Fiddlers Green Festival 30th Birthday Celebrations, Rostrevor, Co. Down, Northern Ireland, July 24th to July 31st, 2016.
Eight days and nights of music, arts, culture and entertainment are on the menu as the festival looks back on the last 30 years. The strength of the festival lies in the wealth of community involvement, much of it a cross community nature. It is more than just a music festival, it also caters for families who wish to enjoy the six day children's programme or those who come to soak up the wonderful scenery, friendliness, live outdoor entertainment and amazing music sessions.
Based in the village of Rostrevor in Co. Down, the Festival offers outdoor Céilís, free open air concerts and entertainment each afternoon and night, indoor music clubs, art exhibitions, walks, talks, and the now legendary Literary Pub Crawl!
Each day at 1pm there are lunch time folk clubs featuring local and international talent. There are afternoon ceili houses that offer opportunity for visitors and musicians to meet, sing, play an instrument or just relax and enjoy the atmosphere. The early evening acoustic stage brings to the festival the cutting edge of local and wider Irish talent.
The festival also hosts a night time music club in an intimate venue with just 200 seats. Many famous artists have appeared there and this year is no exception. This year in order of appearance are Luka Bloom, The Casey Sisters, Lynched, Lúnasa, Máirtín O'Connor and Cathal Hayden, Four Men and a Dog, The Sands Family.
Each year the festival bestows two special awards. The first is the Hall of Fame Award in respect of a lifelong achievement in Irish music. The first such award in 1987 was given to the late Northern Ireland Fiddle Player Sean McGuire. The 2015 award was received by Seamus Begley and Steve Cooney. This year the award goes to Brian & Eithne Vallely to celebrate their lifetime commitment to the Armagh Pipers Club.
The second award was established in the year 2000–The Creative Arts Award. This acknowledges achievement in the Arts & Literacy field, both of which are an integral part of the festival. The first such award in 2000 was presented to the late Poet Laureate Seamus Heaney. This year's award winner is Mickey MacConnell renowned songwriter.
The festival has come a long way in the last 30 years and this year it has all the ingredients to make it yet another vintage event. Here's to the next 30 years – long may it last!!!!
First published @ Irish Music Magazine (www.irishmusicmagazine.com).
(1) Fiddler's Green Festival,
(2) Brian & Eithne Vallely,
(3) Mickey MacConnell
(by Fiddler's Green Festival);
Armagh Pipers Club
(by Armagh Pipers Club).