LUNASA POSTER - jpegFleadh 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).

Friday 28th July, 2017
St Comgall’s Parish Centre, Brunswick Road, Bangor
Admission – £10 per person.
Doors open 7.30pm

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.

LUNASA POSTER - full jpeg

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 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. 

Cap on the Wall

CAP ON THE WALL 2Bangor’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!

Tuesday 25th July from 10pm in the Rabbit Rooms Bar (downstairs), Quay St, Bangor.  Admission – free.

Foxy & Friends at the Fleadh!  

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.


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

Geordie McAdam

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.


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

Keith Gregg

Keith Gregg, aged 15, is a champion Lambeg drummer and has been playing since he was 7 years old.  A member of the Ballyrobert Drumming Club he has triumphed in a number of competitions to great acclaim. He was recently requested by the Mayor to play at her inauguration when he shared a stage with a number of young local traditional musicians.


Keith will be performing at two fleadh events, namely the Fleadh Youth concert on Thu 15th june @ St Comgall’s Parish Centre AND the Fleadh Opening concert on Fri 28th july @ Marine Court Hotel – Admission free

Glórthaí UIadh

choir 2
Fleadh Uladh 2017 is delighted to announce that the Irish Choir, GLÓRTHAÍ ULADH, will be performing at this year’s Ulster Fleadh at the FLEADH EXTRAVAGANZA CONCERT in St Columbanus’ College,Ballymaconnell Rd, Bangor  on Tue 25th July.  Doors open at 6.30pm and admission is £10.Glórthaí Uladh is a combination of three choirs from Belfast, Derry and Donegal, directed by award-winning sean-nós singer Doimnic Mac Giolla Bhríde.  Steeped in the tradition of Gaelic song, Doimnic composes and arranges a range of songs for the singers and musicians  to perform.  These include his own compositions set of ancient Gaelic poetry, alongside other well-known airs.  Glórthaí Úladh regularly performs at concerts, events and festivals, offering a stunning sound of melody, harmony and musical accompaniment.  To date, the choir has performed at the National Concert Hall in Dublin, on tour to Wales and France, and more recently at the TG4 25th anniversary concert and BBC 2’s Ceiliuradh Féíle Padraig.
Joining  Glórthaí Uladh at the concert will be Fr. Martin O’Hagan (The Priests) and various school choirs / local trad and Irish dance groups.  FULL DETAILS OF THE CONCERT AND HOW TO PURCHASE TICKETS WILL FOLLOW LATER THIS WEEK!

Glórthaí UIadh – Fleadh Extravaganza Concert – Tuesday 25th July @ 8:00pm – Admission £10

Josephine Mulvenna 


Josephine Mulvenna is a singer, actor, broadcaster, dancer and magazine contributor from Belfast, her childhood rooted in Irish folk singing and traditional step dancing, a member of Billy Holmes and Anna McCoy schools of Irish Dancing, she was involved in Fleadh Cheoil, Feis na nGleann, Feis An Dún, Scór na nOg where she took county and Ulster titles and second placings at All Ireland finals and Scór. Josephine took up set dancing and subsequently travelled to Italy on tour with Belfast All Set under the direction of Mary Fox combining her singing and dancing, she was a student of the Belfast School of Music, member of the Ulster Youth Theatre and graduate of the Welsh College of Music and Drama.

