Following a hugely successful launch in 2013, Cultúrlann Uí Chanáin has announced a second year of An Ré Nua ~ the New Era, a competition in search of the best new talent on the folk and traditional music scene.

 Last year the project ran over the months preceding Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann, and brought to the fore a diverse range of exciting emerging musicians and singers.

An Ré Nua 2014 will take place between 22nd and 27th April in Derry City, during the 43rd International Pan Celtic Festival. The competition will be held in the world-famous Spiegeltent, an antique mirrored tent which will be imported from Belgium especially for the festival, and situated in Guildhall Square. 

Winners of this year’s competition are offered the chance to record and release their first EP, as well as performing in a gig at the Music City festival in Derry this June.

Aside from these prizes, the project offers a high level of exposure to the music industry for all participating acts. Last year’s winning acts Reel It InFionntán McDonald & Eoin Kearnsand Jack Warnock have subsequently received national radio airplay, prime-time television slots as well as a host of follow-up gigs across the country.

Cultúrlann Uí Chanáin’s Development & Arts Manager, Odhrán Ó Maoláin said: ‘We now see An Ré Nua as an essential part of our arts programme. It offers our venue a unique way of connecting with the exciting musical talent of the future and developing a mutually beneficial relationship. Many of the participating acts from last year’s competition have revisited Derry and Cultúrlann Uí Chanáin to take part in other events and projects, and we hope that this pattern will continue in 2014.

In February 2014, Cultúrlann Uí Chanáin announced exciting new expansion plans with the purchase of a former Presbyterian church and manse next door to their current premises.  This development will include additional arts provision and a new performance space, already the venue of choice for RTÉ’s Other Voices series.

Arts Director Eibhlín Ní Dhochartaigh said: ‘Through An Ré Nua, we are pioneering a new entry point for musicians into music as a career, offering exceptionally talented musicians and singers an insight into the industry.’

Last year’s participants performed alongside an extensive list of contemporary folk acts, including Cara DillonDervishFlookBeoga, and Solas.

Entries are being welcomed from acts of all ages, from across the UK and Ireland, who perform folk and acoustic music. Anyone interested in taking part should make sure they are available between the 22nd and 27th April.

Closing date for entries is midnight on Friday 11th April. Full details and entry forms are available online at or by contacting Odhrán Ó Maoláin at Cultúrlann Uí Chanáin on +44 (0)28 7126 4132.

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