Photo Gallery: Kilkenny Tradfest hits right note with punters

Kilkenny city had its most memorable St. Patrick’s Day Weekend ever, with Kilkenny Tradfest building on its reputation for being one of the best music festivals in the country.

Kilkenny Tradfest drew to a close on Sunday night, after a hugely successful weekend with bigger numbers than ever before reported to have attended the four-day music festival.

Tradfest saw some of the country’s most acclaimed musicians and artists play in some of the amazing and unique venues across the city.

Highlights included: Paul Brady in St Canice’s Cathedral, Beoga in Paris Texas, The Voice Squad and Pauline Scanlon in the Medieval Mile Museum and Usher’s Island and Eleanor McEvoy in the Watergate Theatre.

The festival, which recently won ‘Best Small Live Music Festival’, exceeded all expectations this year, and it is obvious for everyone to see that it is on the cusp of becoming one of the country’s main music festivals.

Speaking following a weekend of sold out venues and what was described by many as Kilkenny’s best ever St Patrick’s Day Parade; Festival Chairperson, Cllr Malcolm Noonan said that Kilkenny is now a significant destination and is providing a real counter balance to Dublin for St Patrick’s weekend.

‘We have moved up a considerable gear this year and I’m convinced we can go a lot further both with Tradfest and with the parade’ said Cllr Noonan.

‘Marian Flannery and her team backed by a hard working voluntary committee have over the past five years moved the Kilkenny celebrations up into the same league as the big cities outside of Dublin. The economic benefit to the city and county is visible with full hotels, guest houses, restaurants, pubs and venues. But the cultural value to the community here is immeasurable’ he said.

He said that Tradfest was now an established festival in it’s own right.

Having won best small festival at the recent IMRO Awards in Dublin, the festival is now at the forefront of promoting the best in Irish Traditional and folk music but that like the St Patrick’s Day Festival, it has immense potential to go further.

‘We would love to see two or even three acts of calibre of Paul Brady on the programme next year, we had a weekend of mostly sold out venues and happy audiences. The musicians just love playing here too’ he said.

‘As festival Chairperson I am so grateful to Marian Flannery and her wonderful team. She is a tireless worker and perfectionist and has brought a great dimension to both the Parade and the development of Tradfest over the past number of years. We wish to thank too, Kilkenny County Council, Kilkenny, City Vintners, our hotel partners and Bulmers for their sponsorship. But it’s an attitude in Kilkenny that makes all of these festivals work so well; it’s a can do and a cooperative attitude that permeates all civic life here.

Our ambition is to build one of the biggest festivals outside of Dublin in Ireland. But for now we will rest, take stock and recharge the batteries for next year’ concluded Cllr Noonan.

“Kilkenny is quite unique in the sense that we all come together for the benefit of the city, and it makes me incredibly proud to see business owners, locals, and the county council all working together for the collective good of our city. Kilkenny is fast becoming a festival destination and this is no small part due to the people who live and work here,” he added.

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