The Clancy Brothers Festival, now in its fifth year, has grown into an amazing music and multi-disciplinary arts festival which the community of Carrick-On-Suir should be very proud of.
This year’s festival was a great success despite the rain and the cancellation of two of the outdoor events. The spirit of the festival was still alive and well and the people of Carrick and those who came to visit did not let the weather dampen their spirits.
The opening concert at Brewery Lane Theatre on Thursday was a great night. There were songs, stories, laughter and of course an aul cup a tea! The Mandolas enchanted the full house that came to see them on Friday night and ended the night with “The Parting Glass” which was a beautiful a tribute to the Clancy Brothers.
On Friday and Saturday was the lunchtime theatre “The King of Spains Daughter”. The cast and the set enthralled the audience and transported them back to different times when people did not have the choices they have now! Everyone thoroughly enjoyed the play and the lunch and the chat afterwards!
John Spillane held his songwriting workshop on Saturday at the Brewery with a group of local musicians who went along with their ears wide open hoping to get a few tips from renowned songwriter, musician and storyteller. Then by night John performed an amazing gig at the intimate theatre along with local musicians Colm Power, Pete Smith and Caroline Boru.
At the Strand theatre on Saturday night “The High Kings” returned to the stage. The band played to a full house and explained to the captivated audience how they were so glad to back playing in Carrick and how The Clancy Brothers were such an inspiration to them. The Eoghan Power Memorial Trophy Singing Competition was a great success with so much local talent emerging on the night to sing a song or two. Anthony Dignam was the over all winner on the night!
The headline act De Dannan did not disappoint an eager crowd. They wowed their audience with their musicianship. Frankie Gavin’s musical ability was outstanding and Michelle Lally’s vocals were marvellous and on top form. The audience were well and truly captivated with these music legends.
This year the Art Exhibition Trail was led by new coordinator Katie Kavanagh, from Waterford who, with the help of many local artists, organised an amazing arts scene for the festival. The Children and Youth of Carrick also put a great effort into this year’s art side of the festival organised and facilitated by Aideen Meany, Linda Fahy and Ann Mansell. One of the highlights of the weekend was definitely Andrew Cusack’s ‘Walk in Book’ which told the stories of Irish legends and was all made from recycled material. Also at the Friary on Sunday was the Trad School of Music. They played a wonderful session outside the Friary to a crowd who were mesmerized by these talented young musicians who are truly keeping Irish music alive.
Another highlight of the festival was the 3000sq/ft mural painted by Art By Eoin in Carrick-Beg at Glanbia! This is an amazing feat and looks absolutely wonderful on the on banks of the Suir. The art trail was a great success and all of the venues and artists had an amazing response from the public and were delighted to see so many people supporting local art. There were numerous other great events over the weekend like the busking competition, the walking tour of Carrick, The Butler Trail at the Ormond Castle and the many music sessions that went on till the wee hours of the morning.
It is through the continued support of so many people and local organisations including our sponsors, patrons, local schools, community groups, Carrick on Suir Business Centre, COSBA, and businesses who have sponsored individual events/projects that we can secure the future of Carrick-on-Suir’s “Celebration of our Heritage” Flagship Festival. We would like to thank the staff and volunteers of so many venues that have opened their doors to showcase the abundant talent that this town has to offer, The Heritage Centre, Brewery Lane Theatre, The Strand Theatre, The Ormond Castle, Clancy House and Nano Nagle Centre and The Friary Gallery and Community Arts Centre. Greatly appreciated also are all art exhibition venues and pop up shops along the art trail.
The town council have been a great support to the festival and without their help the festival would not be the success it is. There is also a committed Festival Committee who has worked tirelessly for months leading up to the festival organising every aspect of the weekend’s festivities. The main committee this year consists of Ross Clery, Eamon Hogan, Linda Fahy, Katie Kavanagh, Mary Fox, Pete Smith, Kevin Power, Jim Power, Martin Murray, Claire O’Regan and Wattie Dunphy
Brewery lane Theatre Group and its members including Ann Mansell, John Denby, Roseanne Glascott, Wattie Dunphy, Pete Smith and team organised some wonderful events for the festival at the theatre and are always at hand during the preparations to help out in any way they can. The Strand Theatre has also been a great help and always make the Theatre a great and welcoming venue for the headlining acts, The success of the festival relies heavily on the participation of volunteers as without their help it would be very difficult to keep the festival weekend running smoothly. The efforts of many volunteers from a number of local groups including the Junior St Vincent de Paul are greatly appreciated. Finally we would like to thank the people of Carrick and friends of festival who, in supporting the 2012 Clancy Brothers Music & Arts Festival have enriched the cultural life of our community and supported the value of the arts, for this we thank you. See you all again next year at the Clancy Brothers Music and Arts Festival!