Insider Tips

Traditionally TradFest

By Visit Dublin

2nd January 2018

TradFest is almost upon us, ready to warm up Dubliners and visitors alike with toe-tapping tunes and sing-along sessions in iconic venues, from cosy pubs to spooky catacombs, for one wonderful mid-winter week.

So lace up your dancing shoes, pull on an Aran knit, grab a Guinness (because, well, why not) and follow the beat of bodhran echoing through the cobbled streets of the capital.

Taking place from 24 – 28 January 2018 in Dublin’s cultural quarter, TradFest is a Traditional Irish music festival that showcases the best of both Irish and international trad and folk artists (as well as the next generation). The week offers opportunities to mingle with musicians and locals while discovering beautiful spots around the city such as the spectacular St Patrick’s Cathedral, St Michan’s Church (which still contains mummified remains), Georgian beauty Dublin City Hall and St Werburgh’s Church, to name but a few.

But let’s get to the music! Trad superstar Judy Collins and Alan Stivell will both perform on January 26th at St. Patrick's Cathedral. Collins is the legendary singer-songwriter who performs poetic interpretations of trad and contemporary folk as well as her own original compositions. Alan Stivell is undoubtedly responsible for popularizing Celtic tunes but is adept at crossover music. 

Irish favourite, Paddy Casey who has been to the forefront of the Irish music scene since his debut album came out in 1999 will be performing at The Ivy on January 28th and trad giants the Fureys are performing several dates from January 25th to 28th.

For something more contemporary, snap up a ticket for the vivacious Wallis Bird who hails from Wexford and is performing on January 24th at Whelan's. Or, see Quebec born Kaia Kater, whose music combines banjo with soft sensibilities, mixing elements of both Canadian and American traditions, performing on January 26th at St. Werburgh's Church. Get your teeth into Tradfest’s The New Folk gig on 28th of January, which celebrates emerging female folk in the form of Ailbhe Reddy, Ciara Sidine and Karrie.
There’s something for everyone to enjoy from the Headline Concerts that will feature the well-known names in famous venues to the Front Row Sessions that are free concerts in intimate settings. There will also be the Tradfringe, which includes exhibitions, film-screenings and workshops. 

This year, festival-goers can download the TradFest app to help navigate the festival as well as get free priority tickets and see event listings and locations.

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