2016 Mayo Manchester Tradfest hailed a sell out success
Mayo Manchester Tradfest a sell-out success
This years 2016 week long Mayo Manchester Tradfest in and around Ballina has been hailed as another sell out success. The week long traditional Irish Music and Dance festival was filmed by Irish TV's Mayo Matters and broadcast live by Midwest Radio. It was staged in conjunction with the Giro De Baile, In Humberts Footsteps re-enactment, Siamsa Sraide Street Festival in Swinford, the Attymass Gathering, the Kilkelly Heritage Day, The Taste of Mayo Festival, The Lahardane Titanic Society and the Bonniconlon Agricultural and Gymkhana show. The festival has broken all previous records with just over 50,000 visitors attended the 70 events involving over 500 performers which ran from Thursday 28 July and finished on Wednesday 3 August.
Tony Hennigan the director of Mayo Manchester commented “It has been a hectic schedule with up to two packed out events each day plus over sixty fringe events. We have exceeded our expectations and it is great to see all the Hotels full up and the pubs and venues packed out with visitors. We would like to acknowledge the support of Mayo.ie, Failte Ireland, Ballina Council, the Ballina Chamber, Mayo North and all the performers from Mayo and Manchester. It has been a great collaboration and it just shows what can be achieved with a common goal of promoting Traditional Irish Music, Song and Dance. We seemed to have tapped into a desire to try and bring the Fleadh back to Mayo, which was last staged in 1997. We are already planning our festival to celebrate its twentieth anniversary next year and who knows wouldnt it be great to see it back for the twenty first anniversary in 2018. Despite having over 500 performers this year we are still looking to increase our numbers and would welcome any individual, group or organisation who wants to get involved in next years celebrations. The reception from every village and town that we visited was overwhelming and we would like to thank everyone for their warm hospitality and friendship.”
The Festival staged eleven main events which started with the launch of the Attymass Gathering festival on Thursday 28 July. This was followed by a VIP Launch party and two hour Radio broadcast with Midwest Radio on Friday 29 July which saw Lord of the Dance star, James Keegan who flew in to kick start the festival with Alan Keegan from Manchester United Football club who came straight from a tour in Beijing with United. On Saturday 30 July the festival staged a sold out Gala Concert at the Ballina Arts Centre. Sunday 31 July featured the Traditional Irish music session with Admiral Brown CCE in Foxford followed by an Attymass Gathering Closing Concert in An Sionnach Rua Pub. On Monday 1 August the festival staged a Tradfest concert at the Bonniconlon Show for the Taste Of Mayo and an outdoor concert and parade in Kilkelly. On Tuesday 2 August Mayo Manchester staged a parade and performance at the Siamsa Sraide in Swinford foolwed by a performance at the Titanic memorial in Lahardane and concert in JP Leonards. The Festival finished off with a sell out Closing concert at Enniscoe House in Crossmolina with Atlantic Rhythmly. and a number of special guests which included Irish dancers from Italy.