Temple Bar TradFest – Preview by Fran Winston
Runs Wednesday 27th – Sunday 31st January.
Eleven years after its inception the Temple Bar TradFest continues to go from strength to strength and boast an ever expanding programme. Recently launched it the sumptuous surroundings of Dublin’s Mansion house this year’s offering promises some real treats not just for Trad fans but for anyone who simply enjoys “the craic.” There is something for everyone with possibly the most eclectic line up yet. While many of the usual suspects such as Foster and Allen appear in the programme they are joined by some performers that are more rock ‘n’ roll than Trad such as Seventies icon Gilbert O’Sullivan and 90s hitmakers The Stunning.
While the majority of the gigs have a cover charge there are also several free offerings for anyone who would like to get a flavour of the event without the financial commitment. The Front Row Sessions is a series of 13 free gigs in various venues featuring such luminaries as The Furey’s, Stockton’s wing (who played a blinder at the launch) and sunburst hit makers Picturehouse. There is a nod to the 1916 commemorations with the free Dublin’s Burning event, which is an afternoon of songs, music and poetry in Hugh Lane Gallery and there are many other free workshops and tours. For a nominal fee aspiring songwriters can even undertake a workshop with the award winning Duke Special who is also performing at the festival.
Once again all the shows take place in some of the city’s most historic venues which only serves to add to the ambience of the festival. One of the most historic is Dublin Castle which plays host to the folk Gala Night on January 31st featuring Dick Gaughan, Ralph McTell and Maura O’Connell with support from Polly Barrett which will allow you to do your bit for charity while being entertained.
A great way to mark the end of winter and the first music festival of the year you could do worse than check out some of the offerings. More information, booking details and the programme can be found at www.templebartrad.com
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