Get head over reels about Tunefest Dungarvan this June

Tunefest Dungarvan, an emerging trad music festival, attracts world-class musicians.

Get head over reels about Dungarvan this June.
Credit: Philip Olckers

Head to Dungarvan from 23-25 June for concerts, including headline gigs with Dervish, Ímar and Danú, workshops, dancing, pub sessions, youth buskers, book launch and free outdoor gig rig performances.

Tunefest Dungarvan, the most exciting emerging traditional Irish music festival, will take place in the stunning harbour town of Dungarvan Co. Waterford from 23rd -25th June 2023.

The event will bring together some of the most talented traditional Irish musicians and singers from Waterford, around the country, and overseas for one incredible weekend of top-class music and fun.

Headliners include internationally renowned folk act Dervish, supported by Tulua from Wexford, Glasgow-based five-piece Ímar, supported by local Waterford duo Danny and Tommy Dunford, and one of the leading traditional Irish ensembles of today, Danú.  Supported by the current All Ireland Senior Céilí Band Champions for 2022, Taobh Na Mara. The line-up features award-winning musicians and a wide variety of musical expression from ancient airs to popular ballads, céilí, jigs, reels, and polkas to more modern tunes with an Irish trad twist.

Grattan Square in the centre of Dungarvan will be alive with the sound of trad music throughout the Tunefest weekend, with an open-air gig on Saturday and Sunday featuring a great lineup of musicians, Booley House, Tulua and Taobh Na Mara. A busking competition with young musicians will also take place from 2 pm on the Saturday afternoon registration outside ‘The Local’ on Grattan Square.

No less than 4 CD launch events will also take place at Lawlor’s Hotel over the weekend, showcasing new music from artists including Tara Breen, Nuala Kennedy and Tony Byrne, followed by Paul Clesham and Conor Arkins, then we have  Diarmuid Ó’Meachair and closing out the cd launch on the Sunday will be Taobh Na Mara Céilí Band.

A big focus for Tunefest is to encourage the next generation of musical talent, and with this in mind, they offer opportunities to learn from the best trad musicians in the country. Workshops for banjo, fiddle, accordion, concertina, whistle and bodhrán will run on Saturday, 24th of June, at Ard Scoil Na Deise, followed by a tutor and student concert.  The impressive line-up of tutors includes; Enda Scahill (Banjo), Tara Breen (Fiddle), Diarmuid Ó Meachair (Accordion), Liam O’Brien (Concertina), Nuala Kennedy Whistle, Colm Phelan (Bodhrán). Advance registration is required.

Now in its third year, Tunefest, which is organised by a voluntary committee embedded in the local trad community, has quickly become a favourite for Irish music lovers and families alike, and this year’s event promises to be bigger and better than ever.  While still a young and emerging festival, the passion for trad music in and around Dungarvan is very high.  A wealth of All Ireland Champion musicians hailing from the locality are set to take to the festival stage, including current All Ireland champion fiddle player Sarah O Gorman and the current All Ireland Céilí Champions Taobh Na Mara performing in the town square, along with previous All Ireland Champions Claire Fennell, Clara, Mannion, Seamus O’Gorman, Joseph Mannion, Niamh Fennell and Ellen O’Gorman. The local grá for trad is in no small measure thanks to a strong and vibrant trad community led by its proximity to the nearby An Rinn Gaeltacht and the thriving Comhaltas Ceoltoirí Eireann branches.

In addition to top-class music offered at Tune Fest, Dungarvan town is a great destination to visit with its wide selection of pubs and restaurants and, of course, the Waterford Greenway. The festival has also teamed up with local hotels and accommodation providers to offer special packages for those looking to stay in Dungarvan for the weekend.

“We’re thrilled to bring Tunefest Dungarvan back for what we expect to be our best year yet,” said festival organiser Donnchadh Gough, a well-respected uilleann-piper and bodhrán player with Irish band DANÚ and owner of The Local gastropub, which serves a dish of trad music most nights. “We have one of the best line-ups of musicians joining us over the weekend.  This is a festival that truly has something for everyone, whether you’re a budding musician yourself, a die-hard trad fan or just want a fun weekend away. We can’t wait to see everyone there!”

Tickets for TuneFest Dungarvan are on sale now.  For more information and to purchase tickets, see tunefest.ie, facebook.com/tunefestdungarvan, or buy in person at The Local in Dungarvan town centre.

TuneFest is funded by Waterford Council, ‘The Local’ Dungarvan Diageo, Heineken and local businesses and would not be possible without the support of volunteers and local supporters.

Credit: Philip Olckers

Press release by Tunefest

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