More than 500 Irish musicians, singers, and dancers are expected to take over the numerous venues in Ballina and its surrounding towns for the six day Mayo Manchester Tradfest. The week-long family friendly festival will feature a whole host of award winning performers involved in 10 key events and a further 60 fringe events, and is expected to attract some 50,000 visitors. The unique celebration featuring performers from Mayo and Manchester is launched on Friday July 29 with a special live two hour radio broadcast by Midwest Radio from Bar Square in Ballina. The free event will feature a host of VIPs and performers and runs from 6pm to 8pm.
The voice of Old Trafford, Alan Keegan from Manchester United Football Club is flying over to host the special annual gala concert at the Ballina Arts Centre. The Irish music, song, and dance concert features a host of award winning musicians, singers and dancers. Performers from Manchester include the award winning Keegan Academy of Irish Dance trained by the Lord of the Dance, James Keegan, and his sister Louise plus the Fianna Phadraig Pipe Band.
Performers from Mayo include the Irish singers, musicians, and dancers from the Atlantic Rhythm Production company, David Doocey and Tom Doherty from the The Admiral Brown CCE group, TG4 TV stars Pamela Gilmartin and The Murphy Sisters, The Heroes for Hospice Choir, the Sean Nos Dancers - The Ganley Sisters plus acoustic singer songwriter Brian Duffy.
Tony Hennigan from Mayo Manchester commented: “We have received a tremendous amount of support for the festival both in Mayo and Manchester. As well as our official supporters we would like to acknowledge the help given to us by the Ballina Salmon Festival, who we have been working with for a number of years, their support for this new festival has been invaluable. The six day festival which is based in the Arts Centre and numerous live music venues in Ballina will also be visiting Attymass, Bonniconlon, Crossmolina, Foxford, Kilkelly, Lahardane and Swinford.”
Although based in Ballina, the festival will travel through the surrounding towns in north Mayo calling at Attymass, the Bonniconlon Show, Foxford, Lahardane, Crossmolina, Siamsa Sraide in Swinford and the Kilkelly Heritage Day