Preparations have been going on behind the scenes since the coming of autumn for this weekend’s and 27th annual Patrick O’Keeffe Traditional Music Festival.
In fact preparations were rarely at a more advanced stage of readiness at any time in its history since it was founded in 1993.
The 2019 festival will be launched at a gathering of Patrick O’Keeffe’s surviving pupils with a chat and session at the River Island Hotel at 8pm tonight, Friday October 25th at 8pm.
This will be followed by organised sessions in all the surviving public houses throughout the town.
A Significant Festival
This will be a significant festival as it will be held against a backdrop of the news from RTÉ Radio One that some old acetate recordings from the Sliabh Luachra area have been discovered by the station and digitised.
The new presenter of The Rolling Wave, Aoife Nic Cormaic who replaced the retired Peter Browne, not only announced the ‘finds’ by also played excerpts from it on the programme a couple of weeks ago.
Prowess and Style
There was one powerful sample of Patrick O’Keeffe’s playing that would help anyone to understand why there was so much talk about his prowess and style by contemporaries of his.
This year the festival will welcome a touring group from the Birmingham Trad Fest in the UK and while the event and the town is well used to overseas visitors at festival time, this is the first orchestrated trip here by such a group.
Piping Class Included
Over the years the festival has attracted TV crews from home and abroad including one from South Korea a couple of years ago.
There is a plethora of classes for all ages being planned at the moment including one on piping which is being put in the hands of the aforementioned Peter Browne.
As a man said during a sing song he was trying to join in on a few years ago: ’tis a cursed bad week to be trying to break in a new set of teeth.’
You’ll find all the information you’ll need on the festival on: www.patrickokeeffefestival.com