12 Dec 2019
Winter is the perfect time to cosy up in an Irish pub and listen to some great trad music.
There’s something about the heartfelt strains of an Irish lament or the toe-tapping rhythm of a jig that reaches the soul, so a winter’s evening tucked up at a trad session is an experience to remember.
For five days of the best wall-to-wall trad sessions on the planet, beat a path to Dublin between 22 and 26 January for TradFest.
Showcasing the cream of both Irish and international trad and folk artists, and promoting the next generation of Irish musicianship, TradFest is trad without frontiers.
With some 200 concerts in historic venues such as Dublin Castle, City Hall and Kilmainham Gaol as well as in churches, pubs, clubs and theatres across the city, Tradfest is the gold-star festival of traditional music in Ireland.
Join the foremost voice of Irish folk song, Daoirí Farrell, for The Dublin Session, hear fusion sounds from the Afro Celt Collective, sit back and enjoy the rock-influenced Hot House Flowers or just find a local trad group in a Dublin pub and soak up the atmosphere.
If you can’t make it to Tradfest you can still enjoy traditional music sessions any night of the week, every month of the year across Dublin, and indeed across the island of Ireland.
Among the city’s best trad pubs is O Donoghue’s in Merrion Row – sacred ground for trad musicians as it was here that legends like the Dubliners and Christy Moore performed.
And in Temple Bar, Dublin's heaving cultural quarter, you'll find The Auld Dubliner pub, renowned for its lively trad sessions with music that spills on to the streets.
If you find it hard to keep still when listening to some rousing trad tunes head for The Celt in Talbot Street. It has a big dancefloor where you can try out your reels and jigs or just improvise for a bit of fun.
For a more in-depth trad experience check out the Belfast Traditional Music Trail which takes you through the cobbled streets of the city’s buzzing Cathedral Quarter in the company of professional musicians.
Begin and end the trail with a drink in two of Belfast’s leading trad pubs while learning about the instruments, language, customs and history that make up Ireland’s vibrant musical tradition and enjoying a performance of traditional tunes, songs and stories.
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