customLogo.gifVarious workshops, concerts, sessions and other events will take place across Bangor during the Ulster Fleadh, exhibiting some of the best talent in Irish traditional music, song and dance! Confirmed acts so far include Lúnasa (headline act), Fr. Martin O’Hagan, Gorias, Mulholland Family Band, Lauren Smyth (Riverdance), and Glórthái Uladh (Irish choir). Further details of all events will follow.

Programme of Events

A full Programme of Events is now available for Fleadh Uladh 2017! Click on the images below for more information or click on the following link to download a calendar of events in MS word format. CALENDAR OF EVENTS

Denis Calvert Memorial Walk – Sunday 23rd July – Portaferry Sailing Club @ 5:00pm

There will be a memorial walk for Ards CCÉ’s dearest friend Denis Calvert on Sunday 23rd July.  Everyone should meet at Portaferry sailing Club at 5pm for a remembrance walk along the beautiful shores of Strangford Lough. In the early years Denis would be the driving force for Ards CCÉ in promoting and fostering the love of traditional music, song and dance throughout the Ards area. The first meeting of the Ards branch took place in his home at Ballygrangee, Carrowdore on 1st July 1976 and the hospitality from him and his wife Anne was totally immeasurable. For the next 36 years until his untimely death in September2012, Denis was to be Secretary and Chairman for most of this period.
As the music sessions spread all over the Ards area Denis would be at the forefront accompanied by his long tin whistle and a pint of Guinness, welcoming and encouraging friends and strangers alike.  Ards CCÉ would therefore like to pay him the respect he so thoroughly deserves in the Fleadh Uladh 2017 programme.  As a branch they all miss his greatness, his great sense of fun, his love and passion for life, that big whistle and those lovely tunes and songs. Everyone is very welcome to come along and remember this local Co Down legend.

 Geordie at 80 – Monday 24th July – Imperial Bar, Central Avenue, Bangor @ 8:00pm – Admission Free

Geordie McAdam – the term “living legend” is sometimes used a little freely these days but it is more than accurate when describing Geordie. Geordie now in his 80th year is a Colossus of the local music scene. Originally from the Shankill Road he first encountered Irish traditional music when walking in the Ardoyne as a young child. He has kept illustrious company Sean Maguire, Jackie Donnan and Nigel and Diana Boullier. He has played throughout the world as a traditional player and also as a player of blue grass and “old timie” tunes. He was a member of the acclaimed groups “The Black Mountain String Band” and “The Broken String Band”. He is also a fifer, a Lambeg drummer and mandolin player. He has recently taken up the ukulele! He has featured in many television and radio broadcasts.  In addition to his playing he is equally well known in local circles for his story telling and fiddle making (lately he has made a number of fiddles out of lollipop sticks and matches). His shop/workshop in Grayshill, Bangor is a much sought out destination by all musical enthusiasts. Recently the legendary Scottish accordion player Phil Cunningham dropped in to join Geordie in a number of tunes when filming his critically acclaimed documentary for the BBC “Wayfaring Stranger”. Geordie will be joined by a number of local musicians in what promises to be a historic occasion.


Columbanus (Bangor’s First Folk Singer!) – Tuesday 25th July – Fealty’s Bar Bangor @ 8:00pm – Admission Free

Although born in Leinster, Columbanus can be rightly claimed by Bangor as its greatest son as he studied under the great Comgall, many years founder of Bangor Abbey. Columbanus left Bangor and Ireland forever in 591AD in the company of 12 followers and journeyed to continental Europe. There, he established a succession of important monasteries: Annegray, Fontaine, Luxeuil and Bobbio. His impact after his death in 615AD had a long afterlife and was responsible for Ireland’s reputation as the land of Saints & Scholars. He was the first Irishman of letters; he was the first Irishman to be subject to a biography; he was the first person to refer to “we Irish” as an idea of cultural identity and he was the first person to refer to Europe as a collective concept. The event will take place at FEALTY’S BAR on TUE 25TH JULY and admission is free. James McKerrow will lead the narration with Kenneth Irvine discussing the latest development of “The Columban Way”…..a pilgrim’s path through Ireland and Europe. David Lennon will be performing “The Rhine Boat Song”, written by Columbanus, which he has recently put to music.

