Temple Bar Trad Fest starting next week

The Temple Bar Trad Fest offers an oasis of traditional music in the midst of what could be a bleak mid winter.  Its the first festival of the new year and it is in the heart of the capital.  It has grown in every way possible since its inception in 2005 and has one of the strongest line ups in years.  Grant it, last year they had the Dubliners celebrating 50 years and the late great Barney McKenna playing one of his last few concerts.  Topping that will not be easy but somehow they appear to have done it in a manner that should appeal to all sections of the traditional community.  Last year's festival brought close to 45,000 visitors into Temple Bar with 20% of those from overseas.  Its international appeal is therefore significant and in recognition of this it is one of six key festivals that are integral to the 2013 Gathering initiative. Its success has provided it with a solid base on which to grow, and variation in theme and content is therefore possible.  This year the theme of iconic buildings will be notable with the use of Christ Church Cathedral, City Hall, St. Werburgh's Church and the Stock Exchange to house concerts and other activities.  Another exciting addition this year is the idea of a Pitching Session where a space is provided for new acts to perform in front of invited guests and agents from festivals across Europe and the States.  A great opportunity for Irish acts to get noticed and secure deals playing on the foreign festival circuit.

With regard to the artists you will find familiar names like Sharon Shannon, Maura O' Connell, T With the Maggies, The Sands Family, Martin Hayes and Denis Cahill.  In addition to Martin and Denis the cream of the stateside crew are being flown in and top of the bill will be The Pride of New York featuring the fantastic fiddler Brian Conway, the irrepressible Joanie Madden, Billy McComiskey and Brendan Dolan. They personify everything that is great about the New York traditional Irish music scene, of which they have been stalwarts for years.  With buskers and a very detailed family programme this is without doubt a festival that should not be missed.  Check out their website which it must be said is the most sophisticated and well laid out site of any festival. It's packed with lots more detail, calenders, artist summaries, family events and lots more.  The festival is on 22nd - 27th January 2013. www.templebartrad.com

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