with acts from far and wide, as well as the cream of local talent.

The Tin Sandwich Band lead a strong trad roster in a weekend that is always different, yet always a delight. The hugely popular High Plains Tradition from Colorado will provide bluegrass excellence, while La Compagnie Maribel from southern France bring their regional song, dance and costume for a very different experience. From Germany, Papirossi play a quirky mix of world music styles, and Rue du Canal deliver sublime Franco-Irish gypsy-folk. Gospel, Classical, even rockahillbilly music get a look in too!
Saturday sees Bunratty Folk Park hosting gigs on five different stages, while the pubs of Sixmilebridge resound to the best of sessions in jazz, folk, blues, bluegrass, as well as Irish. The festival overflows into Bunratty village on Saturday night with many pub gigs as well as dancing to Tuxedo Junction in Bunratty Castle Hotel.

Another heaped helping of nourishing music and set dancing to Johnny Reidy Ceili Band makes Sunday in Bunratty or Sixmilebridge more fun than you'd ever expect in Clare in the middle of winter. From start to finish, this festival will charm, surprise, entertain and occasionally astound. No better way to shrug off the Winter blues. 

For further information contact: Nandi O' Sullivan Corporate Communications Manager Shannon Development ( 061-712890 / 086-2371510 : osullivanna@shannondevelopment.ie