Friday, January 25, 2013

People Having More Fun Than Me

Friday! Well, I don't know about you, but I've got a big few days coming up. Yessir. Crazy times ahead. A birthday party for a 3 year old tonight. Maybe some work around the house this weekend. Who knows, might grab a beer Saturday night as long as, you know, I get to bed at a reasonable hour. Good times.

Shockingly though, there is a member of the Irish Fest family who has even more exciting plans than me. Our executive director Keli O'Neill Wenzel is airborne as I type, headed for Ireland and Scotland. She'll be scouting bands, making contacts. Meeting with–and I'm not making this up–Taoiseach Enda Kenny, assorted TDs and other Irish government bigwigs. It's no 3rd birthday party, but still. Not too shabby.

First stop, TradFest in Dublin:

The Temple Bar TradFest began in 2005. Prior to this Dublin City had been lacking a festival which celebrated Traditional Irish Music and Culture for over 20 years. A voluntary membership based organization, Temple Bar Traders, which is made up of business, cultural organizations and services in the Temple Bar area came together to start the Temple Bar TradFest . Since that time the festival has continued to grow in size, recognition and quality. The Temple Bar TradFest has gained a reputation as the one of the biggest and best traditional Irish music and culture festivals in Ireland. It is now a firm fixture on the National and International festival calendar. The TradFest attracts visitors from all over Ireland and all over the world. In 2012 we had visitors from as far as Japan, Australia and New Zealand come to Temple Bar for the festival. The festival takes place over six days and six nights with over 200 events. The festival has been recognised for its contribution to Irish traditional music and culture with several awards including Best Traditional Music Festival in the 2008 and 2009 Festival Awards. Temple Bar TradFest is one of the key festivals taking part in The Gathering organised by Fáilte Ireland that aims to bring the Irish diaspora home. Numerous iconic venues are used to host concerts featuring talented and beloved musicians from Ireland (and further afield) such as The Dubliners, Clannad, Moya Brennan, and Ralph McTell. These venues include Christ Church Cathedral, Dublins City Hall, The New Theatre and the Button Factory.

Keli will be scouring the jam-packed schedules for exciting new talent to bring to KC in years to come. Then it's off to Fair Alba for Celtic Connections, where she'll continue the scouting among our bekilted cousins. Who are the next Red Hot Chilli Pipers?  This is the place to find out:

Glasgow’s annual folk, roots and world music festival, Celtic Connections celebrates Celtic music and its connections to cultures across the globe. Between 17th January – 3rd February 2013, 2,100 musicians from around the world will descend on Glasgow and bring the city to life for 18 days of concerts, ceilidhs, talks, art exhibitions, workshops, and free events. Celtic Connections is programmed by Artistic Director (and founding member of Celtic supergroup Capercaillie) Donald Shaw, and features over 300 events across multiple genres of music. The festival is renowned for its strong spirit of collaboration, bringing together one-off line-ups for very special one night only collaborative shows. The camaraderie between musicians continues into the wee small hours at the late-night Festival Club – home of legendary musical collaborations and spontaneous sessions.

Wow. So much great music. And knowing Keli, she'll be all business. No nonsense, no socializing, hear the bands, take careful notes, early to bed. Soon after, monkeys fly from my butt.

Have a great trip, Keli. Make us proud.

No comments: