Top Ten Events at 2018 Mayo Manchester Tradfest in 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 unique festival with over 500 performers from Mayo and Manchester taking part in over 100 events is Ireland's biggest Tradfest.

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, Ashford Castle, Attymass, Bonniconlon, Castlebar, Claremorris and Westport.

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.

Here are the top ten events at this years 2018 Festival:

1. Thursday 2 August, Live Radio broadcast by Midwest Radio at the Fr Peyton Centre, 6pm-8pm

The festival will be launched in Attymass with a live two hour radio broadcast by Midwest Radio sponsored by Excel Excavations at the Fr Peyton Centre in the award winning Attymass Parish (Ireland’s Pride of Place winners 2017). The free event features a host of performances from award winning musicians, singers and dancers along with a number of VIP guests.

2. Thursday 2 August, VIP Launch Concert at Breaffy House Resort, Castlebar, 9pm

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 event 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, Marian Waldron, The Fianna Phadraig Pipe Band and Alan Keegan from Manchester United Football Club plus a host of special guests and performers.

3. Friday 3 August, Fianna Phadraig Pipe Band 70th Anniversary Concert, Achill Head Hotel, 9pm

During the bank holiday weekend the Tradfest has been invited to visit Achill Island to celebrate the 70th Anniversary of the Manchester based Fianna Phadraig Pipe Band. The band are hoping 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. A Free concert and open session will then be staged inside the hotel with Joe Keegan from the BBC TV Show the Voice and guest musicians from Scoil Acla, plus Peter Mylett who is showcasing his new hit song 'The Greenway Song' the evening is being hosted by Alan Keegan, the Voice of Old Trafford at Manchester United.

4. Saturday 4 August, 6th Annual Mayo Manchester Tradfest Gala Concert, Ballina Arts Centre, 7.30pm

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 is being sponsored by the Mayo Association Dublin. It will 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’, Marian Waldron, Con Murphy, Dennis McCalmont, the Jiving Juniors as featured on RTE TV’s Late Late Show and The Centre Stage Vocal Academy. Tickets are €10 (Early Bird) €15 Book online www.ballinaartscentre.com or Tel 096 73593

5. Sunday 5 August, Mayo Manchester Tradfest Promenade Performance at Westport House, 1pm

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.

6. Sunday 5 August, Mayo Manchester Tradfest Gala Concert at Claremorris Town Hall Theatre, 7pm

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. Performers from Manchester include Joe Keegan from the BBC TV show The Voice, The Fianna Phadraig Pipe Band, Marian Waldron as seen on Sky TV and Peter Mylett who iis showcasing his new hit tune 'The Greenway Song'. Performers from Mayo include Joe Beirne of Midwest Radio fame, plus local musicians Peter Gannon, Ann Morley, Rory Walsh, and Declan Burke. The Claremorris based Turley Duggan Academy of Irish Dance will also be performing on the night and the evening is being hosted by Alan Keegan the Voice of Old Trafford from Manchester United Football Club. Tickets are €15 book online at www.townhall.ie or Tel 094 931 0999

7. Monday 6 August, The Official Opening of Bonniconlon Show, 12 noon

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. The Fianna Phadraig Pipe band will lead a parade of VIPs to the stage to officially open up the show.

8. Monday 6 August, Promenade Performance at Mount Falcon Estate, 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 at 2pm. 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.

9. Tuesday 7 August, Gala Concert headlined by Billow Wood at Matt Molloys, 8pm

The Tradfest returns to the world famous Matt Molloys Irish Pub in Westport. Last year the event which is staged in th Yard Bar Music venue 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. The concert also features Joe Keegan from the BBC TV show -The Voice and Westports David Dee Moore. Guest musicians, singers and dancers are welcome to join in the concert. Tickets are €10 in advance, €15 on the door see www.mayomanchester.com to book online through paypal or call into the venue for tickets.

10. Wednesday 8 August, MMTradfest Closing Performance at Ashford Castle, 2pm

Finally the festival is brought to a close with the Mayo Manchester Tradfest closing session 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