Mayo Manchester Launch brings Ballina to Standstill

Midwest Radio, Ireland's most listened to regional programme, brought Ballina to a standstill when they took over the centre of the town to launch this year’s 2017 Mayo Manchester Tradfest on Thursday 3 August with a two hour live broadcast at Bar Square.

Just over 70 performers took over the Street outside the popular venue in Ballina to take part in the two hour live broadcast which which received messages from as far as China from listeners tuning in online which was sponsored by the Manchester based Excel Excavations. The festival with over 100 events has been billed by the media as one of Ireland's biggest celebrations of Traditional Irish Music, Song and Dance.

The free admission VIP party featured performances from the Foxford Brass Band, Centre Stage Vocal Academy, The Fianna Phadraig Pipe Band, Joe Keegan from the TV Show the Voice, Vinnie Kelley from New Mexico in the USA, the Keegan Academy of Irish Dancing, Michael Fox, Marian Waldron and Dennis McCalmount. The six day festival was officially launched by Senator Michelle Mulherin which is now in its fifth year and annually attracts over 50,000 people to Mayo.

Tony Hennigan from Mayo Manchester commented “We were delighted to team up with Midwest Radio again to launch our annual festival with this live two hour Radio broadcast sponsored by Excel Excavations from Manchester. This year’s festival is our biggest yet, there are six main festival hubs located in Attymass, Ballina, Bonniconlon, Castlebar, Foxford and Westport. I would like to thank all the performers who created a great atmosphere for the event. I would like to thank Bar Square for hosting the event and the Fr Peyton Centre in Attymass who provided all the food and refreshments for the performers."

This year the festival reached the Finals of the 2017 Tourism Ireland Industry awards for festivals attracting over 50,000 visitors and is already the recipient of the Tourism Ireland Gathering of the Year and The International Mayo Peoples Award. With over 500 performers and over 100 events there is certainly something for everyone to enjoy.

With one main event completed there are another nine to enjoy these include:

1. Friday 4 August, 8pm-10pm, Ballina
The groups Irish Pipers, Musicians and Dancers will be staging a Tradfest trail in Ballina from 8pm-10pm which will be calling into key locations in the town for a series of Flashmob performances. Venues already confirmed include the Sonas Moy Ridge Nursing Home, Hogans Bar, The Auld Sheeben, Katie’s Corner and the Broken Jug.

2. Saturday 5 August, 12 noon, Castlebar
The Fianna Phadraig Pipe Band will be kick starting the MMTradfest celebrations at 12 noon outside the Irish House Bar on the main street in Castlebar.

3. Saturday 5 August, 7.30pm, Ballina
The Voice of Old Trafford, Mr Alan Keegan from Manchester United Football club is flying over from premiership clubs tour of the USA to host a special Charity Gala Concert in aid of the Manchester Emergency Fund at the Ballina Arts Centre at 7.30pm. All the profits from the show are being donated to the fund which is helping victims of the recent Terrorist bomb in Manchester. Performers on the night include: The Heroes for Hospice Choir featuring Patrick Lacken, The Ganley Sisters, Sean Nos Dancer Tommy Stenson, Dennis McCalmount, Joe Keegan from the BBC TV Show The Voice, The Fianna Phadraig Pipe Band and The Keegan Academy of Irish Dancing, Jiving Juniors and Marian Waldron. Tickets for the historic show are priced at just €15 contact the Arts Centre on +353 96 73593 or visit the website at . This event has been kindly sponsored by Rosgal Civil Engineering, Manchester.

4. Sunday 6 August, 2pm, Foxford
The festival visit the Mayofly Hotel Foxford for a free afternoon session and refreshments.

5. Sunday 6 August, 7.30pm, Attymass
MMTradfest will be joining forces with the Attymass Youth Choir and musicians to stage a special concert in Attymass to mark the closing night of the Attymass Gathering. The event takes place in the community centre in Attymass. There is a limited capacity at the venue and visitors are advised to purchase their tickets in advance from Padraic Walsh at the Fr Peyton Centre on +353 96 45374 or visit the website at . This event has been kindly sponsored by Rosgal Civil Engineering, Manchester.

6. Monday 7 August, 12 noon, Bonniconlon
The Tradfest will be making a brief appearance at the Bonniconlon Show to officially launch the event.

7. Monday 7 August, 7.30pm, Westport
The Tradfest will stage a special Gala Concert at Westport Town Hall Theatre to celebrate Westport’s 250th anniversary. Headlining the event is Mayo’s award winning Trad band ‘Flatout’ who will be joined by Joe Keegan from the BBC TV show The Voice, plus The Keegan Academy of Irish Dancing who are trained by the new Lord of the Dance – James Keegan and his sister Louise along with The Fianna Phadraig Pipe Band, Dennis McCalmount and special guests. This event has been kindly sponsored by Rosgal Civil Engineering, Manchester.
Tickets for the historic show are priced at just €15 Tel +353 98 28459 or visit the Theatre website

8. Tuesday 8 August, 9pm, Attymass
The tradfest will stage a special session in the An Sionnach Rua Pub in Bonnifinglas, Attymass to thank Gerry Lavelle the owner of the pub for kindly sponsoring the accomdation for the Fianna Phadraig Pipe Band.

9. Wednesday 9 August, 9pm, Westport
The Festival is brought to a close in Westport’s at the legendary Matt Molloys Music venue with a special Trad session on Wednesday 9 August.

For full festival listings visit