Date: Saturday 27th July
Location: The Lyric Theatre
Three of the hottest acoustic acts on the planet in Belfast for one night only. Don’t miss this opportunity of a lifetime to catch Lúnasa, Ulaid & Ríoghnach Connolly in concert for what promises to be a most spectacular night of traditional music and song in one of the most beautiful theatres in Ireland - The Lyric Theatre, Belfast..
Date: Monday 29th July
Location: Duncairn Cultural Arts Centre
Richard Lewis (R. L.) O’Mealy was a union piper and pipe-maker, born in Westmeath in the last quarter of the nineteenth century. He lived most of his adult life in Belfast where he was renowned as a piper, broadcaster, piping teacher and pipe-maker. His piping was crisp, entertaining and inventive and his broadcasts were essential listening for anyone with an interest in Irish music. Through his teaching and making of the instrument he was central to the continuance of piping in the north-east of Ireland in the early twentieth century. As an entertainer he was widely celebrated for both his knowledge of piping and the eccentric costumes he wore while performing. Tonight we celebrate the man and his music.
Date: Tuesday 30th July
Location: Cultúrlann McAdam Ó Fiaich
Tonight’s concert will be hosted by BBC Radio Ulster’s Lynette Fay
The Belfast Harp Festival, called by contemporary writers “The Belfast Harpers Assembly”,11–14 July 1792, was a four-day event organised by merchant class Presbyterians Dr. James McDonnell, Robert Bradshaw and Henry Joy, (proprietor of the Belfast News-Letter and uncle to Henry Joy McCracken). It’s purpose was to revive an interest in harp music and to collect the music of the harpers and note their style of playing for future generations. What was hoped to be a revival proved to be a farewell to the old tradition. Eleven harpers attended. Seven were blind. The eldest, Denis Hempson (1695 -1807) from Derry, was 97. He was the only one to use the ancient way of playing with the fingernails. By far the most important thing that happened at the festival was that a young man from Armagh named Edward Bunting(1773-1843) was employed to write down the music of the harpers and to make notes on their instrumental techniques. He dedicated the rest of his life to collecting and preserving Irish music. He published three volumes of music, collectively known as the Ancient Music of Ireland. Tonight we pay tribute to that event and the Bunting Collection.
Date: Wednesday 31st July
Location: An Droichead
Featuring Liz & Yvonne Kane, John Carty, Oisín MacDiarmada, Niamh Dunne, Harry Bradley, Eamon Murray & Brian McGrath
The word ‘genius’ may be over-used these days, but there’s no other way of describing the phenomenon of Sean Maguire in the world of traditional music. The Belfast man rewrote the book on fiddle playing after bursting onto the scene in the 40s with a combination of dazzling virtuosity, high creativity and passion for performance. It was a style which pushed the boundaries, nettled the fundamentalists and which he himself called ‘progressive traditional’. Tonight we pay tribute to the man and his music.
Date: Thursday 1st August
Location: The Oh Yeah Centre
Some of Ireland's finest singers and musicians take to the stage for what will surely be a spellbinding evening of song. This evening’s concert will be hosted by BBC Radio Ulster’s Lynette Fay.
Tonight we explore the repertoires of Scotland and Ireland through Bagpiping, Snare Drumming, Uilleann Piping, Fifing, Flute, Tin Whistle & Bodhrán. Featuring some of the world's finest musicians; Finlay McDonald, Mary Bergin, John McSherry, Gareth McLees, Harry Bradley, Kevin Crawford, Willie Drennan & John Joe Kelly
Date: Thursday 1st August
Location: Strand Arts Centre
Date: Friday 2nd August
Location: The Points
Hailing from the cities of Armagh and Derry, Ciara McCafferty (vocals), Ciaran Carlin (Flute/Whistles) and Paul Starrett (Guitar) Emer Mallon (Harp) and Conor Mallon (Uilleann Pipes/Whistles). Labelled as the Hottest New Group out of Northern Ireland, (Chicago Irish American News) Connla have been quickly making an impact on the folk/traditional scene.
Since the release of their EP in April 2015, and album “River Waiting” in July 2016 they have received fantastic reviews at home and internationally. They have already gathered a big following in the UK, Ireland, Europe and the USA. Songlines magazine made Connla their “must see act” for the tour of the UK and stated “A band this young shouldn’t be this good”. Their sensitive and innovative arrangements of traditional and modern folk songs and tunes, have helped them create a sound which is very identifiable as Connla.