This will be an amazing and informative literary event of great local interest….so don’t miss it!!

Cap on the Wall – Tuesday 25th July – Rabbit Rooms Bar (downstairs) @ 10:00pm – Admission free.


Bangor’s legendary folk and traditional band, started out in Bangor over twenty years ago and are still going strong today. They have gone on to tour in many European countries and the USA and have released several albums. Although some members of the band have come and gone, champion fiddle player Niall McClean and award-winning singer/guitarist Damian McCoubrey, have been there from the start.

The Ulster Fleadh are therefore delighted to announce that the original band will reform for this one-off gig with the legendary Damian Fitzpatrick (Fitzy) making an appearance.  Many other members over the years will also make a come back for what is going to be a cracking night of music and song. Expect everything from the Fureys to a mix of modern folk/ trad with a twist….. It’s going to be a very historical night for the band!


Foxy & Friends at the Fleadh! – Thursday 27th July – Fealty’s Bar, High Street, Bangor @ 8:00pm – Admission Free

Foxy (aka Peter Carberry) is one of Tipperary’s greatest exports. A frequent visitor to Bangor over the last 20 years he has been permanently resident with his family for the last 10 years. He is a classic balladeer. He honed his craft in the bars and back rooms of Ireland, Jersey and Camden Town, London. His unique voice and style is memorising and whilst one can appreciate the influence of such great names as Ronnie Drew and Luke Kelly, ultimately Foxy is very much his own man. Like a true balladeer, he not only sings the songs he owns the songs. In addition to singing regularly at the historic Fealty’s session, Foxy is increasingly in demand throughout Ireland. He will be accompanied by a number of local musicians for what will be a night that will undoubtedly live long in the memory.


Lúnasa – Friday 28th July – St Comgall’s Parish Centre @ 7:30pm

Fleadh Uladh 2017 are delighted to announce that the headline act for this year’s Ulster Fleadh is WORLD CLASS act LÚNASA! Lúnasa, described as THE HOTTEST IRISH ACCOUSTIC BAND ON THE PLANET, is composed of Kevin Crawford (flutes, low whistles and tin whistles), Trevor Hutchinson (double bass), Ed Boyd (guitar), Seán Smyth (fiddle and low whistle) and Cillian Vallely (uilleann pipes and low whistles).

Lúnasa have sold more than quarter of a million albums in the course of the band’s career and boast an impressive back catalogue of 7 highly acclaimed and award-winning studio albums. The band is internationally acknowledged as being the finest traditional Irish instrumental outfit of recent times. They are renowned for their stunning shows honed by superb musicianship and a constant touring cycle. They have performed over 1,500 shows across 36 countries since the band formed in 1997. The band has appeared at internationally renowned venues such as The Hollywood Bowl, National Concert Hall (Dublin), Sydney Opera House and Moscow International House of Music. They have also been invited to appear at the White House.

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Their inventive arrangements and bass driven grooves have steered Irish acoustic music into surprising new territory. Their recordings have been hailed as some of the best and most important world music albums anywhere, while their blend of intelligence, innovation, virtuosity, and passion has brought them to the forefront of Celtic music.

Tickets for the event are currently available to purchase online (Click Here for details) and in April 2017 they will also be available at Mace Store, Brunswick Rd, Bangor. Seating is limited so get your tickets asap!!

Gorias – Multiple Dates/Venues & Friday 28th July – St Comgall’s Parish Centre @ 7:30pm

GORIAS thumbnailFleadh Uladh 2017 are delighted to announce that GORIAS, a new exciting traditional band from SW England, will be participating at this year’s festival!

