40th annual O’Carolan Harp Festival will feature top musicians




The O’Carolan Harp Festival returns to Keadue for the 40th year this August Bank Holiday weekend (Friday 3rd to Monday 6th) and will feature some of the very best musicians Ireland has to offer.

  The festival began in 1978, aiming to commemorate the famous harpist, Turlough O’Carolan, who lived in the area and was laid to rest near Keadue.

  The festival includes concerts, céilís, harp tuition, set dancing, harp recitals, and a harp competition sponsored by Arigna Fuels.

  Among the groups to grace the festival over the years are: The Chieftains, Sharon Shannon, De Danann, Foster & Allen and Dervish. Many international artists have also appeared at the festival. This year Stockton’s Wing will once again return for a very special concert on Sunday, August 5th at 9 pm.

  The Bank Holiday programme of events begins on Friday (3rd) at 10 pm with a céilí in St. Ronan’s Hall with music by Rise the Dust.

  On Saturday (4th) harp competitions commence at 10.30 am with a harp concert in Keadue Church at 9 pm and at 9.30 pm Shaskeen will perform a live concert.

  This is a concert not to be missed. Tickets can be booked online from the festival website www.ocarolanharpfestival.ie or by calling 087-2559269.

  On Sunday (5th) the crafts, food and arts displays will open at 2.30 pm before the festival parade featuring the Raheen Pipe Band takes place at 3 pm. The festival will be officially opened at 3.30 pm ahead of music and song from the ‘GigRig’ in St. Ronan’s Hall.

  Monday will see the annual visit to O’Carolan’s grave in Kilronan Cemetery at 11 am before a lecture in Kilronan Castle at 12 pm. Youth members of Keadue CCE will provide music, song and dance at 3 pm and Lee Matthews and band will perform in The Heritage Park at 4 pm. The festival will close at 7 pm with the internationally renowned Door Dancing Competition.

  The O’Carolan Harp Festival Summer School meanwhile will run from Monday, July 30th to Friday, August 3rd featuring renowned tutors of music and dance.

  For more information email tickets@ocarolanfestival.ie, for entries email entries@ocarolanfestival.ie or contact 087-2559269 or 087-3155880 or visit www.ocarolanharpfestival.ie.