N.B. This information is for last year's Fleadh. There is a seriously overplayed website for the 1998 festival at: http://www.guinnessfleadh.com/about.htm

Guinness Fleadh

Randall's Island, New York, Jun 14-15, 1997

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
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
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
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.

Home | Dance | About Ceolas | Feedback