GORIAS first met on the South West of England’s session circuit and all found a common bond in their passion and joy for traditional music. Vibrant and creative, the band comprises of Fred Holden on fiddle, who first cut his teeth in his native Kent and then the London scene before moving to Bristol and meeting flautist Marick Baxter. The two instantly hit it off with their similar approach to music and found themselves playing together regularly. The Rhythm section comprises of virtuoso guitarist Tim Petherick and double bassist Andrew North. Both were in the band Inu alongside Marick that toured various countries and festivals.


The line up is completed with talented young singer Declan Millar. He was spotted at a local festival when he was just 17 years old. The maturity and beauty of his song writing stood out and he was invited the following year to take part in the Bath folk festival’s new shoots competition where he won a unanimous victory with the judging panel. These five musicians have a wealth of experience and influences between them and live to play and share their music. They will be performing at different venues over the main fleadh weekend, including a support role at the fleadh’s main headline act LÚNASA on Fri 28th July at the Parish Centre, Brunswick Rd. 

Lauren Smyth – Friday 28th July – Opening Fleadh Concert – Marine Court Hotel @ 5:00pm – Admission Free

Fleadh Uladh are thrilled to announce that Lauren Smyth, lead dancer in RIVERDANCE, will be performing at the FLEADH OPENING CONCERT on Friday 28th July at Marine Court Hotel, Bangor. The performance will be early evening; exact times will be issued nearer the time so please keep visiting our social media websites for regular fleadh updates. Lauren is without doubt the poster girl for the festival dance tradition which exists only in Ulster. Born in Newtownards she began Irish dancing at an early age and went on to win many regional championships, including the Ulster and Northern Ireland titles numerous times.

In 2007 she joined RHYTHMN OF THE DANCE, where she performed the lead role for three years. However, in 2010 she fulfilled a lifelong ambition by joining the world renowned Irish Dance phenomenon…..RIVERDANCE. In 2014 it got even better and her childhood dreams really did come true as Lauren finally stepped out on stage in Belfast as LEAD DANCER in RIVERDANCE! This really will be an evening to remember as Lauren will be joined by her amazing younger siblings…..a family truly steeped in the Irish Dance tradition!

The Mulholland Family – Friday 28th July – Rabbit Rooms Bar – Admission Free

Hailing from Magherafelt, Co. Derry, the Mulholland family have been playing Irish Traditional Music from a young age. Learning their music initially from Loup Branch of CCÉ, their love for music grew and became an integral part of family life.  Going to fleadhanna and seisiúns across the country they gained a lot of experience and friends along the way. With numerous titles at All-Ireland, Ulster and County levels between them and just about every instrument associated with Irish Trad, Emmet, Dermot, Fintan and Eimhéar have a deep understanding of the tradition and a vast repertoire of tunes and songs from session classics to newly composed.
All teachers at the Armagh Pipers Club and various other music schools and Comhaltas branches, they know the importance of passing on the tradition to the next generation. The Mulholland’s have a wealth of performing experience in different guises, from playing Trad with Réalta, Coiriú and Siansa Gael Linn & BBC Radio 2 Folk Award Winners Ioscaid, to playing with various rock bands and orchestras. On the rare occasion they are all in one place, the Mulholland family have performed at various festivals across the country such as Milltown Trad Festival and The William Kennedy Piping Festival in Armagh.

Fleadh in the Parks: Call for Performers! – afternoons Saturday 29th & Sunday 30th July

parks editedFleadh Uladh 2017 are now looking for musicians, singers and dancers etc from all community backgrounds to take part in this year’s open air performances at North Down Museum (Castle Park), Ward Park Bandstand and Bangor’s Seafront (Sunken Garden Park). The performances will take place on the afternoons of Saturday 29th & Sunday 30th July. Full details of acts and performance times will follow at a later date.

