Crowds of more than 10,000 are expected to enjoy Carrick-on-Suir’s Clancy Brothers Music and Arts Festival this bank holiday weekend with concerts by Mundy, Paddy Casey and Paul Brady among its highlights.
The fourth annual summer festival celebrating the music and legacy of the Clancy Brothers ballad group will feature a mix of indoor and outdoor concerts, music sessions in local pubs, a singing competition, an extensive art exhibition trail and even a cycling race.
Festival Committee Chairman Ross Clery said they are offering a more diverse programme of event for this year’s Festival, which opens on Thursday and runs until next Monday, June 6.
A new departure for the festival is the open air “Rock on The Suir “concert starring Mundy and Paddy Casey with support acts El Hombre Jokes, Chimpanbee and Amber Jean at the Wicklow Gardens site on Carrick-on-Suir’s North Quay on Saturday from 4pm.
Mr Clery said tickets sales are very strong for the concert, which is a new departure for the festival. Due to the open air nature of the concert, the organisers are expecting a lot of ticket to be sold right up to the day.
The Wicklow Gardens venue will be able to accommodate about 2000 and while tickets will be available at the venue on the day the organisers are encouraging people wishing to attend the concert to purchase their tickets beforehand. There will be bar and food facilities available at the venue for concert goers.
Tickets are almost sold out for the Festival’s other big show - the Paul Brady concert - at the Strand Theatre. A capacity crowd of more than 400 is expected to pack the Carrick-on-Suir theatre on Sunday night to hear the singer/songwriter and musician play some of his best known songs such as The Island as well as music from his latest solo album “Hooba Dooba”.
A variety concert, the Eoghan Power Memorial Singing Competition and an evening of theatre at Ormond Castle will open the Festival on Thursday night.
Brewery Lane Theatre’s variety concert will open at 8pm with a talk by Mary Clancy, widow of the late Paddy Clancy on the profound influence the Clancy Brothers music had on America in the early 1960s.
The concert featuring local performers Finbar Clancy of the High Kings, Claire O’Sullivan, Barry Comerford, Colm Power, Heather Wall, Mick McHugh, Michael Grace, Walter Dunphy and Irish dancers. Admission is €15 with refreshments.
Over at Ormond Castle, Duked Productions will stage “The Colleen Bawn”. The drama begins at 7pm.
The Eoghan Power Memorial Singing Competition will take place in Figgerty’s Pub and will be run in the form of an acoustic session reminiscent of that of the Clancy Brothers’ early days in the White Horse Tavern pub in New York with each competition entrant singing a song from the Clancy repertoire.
There will be lunchtime drama at Brewery Lane on Friday and Saturday when Denise Quinn will present her one woman show “Bardot Bites”, which was staged recently in Garter Lane in Waterford. The performance commences at 1pm with admission €15 and light lunch will be served. On Friday, the Fayerweather Band featuring Martin Murray and his fellow musicians will perform at Brewery Lane Theatre tearoom at 8.30pm; Carrick-on-Suir Musical Society will stage a “Best of Broadway” show at the Strand Theatre and the Festival’s extensive Art Trail of exhibitions showcasing the work of more than 100 artists, students and photographers will open.
A Traditional Busking Competition featuring traditional musicians from all over Ireland will take place throughout the town centre over the weekend/ on Saturday from 12pm to 2pm.
Two guided walks are also included on the Festival programme. Local historian Tom Walsh will lead an historical walk of the town at 10am on Saturday and at 9am on Sunday there will be a river walk from the Davin GAA Club to Dovehill.
There will also be plenty of free family entertainment in the town during the Festival. A children’s parade will begin a free family fun afternoon on Kickham Street on Saturday afternoon and on Sunday there will be la ‘Family Fun Day and River Festival’ at Sean Healy Park in Carrick-on-Suir from 2pm.
Two sports events are included in the Festival. A Tag Rugby Festival at Carrick-on-Suir Rugby Club at Tybroughney takes place on Thursday night from 7pm and the competition will be followed by a barbecue and music.
And elite cyclists will take on the Carrick Wheelers Challenge Sportive race on Sunday morning. The race departs from Greenside at 9am and will take riders through all the toughest hill climbs around Carrick-on-Suir from Seskin to Skeogh to the Mahon Falls as well as through the Curraghmore Estate.
The race was organised by local cycling great Bobby Power, who sadly passed away a few weeks ago.
“Bobby had all the work done for the competition and left great instructions. It will be a fitting tribute to him,” said Ross Clery.
For more information on the Clancy Brothers Music & Arts Festival contact the Festival Office at Carrick-on-Suir Heritage Centre at (051) 640200 or log onto www.clancybrothersfestival.org.