Mayo Manchester Tradfest takes over Mayo
This years 2017 week long Mayo Manchester Tradfest has proved a big hit all over Mayo with over 100 events staged and over 500 performers involved in the 7 day festival attracting just over 50,000 visitors.
Tony Hennigan from Mayo Manchester commented "I think we have covered every inch of Mayo during the week long celebration of Traditional Irish Music, Song and Dance and I would like to thank all the performers and the supporters of the festival who have made it a very memorable experience. This is our fifth year and the festival keeps expanding, we have had a great reception in Castlebar and Westport which we visited for the first time this year."
Highlights included the festivals launch in Ballina by Senator Michelle Mulherin on Thursday 3 August which featured an outdoor broadcast by Midwest Radio station and featured over 70 performers on the night. On Friday it staged a Tradfest flash mob Trail with surprise gigs all over Ballina which included a special treat to the residents of Ballina's newly opened Riverview Sonas Nursing Home. On Saturday 5 August Mayo Manchester visited Castlebar to launch the festival at 12 noon in the Irish House Bar and Collins Music Store. The group were greeted by the Mayor of Castlebar, Cllr Martin McLoughlin, Cllr Blackie Gavin and Lisa Chambers TD who were ecstatic about their performance and offered to stage a civic reception for them next year to celebrate the Mayo Manchester Tradfest and the Fianna Phadraig Pipe Bands 70th anniversary.
Saturday evening saw the group stage a special charity event in aid of the victims of the recent Manchester Arena attack which saw over 100 musicians, singers and dancers perform a two hour concert at the Ballina Arts Centre hosted by Alan Keegan from Manchester United Football Club.
The CEO of Mayo County Council, Peter Hynes welcomed the group to Foxford of Sunday 6 August where they performed a Parade from the Foxford Woolen Mills to the Mayfly Hotel where they staged an afternoon seisiun. On Sunday evening the group performed a concert with the Attymass Youth Choir in the recently re-opened Attymass Community Centre.
Monday 7 August saw the group open the Bonniconlon Show with a parade through the showgrounds and performance in Mayo.ie Food and during the evening the group staged a special Tradfest concert at Westport Theatre to celebrate the towns 250th Anniversary. Cllr Christy Hyland the chair of Westport 250 welcomed the group to the town and paid tribute to them for staging the concert.
On Tuesday 8 August the group staged a special a 5 hour non-stop round the fire seisisun involving musicians, singers, dancers and a parade around Attymass at the local Sionnach Rua (The Red Fox) Pub to thank Gerry Lavelle the owner of the pub for his help in part sponsoring the accommodation for the Fianna Phadraig Pipe Band.
Finally on Wednesday 9 August the group took over the streets of Westport with a Parade and a final sold out seisiun at the world famous Matt Molloys.