Carrick-on-Suir will be music capital of Ireland this weekend for Clancy Brothers festival

Aileen Hahesy

Aileen Hahesy

Carrick-on-Suir will become the country’s folk and traditional music capital this weekend with Frankie Gavin and De Dannan, The High Kings and John Spillane all performing at the Clancy Brothers Music & Arts Festival.

The fifth annual festival paying homage to the famed Clancy Brothers ballad group is expected to attract thousands of visitors to Carrick-on-Suir over the June Bank Holiday Weekend with celebrations kicking off on Thursday night.

Festival organisers have a wide ranging programme of free family events, street entertainment, drama, music sessions, artistic exhibitions, sporting and cultural events lined up alongside the main concerts in the Strand Theatre and Brewery Lane.

Clancy Festival PRO Claire O’Regan said the festival will embrace the entire local community and showcase the exceptional music and artistic talents of its people.

“We hope many peope will come to the town. There is so much going on in Carrick-on-Suir over the weekend, especially for families,” she told The Nationalist.

She said some tickets are still available for the Frankie Gavin and De Dannan show at The Strand Theatre on Sunday night but tickets are nearly sold out for The High Kings concert at the same venue on Saturday. The High Kings ballad group includes Finbar Clancy, son of the late Bobby Clancy, and their concerts in Carrick-on-Suir are always a sell out.

Ms O’Regan also reported that tickets are also Cork based folk/pop group The Mandolas at Brewery Lane Theatre on the Friday night.

Apart from these shows, renowned traditional musician and songwriter John Spillane will lead a songwriter evening along with local musicians at Brewery Lane Theatres and will host a song writing workshop at the theatre on Saturday afternoon.

Mayor of Carrick-on-Suir Cllr Patsy Fitzgerald will officially open the festival at a traditional/folk music concert at Brewery Lane on Thursday night featuring a host of local musicans and singers, some of them members of the extended Clancy family.

Drama lovers will have an opportunity to enjoy a lunchtime play - The King of Spain’s Daughter” by Waterford playwright Teresa Deevy at Brewery Lane on Friday at 1pm.

As well the ticketed events, there will be plenty of free entertainment on the streets and in the town’s pubs over the weekend.

Medieval craft demonstrations and music, falconry and weapons displays at Ormond Casle and a history walking tour of the town to mark the launch hof the South Tipperary Tourism’s Butler Trail brochure and map will kick off the town’s festivities on Saturday between 11am and 1pm.

In the afternoon the entertainment will move to Main Street where musicians and singers will compete in a busking competition between 2pm and 4pm.

Kickham Street will be the venue for a free open air concert and family fun festival featuring street entertainment, children’s art and face painting from 4pm onwards.

A Young Bands Competition from 4pm to 6pm will get the ball rolling on the Kickham Street gig stage and it will be followed by performances from Amber Jean, Two Time Polka, The Butterfly Bank and Fayreweather Band.

The festival fun on Sunday begins with a parade by hundreds of local children involved in sports, social clubs and societies in the town. It will begin at Ormond Castle at 2pm and proceed through the town centre and finish at the River Festival and Family Fun Day at Sean Healy Park, which runs from 3pm to 6pm.

A Viking battle re-enactment, raft races, duck races, cot building, basket weaving, face painting, live angling demonstrations, street entertainers, arts and crafts for children, music and dancing are among the array of events planned for the River Festival.

Other festival highlights will be the Eoghan Power Memorial Singing Competition for folk singers in Figgerty’s Pub on Friday, June 1 at 9pm, a live music pub trail throughout the weekend, the 160km Bobby Power Carrick Wheelers Challenge Sportive that will depart from Greenside, Carrick-on-Suir at 9am on Sunday and a guided river walk along the banks of the Suir on Sunday morning.

And shops, theatres, community centres and historic buildings throughout the town a will be transformed into galleries and pop up shops showcasing the works of more than 100 local artists, photographers and school children.

Entries are still open for the Eoghan Power Memorial Singing Contest and busking competition. Applications can be downloaded from the Clancy Festival website and dropped into Carrick-on-Suir Heritage Centre.

For more information on the Clancy Brothers Music & Art Festival log onto www.clancybrothersfestival.org for more details. Tickets for concerts and can be purchased at The Heritage Centre, Carrick-on-Suir, phone number is (051) 640 200. Opening hours are 9.30am to 4pm, Monday-Friday.