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A Feast of world-class music, dance and workshops planned for the 3rd Kilkenny TradFest.

The 3rd Annual Kilkenny Tradfest, which takes place from the 14th – 17th March, has a jam-packed programme full of free and ticketed events. Following on from their association with the Bulmers Live Sessions Trad Trail over the last few years Kilkenny Tradfest are delighted to announce Bulmers Irish Cider as our main sponsor this year. Big names included on the bill include Sharon Shannon and her band who will perform a free gig on in the beautiful settings of Kilkenny Castle Yard, Mary Black, Donal Lunny & Paddy Glackin, Pauline Scanlon & Padraig Rynne’s Notify, Leonard Barry, Conor Byrne & Andy Morrow, Edel Fox, Seo Linn, Sweeney’s Men, Ronan O’Snodaigh, Lumiere, Aengus Hackett and Turkish vocalist Sanem Halfa.

Other events include Soundings: Holy Trinity where broadcaster Dylan Haskins and acclaimed singer-songwriter Lisa Hannigan will be joined by a Holy Trinity of guests from different walks of Irish life. Each guest will present three stories to motivate, to shock and to humour. Each section is bridged with live performances of songs on those same themes from the musical guests. This event will take place in the stunning surrounds of the historic & exquisite Long Gallery in Kilkenny Castle for an afternoon of story and song.

IMRO descend on Kilkenny Tradfest and aim to shine a light on emerging stars of traditional music in Ireland. Those selected to perform at the showcase have an opportunity to be showcase their music by festival organisers, media and an established group of traditional music supporters. The platform created will
offer a platform for emerging Irish traditional acts to perform live. The masterclass led by established traditional musicians will offer insightful information for attendees.

Irish Times arts/music critic Tony Clayton Lea brings Culture Vultures to Kilkenny for the first time. Culture Vultues curated by Tony is one of the most highly regarded arts-related entertainment showcase events of the past year. Over the past twelve months, Culture Vultures has presented music by Lisa O’Neill, HamsandwicH, September Girls; spoken word by Erin Fornoff, Colm Keegan and Paul Curran; comedy by Eleanor Tiernan and Colm O’Regan; and public interviews with actor Liam Cunningham, film director Lenny Abrahamson, playwright Mark O’Rowe, social ‘discombobulator’ Rory O’Neill (aka Panti), and Love/Hate creator Stuart Carolan.

On Mother’s Day, the Festival will host an evening of music and dining with Lumiere in Kilkenny’s award winning restaurant Anocht. An evening fused with Irish Cuisine and Irish Music, this will be a really special and an ideal way to treat Mum over the Tradfest weekend.

The Bulmers Music Trail is back with a bang this year and will feature over 70 free gigs in pubs across the city for the four days. Highlights from the TradTrail include John Spillane, At First Light, Away with the Fairies, The Steve Cooney Trio and Seo Linn.

At the heart of these St. Patrick’s Day celebrations, is the annual parade, funded by Kilkenny County Council, taking place on Tuesday 17th at 1pm. Local community groups and organisations, as well as clubs, schools and businesses will take part in the parade, in what is always a fantastic event full of celebration and entertainment. This year for the first time the Tri-city High School marching band from Kilkenny Minnesota who will visit their twinned city. The grand marshalls for the Parade are none other than Tomm Moore and Paul Young from Oscar award nominated Cartoon Saloon.

Other events include a children’s singing and animation workshop with Sean McCarron from Carton Saloon and Nell Ni Chroinin, a delightful vintage fairground on the Parade, a whole host of workshops including flute, fiddle and concertina, a drumming circle and ceilis from the Annaly Ceili Band and the Johnny Reidy Ceili Band.

For more information and booking, check KilkennyTradfest.com.