The World Fleadh, a community initiative for a global audience, is recognised as Ireland's biggest Irish and Celtic music festival. The festival's main attraction is its large scale marquee concerts and theatre performances featuring the best Irish traditional, contemporary and celtic music performers in the world. In addition, it plays host to a number of Ireland's top céilí bands, a scheduled session trail, world title competitions in Irish traditional music, song and dance and master classes and demonstrations in various performance styles. This year's performers include Shane McGowan, Sharon Shannon, Damien Dempsey, Mundy, The Hothouse Flowers and Gary Dunne. To add to the aforementioned, the festival organisers have planned an incomparable range of family street and fringe activities to occur during The World Fleadh 2008 in Portlaoise.  The Festival Starts on Thursday 31st July and runs throughout the Bank Holiday Weekend finishing on Monday August 4th.