Through the medium of our new website I want to take the opportunity to invite you to Castleisland for the 2013 and 21st annual Patrick O’Keeffe Traditional Music Festival.
The festival will open on Friday, October 25th and run over the bank holiday weekend to the following Monday, October 28th.
We would like to extend a special Céad Míle Fáilte to visiting and local musicians alike who will be taking part in the many sessions over the weekend.
To the throngs of music loving visitors from all corners of the world we also say welcome and thanks for making the effort to be with us on this great occasion.
It is a constant source of amazement to us to find that, on each October, people from all corners of the world have made their way here to Castleisland to enjoy the unique musical experience we strive to provide. Many visitors leave after the weekend vowing to return the following year – and a high number do just that.
We have a line up of music, song and dance that we hope will make your stay here an enjoyable and pleasant one.
You will see from the programme of events that we have both the backing and blessings of the local business community in our efforts. This has been the fortunate position we’ve found ourselves in since the festival was founded back in 1993 – for that we’re very grateful.
In these times of particular financial constraints we are more grateful than ever to the local community for its unwavering support. This is a source of support without which the structures of the festival would rapidly fold.
This year we particularly welcome the support of the Arts Council of Ireland and the support and encouragement received from North and East Kerry Development.
Over the years there has been an increasing emphasis on the educational aspect of the local style of the music of Sliabh Luachra. Extensive music classes are held annually in conjunction with the festival. These are conducted by players steeped in the tradition of the area.
For the benefit of visitors: there will be many fine exponents of the famed Sliabh Luachra style of playing to be seen and heard in various locations over the few days of the festival.
This style was preserved and passed on – at a great cost to his health and wellbeing - by the man in whose honour we’re all gathered here this weekend.
Patrick O’Keeffe spent the greater part of his life on the roads of the Sliabh Luachra area harbouring the tradition and spreading his unique talent and style. Several of his pupils and those influenced by his life and music will take part in this festival and therefore ensure that his legacy and legend live on.
Finally I hope that both players and patrons have an enjoyable weekend and that you’ll spread the word for the years ahead.
Cormac O’Mahony – Chairman
They can be booked from the River Island Hotel
on 066 71 42555 after 5pm.