Revellers to embrace culture as Tradfest returns to city

Actor Stephen Rea joined musicians Michelle Mulcahy, Aoife Scott and Louise Mulcahy at Kilmainham Gaol to mark the launch of the Programme for TradFest 2020

Gabija Gataveckaite

More than 27,000 revellers are expected to descend on Dublin for traditional music festival Tradfest later this month.

The line-up includes actor Stephen Rea, rock group Hothouse Flowers and musicians Aoife Scott and Catherine McEvoy, as well as many others.

Launched in 2005, the five-day festival celebrates its 15th anniversary this year and takes place from January 22 to 26.

"It's a little bit of a different festival as it's spread out across different venues and it's much more intimate going to see a gig in Rathfarnham jail than the 3Arena," said organiser Martin Harte, chief executive of The Temple Bar Company.

The line-up also features Neil Martin, Matt Molloy, Daoiri Farrell's Dublin Song Session, quintet Goitse and spoken word poet Stephen James Smith.


The festival prides itself on taking place in the city's historic venues, including the Olympia Theatre, Dublin City Hall, Dublin Castle, Kilmainham Gaol and the Button Factory.

"It's really important to embrace our culture and to absorb and enjoy other cultures too," Mr Harte told the Herald at the launch of the festival last night.

"The music we have featured is mostly traditional and folk, but we also have instrumental artists and some ethnic fusion, which is really important too."

The festival runs a live concert at the hub, which sees young artists given the chance to perform in front of a panel of managers and agents.

"Trad is in the roots of the area and when we first started, the festival was very small. We've always run concerts in really interesting areas to make it a bit of an experience for attendees," Mr Harte added.

"We're very happy and very proud of how far it has come and we're hoping to see 27,000, but 30,000 would be amazing."