Festivities are getting underway in Mullingar ahead of the arrival of 500,000 trad music fans this July.
Musicians are being invited to join in the launch of Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann in Mullingar today.
The world’s largest annual celebration of Irish music, language, song and dance is making its return after a two-year hiatus and is expected to draw nearly half a million visitors.
The renowned festival is 'coming home' to Mullingar this summer, where Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann was founded in 1951.
The programme of events is being officially launched at 6.30 this evening, before nearly half a million trad music fans descend on the town from July 31st to August 8th.
Committee Chair Joe Connaire outlines what you can expect from tonight's festivities:
Some programme highlights include:
Martin Hayes and the Common Ground Ensemble, Sharon Shannon, The Bridge Céili Band, Daithí Gormley, Frankie Gavin and Catherine McHugh, Téada, IMAR, Seamus Begley, Sean Keane and Emmett Cahill, Anúna, Kilfenora Céili Band, Damien Mullane, Moxie, Four Winds, Meitheal Orchestra, The Blackwater, Breaking Trad and The Full Set to name but a few.
However, the most important events are the 150 competitions where people from all over the world compete through music, song, dance and Comhrá Gaeilge.
For more information about the concerts or to buy tickets visit fleadhcheoil.ie/events.
The event will feature two ‘Gig Rigs’ in the town, lots of street performances and cultural events in various venues throughout the town including Scoil Éigse, a school that provides workshops, lectures and sessions during the week of Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann.
Volunteer your time and accommodation
The Fleadh Executive Committee is calling on locals from both Mullingar and the wider county to get involved.
With thousands of people coming together, there is a great need for volunteers who can help over the week of the Fleadh. There are various opportunities to lend a hand depending on the time people have to offer.
Additionally, there is a huge need for accommodation for visitors and musicians. This could be a room in a house or a holiday home that is vacant. Those interested in offering a property, a room, or rooms, to visitors can register their accommodation on fleadhcheoil.ie. Equally, volunteers can get in touch via the website and by phone at 044 93 38954.