This looks like one of the most remarkable gatherings of top Irish and celtic musicians in the US in a long time, with various other big names thrown in for good measure. The likes of Altan, The Chieftains, and Christy Moore are sharing the stage with Van Morrison, Suzanne Vega, and Natalie Merchant. The lineup to date (confirmed April 7) looks like this:
|Saturday, June 14||Sunday, June 15||
Van Morrison Sinead O'Connor Christy Moore The Chieftains - CANCELLED Shane MacGowan Saw Doctors Paul Brady John Prine Black 47 Steve Earle Ashley MacIsaac Frances Black Tommy Makem Jimmie Dale Gilmore Altan Blink Cherish The Ladies The Devlins Katell Keineg The Mahones Susan McKeown Those Bleeding Tulips Pierce Turner
Van Morrison Natalie Merchant Mary Black Paula Cole The Chieftains Wilco Neville Brothers Billy Bragg Richard Thompson Suzanne Vega Saw Doctors Freedy Johnston Eleanor McEvoy John Wesley Harding Brian Kennedy Andy White Big Geraniums Great Big Sea Ben Lee Sinead Lohan Makem Brothers Moxy Fruvous Mundy Something Happens Too Cynical to Cry
The Fleadh will have a three-stage setup, running from 11 am to 11 pm, with the usual associated food and 'culture' vendors. The organisers promise a 're-recreation (sic) of an authentic Irish village, with street performers, artisans, dancers, poerty readings and Irish craft and food vendors'. Sounds really authentic! Being sponsored by Guinness, you can imagine what the beverage selection will be like...
The Fleadh (pronounced 'flaa', meaning festival) in Ireland has usually been associated with multi-round competitive festivals for musicians, with a big final every year (the all-Ireland Fleadh), but the revival of interest in traditional music has made them major public attractions. One of the organisers of the Guinness Fleadh has been running big Irish music festivals in London for serveral years; this is it's first incarnation in America, though much more low-key competitive Fleadhanna (Fleadhs) are held throughout the country every year by Comhaltas Ceoltoiri Eireann (the traditional musicians organisation).
Given the lineup, the tickets are fairly pricey: $40 per day including parking, or $70 for the two days. Tickets are available from Ticketmaster (212-307-7171), Tower Records, HMV and J&R Music World.