“A festival for musicians, run by musicians” is the ethos at the heart of Ennis Trad Fest, according to its organising committee.
This year marks the 24th consecutive Ennis Trad Festival, to be held from Thursday November 9th to Monday November 13th in the county town. A packed itinerary of traditional arts events is planned by the organisers, combining a mix of formal concerts, a free ‘Session Trail’ throughout the town, instrument master classes, a Céili, CD launches, Sean Nós and Set Dancing classes, a Trad Disco, the Trad 4 Teens programme, plus a Traditional Music table quiz.
The Session Trail is a mainstay of the festival, taking place in the bars and restaurants of Ennis, with eighty plus sessions of the highest quality traditional music, featuring two hundred and fifty musicians, and all are free to attend.
The official launch of Ennis Trad Fest 2017 takes place at the Queens Hotel at 7pm on Thursday November 9th. The Damien Mullane Band will be in concert at the Queens Nightclub on Friday November 10th, while the perennial festival band, Four Men and a Dog, with special guest keyboardist James Delaney, take to the stage at the Auburn Lodge Hotel on Saturday night November 11th. While essentially a traditional Irish music group, Four Men and A Dog create a unique sound by fusing rock, jazz, blues, bluegrass, swing, salsa and polka.
The annual Sunday night gig at the Old Ground Hotel is a popular favourite with festival goers and this year’s line-up features Traditional singer Thomas McCarthy, Breton master flautist Jean Michel Vellion making a return visit, this time in the company of guitarist Yvon Riou, and to top the line-up, Ennis Trad Fest organisers are delighted to present the trio of Frankie Gavin, Alec Finn and Derek Hickey.
The final gig of the festivities will take place at the Sanctuary on Monday night, featuring another very fine triumvirate of musicians, Dermot Byrne, Trevor Hutchinson and Steve Cooney.
Over the course of the festival many artists will launch CDs, this list includes, the trio, Karen Ryan, Andrew McNamara and Pete Quinn. Also launching will be Arkansas’ cellist Alec Brown, flute player Tommy Guihan, London based group Artisan Row, husband and wife duo Sorcha and Martin Meehan as well as solo offerings by Tony O’Connell Tiarnán Ó’Duinnchinn, Florian Blancke, Bernadette NicGabhann, Therese McInerney and Daire Mulhern.