2018 Mayo Manchester Tradfest set to take over Mayo in August

2018 MMTradfest set to take over Mayo

The award winning sixth annual Mayo Manchester Tradfest will be taking over Mayo for a week-long celebration of Traditional Irish Music, Song and Dance.

The MMTradfest Festival runs from Thursday 2 August to Wednesday 8 August and is primarily located in Ballina, in North Mayo but it will also be staging key events in Achill Island, Attymass, Bonniconlon, Castlebar, Claremorris and Westport. It features over 500 performers taking part in over 100 events.

The week-long family friendly festival is a unique celebration which features performers from County Mayo in the West of Ireland and Manchester in the UK who annually join forces to celebrate their love of traditional Irish Music, Song and Dance. The festival which attracts over 50,000 visitors to Mayo was a finalist representing the County in the Failte Tourism Ireland Industry awards for festivals which attract over 50,000 visitors. It is already the recipient of two awards which are The Tourism Ireland Gathering of the Year and The International Mayo People's Awards.

Festival highlights this year include the 70th Anniversary celebrations for The Fianna Phadraig Pipe Band. The award winning Pipe band from Manchester are one of the few bands in the world who have had the privilege of performing at the 50th and 100th celebrations of Ireland’s Independence in Dublin.

The festival will be launched in Attymass with a live two hour radio broadcast by Midwest Radio on Thursday 2 August from 6pm-8pm at the Fr Peyton Centre in the award winning Attymass Parish (Ireland’s Pride of Place winners 2017). Later that evening Castlebar will be rolling out the Green and Red carpet with a special VIP Festival launch concert at 9pm in Breaffy House Resort. The free events feature a host of special guests and performers including the Sean Nos Dancers, The Ganley Sisters as seen on RTE TV, Ireland's premier download artist, Singer Songwriter Sina Theil, Joe Keegan from the BBC TV show The Voice, The Fianna Phadraig Pipe Band and Alan Keegan from Manchester United Football Club plus a host of special guests and performers.

During the bank holiday weekend the Tradfest has been invited to visit Achill Island to join some of the pipers from the Island’s five world famous Pipe bands in a special outdoor performance at The Achill Head Hotel at 9pm followed by a concert inside the hotel on Friday 3 August. On Saturday 4 August the performers have been invited to launch the Scoil Acla outdoor Summer School Concert on the Island at 1.30pm.
Saturday evening sees the Mayo Manchester Tradfest return to Ballina to stage a special 6th anniversary concert on Saturday 4 August which is to be hosted by Alan Keegan from Manchester United Football Club. The concert will also feature performances by The Fianna Phadraig Pipe Band, the Murphy Moore Irish Dance Academy and the Turley Duggan Academy from Mayo along with Joe Keegan from the BBC TV Show – ‘The Voice’, plus Con Murphy, Dennis McCalmount, the Jiving Juniors as featured on RTE TV’s Late Late Show and The Centre Stage Vocal Academy.
On Sunday 5 August, the group will be staging a short promenade performance in the grounds of the award winning Westport House at 1pm on the steps of the award winning Stately home followed by a Parade to the Grace O'Malley statue. Sunday evening sees the group make their Claremorris debut at Claremorris Town Hall Theatre with a host of award winning musicians, singers and dancers from Mayo joining the group in a special Tradfest concert.

On Monday 6 August the Tradfest has once more been invited to launch the 2018 Bonniconlon show just after 12 noon, the Agricultural and Gymkhana show is Ireland's second biggest show and annually attracts over 30,000 visitors to the celebration of rural Ireland and is based just outside Ballina in North Mayo. At 2pm the group visit the Mount Falcon Estate to stage a special Promenade perfornce in the grounds of the 100 Acre Estate based in the heatt of Ballina. The Performance will feature a parade by the Fianna Phadraig Pipe Band, followed by performanvces from Joe Keegan and Marian WAldron. The afternoon will be hosted by Alan Keegan, the Voice of Old Trafford at Manchester United Football club, To finish the bank holiday weekend off the group will be staging a special around the fire concert in the Sionnach Rua Pub in Attymass which is the group’s headquarters for the festival at 9pm.

On Tuesday 7 August the Tradfest returns to the world famous Matt Molloys Irish Pub in Westport. Last year the event was sold out and this year’s concert is being headlined by the multi award winning Trad band ‘Billow Wood’ who will be joining forces with Mayo Manchester, watch out for the outdoor performance by The Fianna Phadraig Pipe Band on the streets of Westport to kick start the concert.

Finally the festival is brought to a close with the Mayo Manchester Tradfest closing session on Wednesday 8 August at the 5 Star Ashford Castle in Cong at 2pm. For up to the minute information about the festival follow them on Twitter @mayomanchester or on Facebook Mayo Manchester Tradfest.

For full festival listings visit www.mayomanchester.com/events