Anyone interested should email Bronagh (, stating preferred dates/times, the number of artists performing and include a photo and short resumé about the performance. Every effort will be made to accommodate all applications/requests but the final choice of acts and running order will lie with The Fleadh Committee, who will ultimately decide the available time slots and format of the performances.

If this appeals to you or your group then please let Bronagh know ASAP!

Brendan Monaghan – Sunday 30th July – Ward Park Bangor 

Great to have Brendan back with us this year at Fleadh Uladh 2017.  He will be one of the many artists performing at the “Fleadh in the Park“ event on Sunday 30th July in Ward Park, Bangor.
County Down singer songwriter Brendan Monaghan performs his material at home and in many different countries around the world. Monaghan has shared the same bill as many top international artists and has written material for several recording artists. He has released six albums “precious time“, “no more words“, “look no further“, “flicker of hope“, “never too late to come home“ and “lovers always win“. He has received very enthusiastic reviews for his music as he continues to progress in his art form. 2016 saw the release of Monaghan’s new album “today is a good day“ on Brambus Records.
Belfast singer/songwriter and journalist David Ballantine has praised Monaghan and his music by saying “Brendan is one of Ireland’s unsung songmiths who writes straight from the heart. He is also a performer of electrifying energy and enthusiasm”. Irish journalist and RTE presenter John O’Regan says “Brendan Monaghan’s music evokes the best elements of classic folk rock, singer songwriter artistry and Irish folk sensibilities in an attractive, listenable package “never too late to come home“ has a strong Celtic musical base while offering a batch of songs both fine-tuned and accessible which capitalise on the promise hinted at to date. Brendan Monaghan has a strong distinctive vocal style and a cache that encompasses folk, pop, country elements and combines them to create a unique personalised take on Irish roots music and on this album finds his talents at their peak John O’Regan.
Author, poet and journalist Jackie Hayden. “Brendan Monaghan’s success proves that sometimes, although not often enough, talent wins in the end“
Writer/journalist. Tim Carroll. “Nothing outrageous, nothing extravagant, meeting every expectation, this is simply a well crafted, finely produced album that shows how an accomplished singer songwriter delivers his art“
Journalist. Gabriele H. German FOLK Magazine. “If you don’t know Brendan Monaghan yet, the man is a treasure“
Journalist. Mike Ainscoe. FATEA Music. “lovers always win“ is a good, honest retrospective of Brendan Monaghan’s early years“
Australian photographer. June Underwood. “Brendan Monaghan has a gift of capturing moments of life experiences and emotions in his brilliant songwriting, bringing words to life in music”. Irish Writers Hubs. “Brendan Monaghan – Bringing Words to Life in Music“
Irish Music Magaizine. Eileen McCabe. “Brendan has a voice that creates appeal and can enchant with tales of sorrow and joy in a soulful and folk rock setting“

Alan Grant (Presenter, Celtic Music Radio) Scotland. Brendan Monaghan “never too late to come home“ “one oft he best albums that I’ve ever had the pleasure to listen to”.

Fleadh Uladh 2017 Fleadh Mass / Church Services

  • Fleadh Mass – St Comgall’s RC Church, Brunswick Rd, Bangor
    Saturday, 29th July – 6.30pm
    (The Parish Folk Group and some musicians from Ards CCÉ will be providing traditional music at this mass)
  • Alternative Masses – St Comgall’s RC Church, Brunswick Rd, Bangor
    Sunday, 30th July – 10.30am & 12.30pm
  • Alternative Masses – Most Holy Redeemer RC Church, Ballyholme
    Sunday, 30th July – 11.00am
  • Church Service – Bangor Abbey (Church of Ireland), 1 St Malachy’s Way, Bangor
    Sunday, 30th July – 8.30am & 10.30am
  • Church Service – Hamilton Rd Methodist Church, 5 Hamilton Rd, Bangor
    Sunday, 30th July – 11.30am