Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann 2013 in Derry is well underway in the city and is already off to a great start with large crowds enjoying the sights and sounds of the Fleadh.
Visitors continue to flock to the city in their thousands to enjoy top flight traditional music and first class hospitality.
With sessions already springing up in the bars and streets of Derry , locals and visitors alike are being entertained by the cream of traditional music talent throughout the city centre.
Streets and shops have been buzzing since the opening ceremony on Sunday with local businesses reaping the economic benefit of the influx of visitors.
Commenting on the success of the celebrations so far, Fleadh 2013 chairperson, Eibhlín Ní Dhochartaigh, said; “I am absolutely thrilled with the way everything has gone so far.
“The opening ceremony was a tremendous event on Sunday and the turnout from the people of the city was great and really showed the amount of goodwill towards the Fleadh.
“The community engagement, from all sections of the community in the city, has been great. Everyone has got behind the events and embraced the energy of the Fleadh to ensure that the first few days have been an amazing experience for everyone and I am so delighted about that.
“The people of Derry have really opened their hearts to the Fleadh and have given a warm Derry welcome to the visitors who have joined us for the wonderful programme of events.
“The quality and scope of the events so far has been amazing and we are only just getting started.
“Tickets for the many amazing events still to come are selling fast so I would encourage anyone who wants to come along to get their tickets as soon as possible.
“The quality and scope of the events so far has been amazing and everything has been so well received; and we are only just getting started!,” she said.
With many more high profile events planned over the next few days, Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann is set to go from strength to strength ahead of the action-packed weekend of music, celebration and song, culminating in the spectacular closing ceremony on Sunday night.
Over the last few days thousands of young people from across Ireland and the world have been taking part in the Scoil Eigse - the Fleadh’s annual summer school - learning from some of the best traditional musicians in the country.
Some of the highlight events that have already taken place, including the specially commissioned ‘From Derry to the Sea’ musical extravaganza by Lorcán Mac Mathúna, which was staged in St Columb’s Cathedral on Sunday, and marching band drama ‘The Pride’ by local playwright Johnathan Burgess, staged in Cultúrlann Uí Chanain on Monday, show the inclusive nature of Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann and the welcome it has been given in Derry.
Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann is the largest celebration of traditional Irish music in the world and has been held annually across Ireland for more than six decades.
This is the first time the festival has been held in the north of Ireland.
300,000 visitors and 20,000 musicians are expected in Derry over the course of the Fleadh.