Launch of 42nd O’Carolan Harp Festival and Summer School

The launch of the 42nd O’Carolan Harp Festival and Summer School took place on Wednesday, June 29th, at Kilronan Castle Estate.

The O’Carolan Harp Festival and Summer School have been held in Keadue every August Bank holiday weekend since 1978. The festival was initiated to commemorate world renowned harper and composer Turlough O’Carolan, whose remains are interred in Kilronan Cemetery just outside Keadue Village.

The festival committee are absolutely delighted to be back after a two-year break due to the Covid pandemic and are really looking forward to the event. The festival aims to bring a smile to people’s faces and inject some life back into the village and community after what have been a tough few years for everybody.

The annual event is one of the longest running and leading harp and traditional music festivals in Ireland, aiming especially at promoting harp music and the music of O’Carolan. It attracts harpers from Ireland and overseas who attend the summer school classes and compete in the international harp competitions. Participants have an opportunity to participate in the many traditional music events and sessions throughout the festival and summer school.

The festival will run from Monday, July 25th, to Monday, August 1st, kicking off with the O’Carolan Summer School. Classes will be hosted in harp, bodhran, tin whistle, set dancing and banjo (taking place in the morning) and classes in button accordion, fiddle, concertina, flute, traditional singing, beginners and advanced sean-nós dancing will be held in the evening. Registration for the summer school in advance online.

For more information, see ocarolanharpfestival.ie or follow the festival’s Facebook page.