Manchester set to stage one of Ireland's biggest Trad festivals in Mayo

Manchester Irish Festival 2017

Manchester stage Ireland's biggest Trad festivals in Mayo

The award winning fifth annual Mayo Manchester Tradfest returns to Mayo to stage what is being billed as one of Ireland's biggest Traditional Irish Music, Song and Dance Festival with over 500 performers at 100 events.

The six days and nights of the action packed family friendly festival will run over Ireland's August Bank holiday from Thursday 3 to Wednesday 9 August. There are ten official main events and over ninety fringe events, all but four events of the 100 events are free of charge.

The Festival which is primarily located in Ballina in North Mayo will also be staging key events in Attymass, Bonniconlon, Castlebar, Foxford and Westport. This year the festival reached the Finals of the 2017 Tourism Ireland Industry awards and is already the recipient of the Tourism Ireland Gathering of the Year and The International Mayo Peoples Award.

Tony Hennigan from Mayo Manchester commented "Manchester and Mayo have some of the worlds best traditional Irish musicians, singers and dancers, the festival was set up to showcase that talent and to develop links between the two areas.The week-long family friendly festival which is now in its fifth year is expected to attract over 50,000 visitors. It is a unique celebration which features performers from Mayo and Manchester who come together to share their Irish culture and heritage. We are extremely grateful to all the support we have received in Manchester and Mayo for this unique project. Most of the events are free of charge and open to everyone."

Festival Highlights include
1. Thursday 3 August, 6pm-8pm, Attymass
The Festival will stage a free launch party and a live two hour radio broadcast by the award winning Midwest Radio at the Fr Peyton Centre in Attymass, North Mayo. The event features a host of special guests and performers. This event has been kindly sponsored by Excel Excavations, Manchester.

2. 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 Riverview Nursing Home, Hogans Bar, The Auld Sheeben, Katie’s Corner and Bar Square.

3. 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.

4. 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 plus some surprise guest performers. Tickets for the historic show are priced at just €10 before end of June, or €15 after contact the Arts Centre on +353 96 73593 or visit the website at www.ballinaartscentre.com . This event has been kindly sponsored by Rosgal Civil Engineering, Manchester.

5. Sunday 6 August, 2pm, Foxford
The festival visit one of its favourite hotels and restaurants, The Mayofly Hotel in Foxford for a free afternoon session and refreshments.

6. Sunday 6 August, 8pm, 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 www.fatherpeytoncentre.ie . This event has been kindly sponsored by Rosgal Civil Engineering, Manchester.

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

8. 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 €10 before end of June, or €15 after Tel +353 98 28459 or visit the Theatre website www.westporttheatre.com

9. 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.

10. 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 www.mayomanchester.com