04 Jul 2022

Live Performance Support Scheme to boost Kilkenny festivals

Live Performance Support Scheme to boost Kilkenny festivals

Mary Butler, Kilkenny Arts Officer at Kilkenny County Council and Iarla O Lionaird. All concerts are in aid of Amber Women's Refuge

Locals and visitors to Kilkenny will be spoiled for choice from March 15 to 20 with a host of live performances nightly in the magnificent Medieval Mile Museum and daily at the Festival Bandstand located in the City’s Canal Square by the banks of the River Nore under the shadow of Kilkenny Castle.

Once again, Kilkenny County Council has taken an innovative approach and is capitalising on the City’s busy festivals to host a superb range of in-person music events and utilising government resources to provide much needed employment for performers and musicians who were hardest hit by Covid.   

The impact of programming live music during key events already proved to be a great success during Kilkenny’s Yulefest and Kilkenny Day, lifting local audience’s spirits and easing us all out of lock-down.

There’s a buzz on the streets, and excitement in the air as medieval Kilkenny springs to life with the return of Kilkenny TradFest and St Patrick’s Festival, with the programme for both greatly enhanced thanks to The Local Live Performance Support Scheme (LLPSS) - a Government funded scheme, administered through local authorities which aims to support artists and performers.

Speaking about the scheme, Cathaoirleach of Kilkenny County Council, Fidelis Doherty commented:

 “The Local Live Performance Support Scheme aims to support live performances, create local employment for artists, performers and musicians and I am delighted to see the allocation to Kilkenny County Council utilised so wisely and in such an engaging way as it enhances the music offering of our March festivals”. 

Adding to the Kilkenny Tradfest programme, ‘The Medieval Mile Museum Music Series’ will take place over five nights  at the City’s most recently completed heritage conservation and re -development project; the landmark Medieval Mile Museum, operated by Kilkenny Civic Trust. (Formally St. Mary’s Church, the museum was shortlisted for the 2019 Mies van der Rohe Architectural Award, as well as being highly commended in the 2018 RIAI awards.) 

This series will give music lovers a wonderful, unique experience to enjoy magnificent music in a spectacular setting. 

 The five headline performances in the series, all in aid of Amber Women’s Refuge, feature exciting blends of fiddle and guitar music from husband and wife folk duo Zoë Conway and John Mc Intyre, songs from sean-nós tradition by the uniquely talented Iarla Ó Lionáird and Steve Cooney; Ireland’s most renowned Irish button accordionist Mairtin O’Connor, along with Cathal Hayden and Seamie O Dowd as well as award-winning folk singer Aoife Scott from the renowned Black family, Wexford Harmonica players Pip & John Murphy,  trad virtuoso Kevin Burke, formally of the Bothy Band and also The Goodman Trio, featuring acclaimed uileann piper Mick O’Brien, multi-instrumentalist Emer Mayock and the renowned fiddle player Aoife Ní Bhriain. The fabulously talented trio will perform the music of Cannon James Goodman. (A native Dingle man, Goodman compiled more than 2,000 Irish tunes, now held in Trinity College Library).

Mary Butler, Arts Officer for Kilkenny County Council said “It is fantastic to have the support of the LLPS funding (Local Live Performance Scheme) from the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media to deliver this superb music series as part of the 2022 Kilkenny TradFest festival, which returns to the city after a long two year gap. Some of Ireland’s best known traditional performers feature in this programme of concerts are we are delighted to welcome all of these amazing musicians to Kilkenny to celebrate St Patrick’s Festival with us through the magic of live performance once more.”

Commenting on the return of the Festival Bandstand, Mayor of Kilkenny City Mayor Cllr Andrew Mc Guinness said “Hosting local musical talent of all ages and genres on a public stage is something that is very close to my heart and I am thrilled to see that the Bandstand is back for Kilkenny’s St. Patricks Festival.  I have been an advocaat of such initiatives for many years and know the importance of giving musicians  the opportunity to perform to live audiences particularly given the major challenges of the past two year.”

The Bandstand programme of daily live performances will include some of Kilkenny’s most talented Irish traditional and folk musicians. With  performance from Burnchurch, Tulua Trad, The Savage Trad Family as well energetic and vibrant ceili dance performances by Striolan Ceilí Band, as well as the emerging local Trad group Tír Na Nóg; Comhaltas Croabh Osraí, plus many more. 

Events continue into the evening with a range of great music and fire performances Brazilian Drumming band Maracatu Ile Brihante Folk Duo Luan Parle and Clive Barnes and a special concert from Kila screened on our outdoor cinema sized screen and extraordinary fire performances from Rogu. 

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