Doolin Folk Festival ar TG4 anocth
Clár 1: TG4, Christmas Day 23:15 (repeated 6th January 21:30)
Clár 2: 13th January 21.30
It’s widely said that if you’re looking for good music, you should go to Co. Clare.
So begins the first of two programmes on this year’s Doolin Folk Festival where we are treated to an outstanding line-up of musicians.
The programmes are presented by this year’s RTÉ Radio 1 Folk Award winner, Muireann Nic Amhlaoibh, who also beguiles us with two beautiful songs from the main stage before continuing to guide us through the festival.
Now in its fifth year and taking inspiration from the great festivals of the 70s and 80s such as Punchestown, Macroom and more fittingly, Lisdoonvarna; which is only a hop, skip and a jump up the road, the Doolin Folk Festival has quickly gained a reputation for delivering outstanding performers in a friendly hassle-free environment.
Doolin is synonymous with good music and no matter where you go in the country or throughout the world people immediately recognise and associate the name with a high standard of Irish music, which is expected by both visiting musicians and music lovers alike. Therefore, it is fitting that a vibrant music festival and program showcasing the cream of folk and traditional music should spring from this coastal village.
Clinging to the west coast of Co. Clare, Doolin Folk Festival draws audiences from far and wide every year with its eclectic programme and this year is no exception. With acts such as Paul Brady, Luka Bloom, Martin Hayes and Steve Cooney along with Iarla Ó Lionáird, Steph Geremia, Muireann Níc Amhlaoibh, Lúnasa, Zoë Conway and John McIntyre its’ position on the family tree of festivals has been well earned and firmly engraved.
One of the most remarkable features of the Doolin Folk Festival is its ability to programme established names from both disciplines of the folk and traditional scene side by side without question or compromise and the crowd always respond positively to this arrangement. Along with the main acts, the Festival is also committed to programming exciting up and coming songwriters who, strictly speaking may not be entirely folk or traditional but are none the less rooted in the soulful reservoir of tradition and culture.
Most of these up and coming acts are programmed into the smaller and more intimate space called the White Horse sessions which this year featured Ultan Conlon and his band of musical brothers, the Night Owls, with their cleverly crafted songs. Also performing here is the sublime Susan O’ Neill with her husky-toned lyrics, trumpet and loop pedal.
But it’s the main stage that draws the big crowds and the big guns and regardless of what the weather has in store, people of all ages are drawn here for the music and camaraderie with like-minded souls intent on soaking up the experience. With the euphoric wave of goodwill that is evident it’s not surprising then that each act responds warmly and in turn delivers something special, all of which has been captured in these two programmes.