There is every chance of being awe-struck at the Irish music festival that closes the door on winter and ushers in the light and energy of spring.
Because TradFest is back again (27 – 31 Jan 2016) to offer awesome opportunities for feeling every note from a stellar line-up of traditional and folk music acts in some of the Irish capital’s most historic places.
Based around the cobbled streets of Temple Bar, Dublin’s heaving cultural quarter and creative hub, it’s Ireland’s largest showcase of trad and folk in its many forms – the organisers like to call it ‘radical trad’.
The festival will feature a wide range of free events including pipe bands, céilí, nightly pub sessions, workshops, exhibitions, film screenings and fun for all the family.
And as well as introducing new and emerging talent to Dublin audiences, the 2016 programme is staging two star studded gala nights that will bring a mix of artists together for moments of trad music magic.
In a roll call of Irish legends, Dervish, Lunasa and Triad will each take the stage at The Printworks at historic Dublin Castle (30 Jan), an incredible place to experience live music.
The TradFest Folk Gala Concert at The Printworks (31 Jan) will feature Scottish troubadour with attitude, Dick Gaughan, quintessential English singer-songwriter-guitarist, Ralph McTell, and the captivating Irish songbird Maura O’Connell, with support from Cork’s Polly Barrett.
Before that, the master of Irish trad, Martin Hayes, will be joined by friends for a special performance in St Patrick’s Cathedral (29 Jan).
From the breath-taking nave of that cathedral to the grandeur of City Hall, the Tradfest venues make the difference between the memorable and the unforgettable.
Atmospheric St Werburgh’s Church will host the Whileaways (28 Jan), Heidi Talbot (29 Jan) and songwriter and poet Luka Bloom (30 Jan), while among the acts appearing at The Button Factory in the beating heart of Temple Bar, are leading English folk group Oysterband (29 Jan), Irish rockers The Stunning (30 Jan) and American singer songwriter Aoife O’Donovan and band (27 Jan).
St Michan’s Church will host Ulster-born singer-songwriter Duke Special (30 Jan) and the Lost Brothers (29 Jan) and Dublin City Hall will see an exciting mix of up-and-coming and established artists including top Irish duo Tír na nÓg.
The hugely popular Front Row Sessions are also back. Here, audiences get to experience world-class music through free concerts in intimate settings. This year the line-up will include Irish music luminaries The Fureys, Stockton’s Wing, Declan Sinnott and Picture House.
Appealing to the purist and the curious alike, Tradfest is the chance to be mesmerised by the best tunes in the world.