The resurgence of interest in Irish traditional music and dancing scene will be highlighted next week when more than 15,000 are expected to attend the 31st annual Armada Festival of Music & Dancing in County Clare.
Hosted by the Armada Hotel in Spanish Point from next Friday 4th July until July 13th, the festival will feature a 10-day programme of Ceilithe and a nightly country music programme from 6th July to Saturday 12th July. New to the programme this year will be the nightly ‘Live at the Ocean Bar’ sessions.
John Burke of the Armada Hotel said there was a 20% increase in the overall attendance in 2013 and he is expecting a similar increase this year.
“The Festival coincides with the annual Scoil Samhraidh Willie Clancy in nearby Miltown Malbay, the hometown of the late Piper, and this has obviously had a major positive impact on overall attendance figures for our festival,” he explained.
Mr. Burke added: “We are delighted to be able to expand our offering this year to celebrate 31 years of the Festival. Each year we have seen Ireland’s largest traditional music summer school and our Festival grow in popularity and we look forward to once again playing our part in showcasing the traditional heritage of both Miltown Malbay and Spanish Point to thousands of people from all over Ireland and abroad.”
“Last year’s Armada Festival of Music & Dancing saw a 20% increase in the overall attendance level at our classes, Ceilis and country music dancing sessions. Furthermore, the Doolin Folk Festival, which was hosted by our sister establishment Hotel Doolin earlier this month, saw its overall attendance double compared to the inaugural festival in 2013. The number of people of all ages now involved in the traditional Irish music scene is also very encouraging for the future of events like these,” he concluded.
Amongst the Ceilí Bands lined up to perform during the Festival of Music and Dancing at the Armada Hotel are Five Counties, Abbey, Swallow’s Tail, Striolán, Micháel Sexton, Brian Ború, Star of Munster, Johnny Reidy, Deenagh and Rise the Dust.
Meanwhile, headlining the ‘Keeping it Country’ nightly marquee dancing will be special guests Louise Morrissey, Michael English, Patrick Feeney Patrick O’Sullivan, Philomena Begley and Trudi Lawlor, along with the popular resident duo PJ Murrihy and Micháel Sexton.
The festival also will feature jive and quickstep classes for beginners in the Marquee from 12.00pm to 2.00pm, music and song sessions in Johnny Burke’s Pub, ‘Live at the Ocean Bar’ sessions from 11.00pm to 1.30am each night, and a BBQ each night in the Armada Hotel Courtyard.
Details relating to the Armada Festival of Music & Dancing during Willie Clancy Week at the Armada Hotel (Spanish Point, 4th- 13th July) are available from www.armadahotel.com or +353 65 707 9000 / firstname.lastname@example.org.