Monday 2nd August 2021 @ 1pm
Tuesday 3rd August 2021 @ 1pm
Wednesday 4th 2021 @ 1pm
Thursday 5th August 2021 @ 1pm
Friday 6th – Sunday 8th August 2021 via Fleadhfest.ie
Solo competitions form a central part of Fleadhfest 2021. Musicians and singers who qualified for the All Ireland Fleadh Cheoil in 2019 (the most recent Fleadh) were invited to take part in the virtual Fleadhfest programme, and hundreds have signed up. Due to Covid-19 restrictions, we are unable to allow more than one musician at a time to take part – so no duets, trios, céilí bands, etc., but we still expect a high quality of performance from our solo musicians.
We’ll keep you posted on all of the competition details as they unfold. These will take place at the Institute of Technology in Sligo from Friday 6th to Sunday 8th August. A selection of the competitions will be streamed online via the Fleadhfest and TG4 social media platforms. Note that health guidelines mean that we cannot allow members of the public to attend in person, but you can follow the latest updates on all of the competitions as they happen on our social feeds.
The Comhaltas Competitions Committee, headed up by Majella Bartley, has been in touch with all of the applicants for the competitions and they are currently confirming attendance, and compiling the competition schedule. As soon as that becomes available, all details will be posted to the Fleadhfest website.
The winners of each of the individual competitions will be presented with a unique crystal trophy. And with the hope that we can return to a regular Fleadh Cheoil next year, this prize really will be a once off. Best of luck to all competitors, and we look forward to welcoming you to Sligo.
Due to the cancellation of Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann, a new online traditional music festival
will take place instead this August 1st-9th.
Hosted in Sligo, along the Wild Atlantic Way, Fleadhfest will be a mix of the virtual and the
actual, with all events being streamed online, and festival organizers allowing for the
attendance of limited numbers of the public, if Covid guidelines allow.
“It will give followers of traditional music something they’ve not seen or heard in over a
year,” says Bartley Gavin, Chair of Fleadhfest, “and that’s musicians playing live music in the
open air in Sligo. And with the country beginning to open up, we hope that this will also
involve an situation whereby members of the public will be allowed to attend in person and
not just online.”
It’s important therefore that the Fleadhfest programme will therefore show a degree of
flexibility in how the events are planned. The festival organizers aim to stream a number of
live events each day, and will choose locations where it will become possible – even at a late
stage – to allow for the participation of members of the public.
“It’s a challenge, but one we are really looking forward to,” says Peter Farrell, Fleadhfest
committee member, about the upcoming festival. Peter, along with Bartley and others
involved in Fleadhfest, were also part of the organizing teams which hosted two very
successful Fleadhanna Ceoil in Sligo in 2014 and 2015, and he hopes that Fleadhfest will
raise the spirits of the community once again.
“We all need a lift,” he adds. “We think that the programme will work on all levels, for the
people in Sligo, and for those watching in online. And while it will be different to a typical
Fleadh Cheoil, people will see that many of the events you’d see at every Fleadh Cheoil will
also be part of our programme here.”
Fleadhfest will host a number of big names on the main stage, live streaming every evening
during the nine day festival. In addition, a lunchtime gig will also take place at the festival
sheebeen, an outdoor space designed to look like a typical pub. And throughout the
weekend, Fleadhfest competitions will take place, some of which will be streamed
throughout the day, and TG4 will also broadcast a number of concerts during the weekend.
So, as we head into the Summer, it promises to be a time for optimism, when we can look
forward to sharing tunes with each other once again, and perhaps being able to attend
events in person. All tickets for any of the events will be issued in advance, so it’s important
that if members of the public want to find out more – about the concerts, sessions,
competitions, tickets, or whatever, that they sign up to the Fleadhfest ezine which will bring
you the latest information – visit www.Fleadhfest.ie.