Wednesday, 17 May 2017

Clancy Brother Festival 2017

It's just under two weeks until my hometown of Carrick On Suir will come alive with art, music and storytelling as we gather together for the annual celebration of the Clancy Brothers. This year is particularity special as it marks the 10th anniversary of the festival and anyone that knows me know that the Clancy brothers festival is one of my favourite events of the year, A weekend which turns this little town into a cultural melting pot held on the June bank holiday each and every year.
Carrick On Suir, a town situated in the South East of Tipperary was once home to the four men which together with Tommy Makem became one of the worlds most loved folk groups throughout the decades and if you get a chance to visit over the four days then I can promise you will not be disappointed.

To my friends I'm the raver, I love my dance/techno music but what not a lot of people know about is my Clancy brothers CD collection or my playlist on my Ipod give me a good verse of 'Mountain Dew' or 'Gypsy Rover' any day and I'm a happy girl. I feel so blessed to have grown up with such an amazing festival under my nose, with one of my earliest memories sitting out in my back garden with my two best friends listening to Mundy sing 'Galway Girl' from the river bank and what a special memory that is.
For me the weekend celebrates the art, music and history in this town but also the fun, laughter, and most importantly the family and friends I have had here in Carrick On suir the memories that I will possess forever.


 As I said above this year is the 10th year the festival is in action and for me the highlight of the weekend is always the River Festival and Open Air Concert in the Sean Healy park from 2pm on Sunday(June 4th)
 I can't express how much I love this day sitting out in the grass (having a few drinks) listening to the live music, for me it's like the 'Oxygen' festival that I never got to go too and I love it.
 It's a free day so you can bring the whole family, there's face painting, bouncy castles, great bands and I find it's the perfect place to catch up with old Carrick Smashers.

Before this all kicks off the festivities on Sunday begin at 9:30am when there's a River Walk to Dove Hill Irish Design Centre for €10 including breakfast.
Ps. The staff are lovely up there in Dove Hill ;-)

At lunchtime you have the choice to enjoy some theatre at the Brewery Lane and to finish up the Sunday the song writing competition 'A song for Carrick' where the three finalists have been chosen and will preform in the Nano Nagle centre at 7:30 tickets are €10 and the concert will also feature Robbie O'Connell the folk songwriter.
 Of course the night doesn't end there with all the pubs in town offering entertainment not only on the Sunday but for the whole weekend and if you're like me the night will end at 2am when you fall out of the disco...sorry mam!!
So you think all that sounds amazing??? well that's just the Sunday but the festival kicks off on the Wednesday (May 31st) in the Brewery Lane Theatre where there's the opening concert for €12.50 and again more actives on the Thursday (June 1st) in the Brewery. 
 Friday (June 2nd ) is jam packed from lunchtime theatre, a film being shown in the Nano Nagle 'The Story of The Clancy Brothers & Tommy Makem', the Eleanor McEvoy concert and of course the Eoghan Power Memorial singing competition in Figgerty's at 9pm. It costs €10 to enter, you can pick up an entry form from the Tudor Artisan Hub or see the website. 

Saturday (June 3rd) kicks off at 10.30 am with a walking tour of Carrick - On -Suir which costs €5. If you want to know a little bit more about the town local historian Tom Walsh is your man all meeting at the Heritage Centre. 
From 2-5 pm you can meet the Clancy Family in the Nano Nagle centre where you'll have the chance to trade stories and browse memorabilia. 
 Another highlight of the festival is the Youth busking competition from 2.30pm up the main street, the town comes alive and there's nothing more magical than it, honestly if you can get yourself to town on the Saturday you won't regret it. And of course the headlining concert THE HIGH KINGS in the strand theatre at 8pm. Tickets are €25 and can be purchased from the Strand. 

If you can recover then from the Sunday (which I'm telling you now will be savage) there's one thing you need to do on the Monday morning (June 5th) and that is the 'Walk On The Wild Side' with Brian White. An incredible gifted story teller an amazing knowledge why not spend the morning with my uncle exploring the wildflowers and wildlife along the banks of the Suir from Ormond Castle ro Tobar na gCann, a hands on free experience for the whole family, it can't be missed!! Meeting at the Ormond castle at 11.30 am.... it'll cure the hangover promise!! 

As well as all these incredible events there are some great workshops for the kids and adults throughout the week from  Sean NÓs dancing with Irene Cunnigham on the Saturday to learning to play the bodhrán you can take a look at all the workshops here.
And finally finishing up with the Art Trail which kicks off on Friday morning the whole way through the weekend scattered here there and everywhere it's great too see some local art and of course this years highly anticipated 'If these chairs could talk' where locals were encouraged to tell a story through chairs and these are my favourite so far, ridiculously talented.
So there you have it, my induction to this magical weekend in Carrick On Suir, there's no where in the world I'd rather call home than this town and I cannot wait for this years festival to begin and to end this post I'm going to leave you with my favourite Clancy Brothers song 'The Whislting Gypsy Rover' a song that yet again brings me back to my childhood and reminds me of my family gatherings with nanny singing along in the middle.
Lynda  xx
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