Five day celebration of Irish music descends on Kilkenny

Five day celebration of Irish music descends on Kilkenny

The fourth Kilkenny TradFest runs from Wednesday to Sunday with an impressive programme of free and ticketed events for all ages planned.

Festival organisers will welcome performers, participants and event hosts from all over the world.

The five day festival opens on Wednesday (today) with Wexford’s Corner Boy, fresh from a weekend of live shows in Dublai set to play in Paris Texas.

The 4 piece from Wexford join 85 acts as part of the free Bulmers trad trail, which takes place in over 30 venues throughout the weekend. They join the likes of John Spillane, Maitiú Ó Casaide, Na Fianna, Leonard Barry and many more.

St Patrick’s Day sees Kila play in the stunning grounds of Kilkenny’s Castle Park. On Friday, recent choice music prize nominee and member of The Frames, Colm Mac Con Iomaire brings his new solo project to the beautiful setting of St John’s Priory. Ireland’s most established concertina players Noel Hill, Cormac Begley and Jack Talty close Friday night’s music programme with a debut performance in Cleere’s Theatre on Parliament street.

A jam packed Saturday welcomes a host of top traditional musicians to lead the festivals workshops with John Spillane (songwriting), Maitiú Ó Casaide (uilleann), Conor Lyons (bodhran) and Steve Cooney (guitar). The popular workshops give enthusiasts a chance to with the experts!

Culture Vultures hosted by Irish Times music journalist Tony Clayton-Lea will take place in the Parade Tower at Midday with guests The Bonny Men (music), Colm Mac Con Iomaire (interview) and Stephen James Smith (spoken word). The 3-part event has been hugely popular in the past, with a residency in Dublin’s Odessa Club.

Duke Special leads this year’s IMRO event with a master-class in the Parade Tower. This event is free and starts at 3.30pm.

Iarla O'Lionaird

The Gloaming’s Iarla O Lionaird is a sean nós singer, and has released four solo albums through Real World Records. He will be joined by Australian guitarist and singer Steve Cooney in Set Theatre on Saturday evening. A night not to be missed as these two unique performers join forces.

On Sunday , 1616 - 1916 ‘The Road to the Rising’ - featuring music from one of the most exciting Irish trad/folk music acts The Bonny Men. The Road to the Rising will celebrate the culture, music and songs that sustained generations and inspired the men and women of 1916 at the stunning Parade Tower in Kilkenny Castle.

HotHouse Flowers play a rare intimate show in Billy Byrnes on Sunday night. Expect to hear much loved classics like Don’t Go, I Can See Clearly, Feel Like Living and many more! Support on the night is from David Keenan, fresh from touring Canada.

and no stranger to Kilkenny, the mighty Damien Dempsey returns to close out the festival on Sunday evening with a performance in Set Theatre, recently nominated as IMRO’s National Live Music Venue 2015. Dempsey will be joined by Black Bank Folk on the night.

Free events are in abundance over the 5 day festival and organisers are advising festival goers to check the website for full details or pick up a copy of the festival brochures in one of the bars or cafes in town.

Tickets for all events are on sale from Rollercoaster Records, and online at For full details visit