The All-Ireland Fleadh is back in Cavan! 10,000 performers will descend on the Bréifne county in August to participate in competitions, exhibitions, workshops, street sessions and many free events. The All-Ireland Fleadh Cheoil promises to be Ireland’s largest festival of traditional music, song and dance. Hosted in Cavan (www.cavantourism.com) it promises to attract over 200,000 visitors and 11,000 musicians from all over the world. With a diverse and exciting programme of family events over the course of a week, this year’s all Ireland Fleadh will be most inclusive, environmentally friendly and dynamic Fleadh ever.
At the Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann inaugural meeting in September 1951 it was decided to create a national festival named Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann (Festival of Music in Ireland). County, provincial and worldwide Fleadhanna are very important events in the traditional Irish music calendar and annual Comhaltas events include Fleadh Nua, Fleadh na Breataine (an All-Britain Fleadh Cheoil), regional Fleadhanna in Britain, Japan and the USA.
The goal of the Fleadh Cheoil has been to establish standards in Irish traditional music through competition. The Fleadh has developed as a mainly competitive event, but also includes showcases of concerts, céilithe, parades, pageants, and street sessions.
The continued growth in the number and standard of Fleadhanna held have facilitated competitors to qualify from county, provincial and regional levels for the All-Ireland finals at Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann. The Fleadhanna at each level provide a platform and a meeting place for over 10,000 musicians, who carry on the great tradition of playing and cherishing our music, songs, and dances. And when the competitions are over, many impromptu sessions take place which sometimes last until the early hours.