The full programme for Derry’s historic Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann was launched in Derry last night.
Hundreds of people attended the launch party in Cultúrlann Uí Chanáin to start the countdown to the largest celebration of traditional Irish music in the world, which will be held in the city from August 11-18.
The programme includes large concerts featuring the cream of traditional music talent, as well as a range of other events including performances of specially commissioned pieces of music, exhibitions, talks, and a unique aerial dance showcase.
Around 300,000 people and 20,000 musicians are expected in Derry over the week of the fleadh and it is estimated that it will generate almost 40 euro for the local economy.
Speaking at the launch, the director general of Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann, congratulated everyone involved in organising the Fleadh and what he described as Derry’s “can do” attitude.
“When President Obama first came to Ireland he uttered that famous phrase ‘Is feidir linn’ - which translates as ‘We can.’ I have now come to the conclusion that he borrowed that from the fleadh committee in Derry because right throughout all of this happy exciting process I was hearing an echoes all the time of Is feidir linn,” he said.
Fleadh chairperson, Eibhlín Ni Dhochartaigh, said the fleadh will have something for everyone. “Our programme team have put together an events programme that is second to none. We will in this fleadh celebrate the journey of traditional music and all its nuances,” she said.
The Mayor of Derry, councillor Martin Reilly said the fleadh will be a highlight of the City of Culture celebrations. “This City of Culture year has already created some wonderful moments but I don’t think there is any doubt that Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann is the most eagerly anticipated event this year,” he said.
Vince Jordan, president of Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann, said Derry is an ideal location to host the fleadh. “It is a wonderful occasion that will take place in a wonderful city. One of the aspects that has been brought to my attention is the friendliness of the people that are here in this city and that will show its mark when the visitors leave here after experiencing a wonderful Fleadh cheoil.
It will be an absolute celebration of our arts and culture, a celebration of humanity and a celebration of inclusive Ireland,” he said.