The Patrick O’Keeffe Traditional Music Festival will be held in Castleisland from Friday, October 28th to Monday, October 31st inclusive.
There have been some years when the Gods have only barely concealed their collective sense of devilment and black humour.
In that handful of occasions they steered the annual Patrick O’Keeffe Traditional Music Festival into a back-to-back, calendrical collision with the more ancient Castleisland Horse Fair.
Fair Defies Archaeology
The origins of the former as a festival can be traced to 1993; the latter defies even archaeology to put an approximate date on its beginnings.
We kind of know that it pre-dates the arrival of our first recorded batch of tourists in 1226. And only then because they built an office here and they were looking for horses and anvils and all the trappings of their culture.
Consider too that the October bank holiday weekend also contains the well rooted and annual Castleisland Coursing Club meeting. This is now in its 1996 created, permanent home at Cahill Park off the Black Road in Tullig.
Three Great Events
The good news is that this year of 2016 it will all happen again. The coincidence of the three great events means that a town, already en fête over the weekend, will crash over onto the horse fair on Tuesday, November 1st. Let the last hour be the hardest. It’s been done without medal or mercy.
The usual heady mix of great music, art, dance, poetry and song will prevail in the company of friends from all over the world as the Patrick O’Keeffe festival glides its way through the weekend. The festival broke new ground in 2015 with a Sliabh Luachra Music playing visitor from Moscow. Anton Zille switched from classical cello to violin because of the logistics of playing our music on the bigger instrument.
Queries about Classes
He arrived on the Friday evening and on time for a lecture by his friend, Paddy Jones on The Music of Sliabh Luachra at Browne’s Bar and he stayed for the weekend.
There are enquiries already about classes in the long established, Sliabh Luachra instruments and they have been part of the festival from the start.
Discussion Groups on Box and Fiddle
An experimental ‘group session’ was tried last year where the likes of Paudie O’Connor and Jackie Daly took an accordion discussion group and played and talked about playing. Paddy Jones, Matt Cranitch and friends did likewise with a fiddle workshop. It worked for those groups last year and it may well do so again. Rest assured there will be classes.
There will be much more detail on the festival here and elsewhere as the days peel away towards the October bank holiday weekend.
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