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Launch of Nenagh Castlefest 2019

Wednesday, 15th May, 2019 2:23pm
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 Launch of Nenagh Castlefest 2019

Brian Kennedy is a headline performer at this year's Castlefest in Nenagh

 Launch of Nenagh Castlefest 2019

Brian Kennedy is a headline performer at this year's Castlefest in Nenagh

The countdown is on to Nenagh Castlefest 2019, which gets underway on Friday, June 21st, in Nenagh town.

The organisers have been busy shaping up a schedule of events to entertain the people of North Tipperary and surrounds. The official launch of this year’s festival took place at Nenagh Castle on a beautiful summer’s evening, where representatives from the Castlefest, Nenagh Municipal District Council, Nenagh Tidy Towns Committee, local businesses and publicans gathered to the sound of Nenagh Ormond Brass Band.

Castlefest chairperson Cllr Hughie McGrath welcomed everyone on behalf of the committee and thanked the Brass Band for providing the music. “This is the third year of the Castlefest and we are absolutely delighted with the way it is going,” Cllr McGrath said. “I think year-on-year the festival has gotten better and we ourselves are learning what works and what doesn’t work as we go along. The committee is made up of people who would have been with me for many years with the ‘Picnic in the Park’, the St Patrick’s Day Parade and ‘Bop while you Shop’, and we have had amazing support from the people and the businesses of the town.

“A few years ago we teamed up with Ormond Comhaltas to get the Castlefest up and running. There is a great atmosphere within the committee because everyone is there with the same goal and that is to bring some fun and enjoyment to the town for the Castlefest weekend.”

The organisers are keen to keep all events free to enter for the weekend. Cllr McGrath also highlighted the support of the local businesses and Nenagh Municipal District and the hard work of Nenagh Tidy Towns Committee, represented on the night by Martin Langton.

“At the first Castlefest we had Mundy and Paddy Casey; we nearly had to turn the power off to get them off the stage and the crowd loved them! Last year we went down a different route with Johnny Brady and Sharon Shannon, and the Castle Field was brimming with people for the weekend. When we started to think about what acts we would get this year, we looked at what the people enjoy most about the festival – they like the safe family atmosphere which is always there in the Castle Field, good music you can dance to, and we have the weather!  

“What people think is amazing is that it’s all free entry and we wouldn’t have been able to do this without the support and encouragement from the businesses of the area, and particularly Marcus O’Connor and Rosemary Joyce in Nenagh Municipal District. They know that it is important to have these events because they are a chance to promote Nenagh and the area in general. I also want to thank all my fellow councillors who have backed the Castlefest each year.”

Mr O’Connor in return paid tribute to the hard work of the committee and said that it is always easier for the council to support a project when the council are confident in the ability of the people behind it. Tom Boland, PRO for the Castlefest and chair of Ormond Comhaltas, thanked all present for attending the launch. “We have had a great reaction to this year’s headline acts on social media, and not just people from Nenagh – last year we had people from all over the country and even foreign tourists coming to see Sharon Shannon; the year before it was for Paddy Casey.

“I think in Brian Kennedy we have one of the biggest names in Irish music if the social media reaction is anything to go by, and definitely we’ve had a fantastic reaction to ABBAESQUE. From a Comhaltas perspective, we are delighted to be involved to keep traditional music to the fore under the umbrella of the Castlefest. We really appreciate the support of the publicans, Comhaltas Ard Comhairle and the council and the local papers for giving us the platform to promote it.” He stated that the committee are always looking to expand the festival to bring it down onto the streets of the town and that this will happen as the festival grows.

The festival will open on Friday 21st with a traditional Irish music session in The Hibernian Inn, Pearse Street. This promises to be a great night with up to 20 musicians playing, including all the visiting top musicians from around the country and the UK - Brid Harper (Fiddle), Lucia McPartlin (Fiddle), Paddy Flannery (Banjo), Conor Connolly (Button accordion), Aidan Shannon (Flute) and Cian Kerins (Singing).

Saturday morning: Traditional music and singing workshops featuring visiting tutors.

Saturday afternoon: Live@theCastle stage: Opening at 2pm and featuring Nenagh Ormond Brass Band, Muriel O’Connor and Fran Curry, traditional music and Lisa Manning.  Saturday evening show: The main headline acts this year are Brian Kennedy and ABBAESQUE – Ireland’s premier ABBA tribute act.
Sunday 23rd: 'Showband Sunday' Live@theCastle stage featuring The Conquerors Showband – with special guests Trudi Lalor, Paddy Cole and one of the country’s rising stars, Colin Kenny. Traditional music, followed by The Good Ole Country Boys.

As well as the live music, the Castle Field will, as always, have great food and craft stalls, funfair and novelty items to entertain all ages. Please note: This is an alcohol-free event.

Pub music session trail: There will be a full trad music session trail running from Friday 21st at 9.30pm – Hibernian Inn – Opening night session featuring all visiting musicians through to a ‘final fling’ Castlefest Closing session at Paddy Rohan’s, Sarsfield Street.

For updates and schedules follow our Facebook page @NenaghCastlefest and on Twitter @NenaghFest.


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