A number of Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann competitions will be streamed live during the course of 'The Homecoming' event in Mullingar this week, the highlight being the broadcast of the senior céilí bands competition on Sunday, August 7, from 6.15pm.
The competition streams will be available on the Fleadh Cheoil Facebook page, as well as on the TG4 Player throughout the weekend.
Competitors will grace the stage in a vast array of competitions, a selection of which will be streamed free to air from St Finian’s College and the Cathedral of Christ the King.
These include solo uilleann pipes, whistle, concertina, melodeon and banjo, as well as the senior flute and men’s singing competitions.
The competitions will be streamed using multi-camera productions, and will feature interviews and features on music and tourism.
“It’s a great initiative, and we are proud to be the first to roll out these Facebook Live broadcasts. The competitions are popular, and we have to deal with challenges in accommodating everyone who wants to attend. This way we can bring the competitions to people at home, wherever in the world they want to tune in from," Joe Connaire, chair of the Fleadh Cheoil Executive Committee, asserted.
Family members, friends and tutors of musicians taking part will be able to follow the competitions live on their viewing devices, and a big screen has also been erected in the centre of Mullingar to broadcast the webcasts.
“We have branches of Comhaltas in all five Continents and the music continues to grow and to thrive worldwide and so it makes sense for us to use technology to bring the music to many of the people who would like to be here in person but are unable to attend. This will give viewers a real flavour of the fleadh, and we have selected some of the best competitions, solo and group, for the public to enjoy," Labhrás Ó Murchú, Ard Stiúrthóir of Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann, stated.
The live streams will be hosted by TG4 presenter Darren Ó Dubhgáin and musician Freda Hatton, both of whom have competed at the Fleadh Cheoil.