Fleadh2020 | TG4 6-9 August @ 9.30pm
Lean leis an gceol, the music continues. TG4 in partnership with Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann, brings us Fleadh2020, a 4-night celebration of Fleadh Ceoil around the world. Fleadh2020 is a gathering (socially distanced and virtual) of Irish traditional musicians from around the world who, under normal circumstances, would be coming together to celebrate the All-Ireland Fleadh – ‘The Homecoming’ – in Mullingar in August. Over the 4 nights 6-9 August, Fleadh2020, will capture the essence of this annual event – the music, song and dance and the stories – and present a unique insight into the fleadh community, across Ireland and around the world. From Brisbane to Buncrana the young and the old, the learners and the legends come together to bring you a fleadh like never before.
Speaking about Fleadh2020, Minister for Media, Tourism, Arts, Culture, Sport and the Gaeltacht, Catherine Martin says, “The Fleadh resonates at the deepest roots of Irish identity and culture, which continues to evolve and grow with the world around it, and it reminds us of the beauty of tradition, the Irish language, craic agus ceol. I am proud to support this TG4 production and hope that all who see it enjoy its power, purity and presence as it rings out across the island and beyond.”
Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann, organised by Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann, is the world’s largest celebration of Irish music, language, song and dance. Labhrás Ó Murchú Ardstiúrthóir of Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann tells us that “The Fleadh is in tune with the pulse of the nation. In the 1950’s, when there was huge emigration and the mood was downbeat, the Fleadh helped to raise the spirits of the people at home and also had a resonance with the Irish diaspora who brought their culture from the homeland with them. The story of Comhaltas and the Fleadh are inextricably linked. The Fleadh attracted 750,000 people in 2019 and generated €50m for the economy. Comhaltas now operates in 18 countries and provides services to 3m people each year. The partnership between Comhaltas and TG4 is another milestone on this cultural journey.”
Director General of TG4 Alan Esslemont says that “TG4 has placed Irish culture at the heart of our schedule and our strategy and we are delighted to be able to broadcast ‘Fleadh 2020’, despite the challenges we all face this year with Covid-19. I am extremely grateful to all the musicians and artists who are taking part, a clear reflection of the worldwide festival which the Fleadh Cheoil truly is. The partnership between TG4 and Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann is a huge success and, working together, we look forward to strengthening and deepening these ties in the coming years.”
On each of the 4 nights presenters Dáithí Ó Sé, Doireann Ní Ghlacáin and Kieran Hanrahan take us on a journey through a different province starting with Munster, through Connaught, Ulster and, finally, Leinster.
Among the highlights we have:
- A celebration of 30 years of Irish traditional music giants, Four Men and a Dog, who welcome back Gerry ‘Banjo’ O’Connor, Mick Daly and Brian McGrath for this special occasion.
- A re-union of dynamic duo Seamus Begley and Steve Cooney;
- Trad super-group, Beoga; legends Matt Molloy and John Carty; from Cork, Mick Flannery with Susan O’Neill; singer-songwriter, Lisa O’Neill; Sligo-based harper-composer, Micheal Rooney; Donegal’s 13-strong female fiddle group, Sí Fiddlers, featuring Mairead Ní Mhaonaigh, Bríd Harper and Liz Doherty; fiddle and piano duo, Fergal Scahill and Ryan Molloy;
- Céilí bands including The Blackwater, The Moylurg, Crossfields and, recorded specially for Fleadh 2020, the Toyota Céilí Band;
- Musical families. We have Paddy, Kevin Glackin with Kevin’s daughter presenter and Doireann; the Kane sisters, Liz and Yvonne from Letterfrack, Co. Galway with dancer, Nathan Pilatzke; we have husband and wife duo Padraig McGovern (pipes) and Sabina McCague (harp); five siblings from Croom, Co. Limerick – the Fitzgibbon family; from Carna, Co. Galway, brother and sister Seamus O Flatharta and Caoimhe Ní Fhlatharta; Aidan and Aine O’Donnell; the Molloys from Derry, and the O’Fatharta family from Moycullen.
- All the incredibly important work of those teachers who are responsible for passing on the tradition is celebrated with Kieran Hanrahan, Director of Scoil Éigse and teachers such as Damaris Woods, Enda Seery, Tom Doorley and Attracta Brady;
- We have a Mullingar welcome from Fleadh Chairperson and banjo player Joe Connaire and friends;
- We are joined (virtually) by some of our musician friends from around the world – from Scotland to New York to Brisbane;
- For many families the fleadh is the biggest event of the year, and each night Kieran Hanrahan is joined by some of those who work tirelessly behind the scenes to make the fleadh happen, taking a trip down memory lane and reflecting on the significance of this event – culturally and at community level.
The 4 shows will be available worldwide on the TG4 Player www.tg4.ie as we take the party online across the world.
To join in the celebrations, post a video of your home Fleadh celebration to Social Media, using the hashtag #Fleadh2020 – playing a tune, telling us who you are and where you are.
The video can be shot on a mobile phone, landscape (16:9) or portrait (9:16)
You can send it to us via wetransfer to firstname.lastname@example.org with your name, where you are from, the trad/Comhaltas group you are a member of, any other social media handles/tags you would like included, and the name of the tune!
And of course, we’d love you to post it to your own social media channels using the Hashtag #Fleadh2020