Tuesday 24 September 2019

TradFest pledges to chase off January blues

One of the musicians performing during Tradfest in Dublin last year
One of the musicians performing during Tradfest in Dublin last year

Simon Rowe

Dublin's annual TradFest music festival in Temple Bar is set to provide a €4m cash boost to the local economy.

Around 22,000 visitors, about a third from overseas, are set to descend on the urban quarter from January 25 to 29 for a five-day festival that aims to blow away the January blues with some January bluegrass. Organised by the Temple Bar Company (TBC), the promotional body behind the cultural quarter, TradFest was founded in 2006 to boost tourism in the traditional post-Christmas lull.

With a total production spend of about €450,000, TradFest has grown into Ireland's largest festival of traditional music - and now competes with the likes of Scotland's world-renowned Celtic Connections.

"It's difficult to get people out in January and getting them to spend money. What TradFest offers is an additional 22,000 people in the city in January spending money," said TBC CEO Martin Harte.

"When some people think of TradFest, they tend to think of lads in flat caps, diddly-aye music, and fellas on the back of a trailer, but the reality is very different," said Harte. "Traditional music lovers travel in huge numbers to our festival every year from all over the world. They travel from Australia, New Zealand, Japan and the US to experience artists in an unusual venue and an intimate setting around Dublin."

This year's acts include Billy Bragg, Fairport Convention, The Fureys, Sharon Shannon and Stockton's Wing. Many acts will perform free ticketed events in venues around Temple Bar as well as performing intimate gigs in historic heritage buildings around the city.

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