By Joe Barrett
Portlaoise will hold the first ever three-day Irish traditional music festival in the town over the May Day Bank Holiday weekend from Friday to Sunday 28 to 30 April.
The festival event is headed up by Dale McKay and Siobhan Buckley along with fellow respected musicians Tommy Fitzharris, Ruaidhri Tierney, Chloe Finlay and David Harte.
The Portlaoise Trad Fest team said that it was felt that it was the right time to showcase the amazing musicianship found in Laois on the national stage.
As well as featuring local musicians, the festival will also bring top quality musicians to the town which the hope of inspiring upcoming younger musicians.
There is a huge array of events planned for the two days festival which include concerts, workshops, youth session and a session trail.
The music workshops will take place on Saturday 29 April from 11am to 1pm at the Music Generation Laois premises at Fitzmaurice Place and are designed for musicians with a minimal of two to four years’ experience. Intermediate to Advance level of playing is recommended for all classes. Tutors at the workshops include Paul Finn (Accordion), Brian Hughes (Whistle), Eimear Coughlan (Harp), Colm Phelan (Bodhrán) and Tara Breen (Fiddle).
One of the major highlights over the weekend is a concert by the renowned Irish singer and musician who is known for his distinctive sean-nós-style voice Seán Keane. To mark the inaugural festival the Galway performer will take to the state of the Dunamaise Arts Centre on Friday night 28 April.
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