Combining both her passion for traditional music and theatre Josephine has performed on various stages , on radio and television including BBC NI Drama( Life In The City),  11thHour, Corner House ( BBC & RTE) UTV Kelly Show, TG4 & RTE Fleadh Cheoil series, The Belfast Festival at Queens on several occasions at Whitla Hall and Folk Club venues, Beyond The Frontiers BBC Radio Ulster, Rathlin Airs Festival, Cathedral Quarter Arts Festival, Northern Lights Festival, The Front Page,Féile An Phobail, An Creagán Bealtaine Festival, Gig n’ the Bann, Coleman Traditional Music Festival, Féile Frank McGann, Celtic Connections Open Stage, Rhythm of the Celts at the Edinburgh Playhouse Theatre, Boston Belfast Trade Mission musical contingent under the direction of BBC Producer the late Tony McAuley and sang for President Mary McAleese at Áras An Uachtaráin. Instigating the Irish Emigrant Homeless Appeal in 2003 Josephine produced concerts in Cavan, Mayo and the National Concert Hall in Dublin to raise funds to help various homeless centres in Britain, with the help of stalwarts in traditional music including Maighread, Tríona & the late Micheál Ó Dhomnaill, Máirtín O’Connor, Cathal Hayden & Seamie O’Dowd, Belfast Comhaltas branch and the late singer songwriter Christie Hennessy.

Josephine began writing a weekly Irish Traditional Music column for Daily Ireland in 2005 and Lá in 2006 and on occasion articles for The Irish News, more than a decade ago she was invited to contribute to Irish Music Magazine. In 2007 she broadcast a spring season of traditional music programmes on Ráidio Fáilte the Irish language community radio station in Belfast. In February 2009 Josephine began broadcasting CELTIC BRIDGE on three of Q Radio Network’s radio stations which she produced and presented for almost seven years, a specialised traditional & folk music programme which among many elements recorded respected artists such as Len Graham, Cathal McConnell, Cara Dillon, Jim McGrath, Seamus O’Kane and many more.

After almost a decade away from the stage Josephine finally returned to sing live in performance at The Soma Festival Castlewellan in her home County of Down in 2015.  Last year she continued with gigs in her home city of Belfast at the iconic Sunflower Folk Club, An Creagan County Tyrone & at Fleadh Uladh staged in Bangor, back in her native County Down midst selling up in the south and a move back home. Only a few months returned Josephine has begun two new projects, a partnership with the International Traditional Music Organisation Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann  bringing her established ‘Celtic Bridge’ to an online audience on a new platform, with a successful launch concert in February at Comhaltas Ulster Regional Resource Centre of Dún Uladh, Celtic Bridge began broadcasting on Sunday March 5th, and on March 1st Josephine embarked on a first of its kind for Belfast 89 FM a monthly segment called ‘Seisiún Trail’ in her home city of Belfast, bringing listeners news of all things Traditional & folk music in and around Belfast.

Josephine has been gradually returning to performance midst her move back home, in recent times singing at two Causeway Coast and Glens hosted events on the work of Sam Henry’s ‘Songs of the people’, and she has just hosted a traditional singing workshop for Cushendun Big Arts Weekend, Josephine continues to mix her passion for singing traditional songs and her love of broadcasting that very genre of music and song and looks forward to her onward journey in performance and broadcasting.

Josephine Mulvenna – Guest Artist at Gorias Concert – Saturday 29th July – Rabbit Rooms Bar, Bangor @ 9:30pm – Admission Free

Robert Graham Memorial Flute Band – Fleadh in the Parks

The Robert Graham Memorial Flute Band, LOL Crawfordsburn, will be performing at Ward Park Bandstand on Sunday 30th July, as part of the “Fleadh in the Parks” events. It is also hoped that they will parade from the competition venue at Bangor Academy to the bandstand.

Ards CCÉ Entertainment Group – Various Events!


Ards CCÉ Entertainment Groups, combined with the Smyth family of Irish dance, will come together for many events throughout the Ulster Fleadh. The 30 strong group will perform at the Fleadh Extravaganza concert in St Columbanus College on Tuesday 25th July along with appearances at the Fleadh opening concert in the Marine Court hotel on Friday 28th July from 5pm. They will also do support to Lunasa on Friday 28th in the Parish Centre and they will close the Ulster Fleadh 2017 in Ward Park on Sunday 30th July.

Ards CCÉ Entertainment Groups were established in 2012 by music tutors Niall and Bronagh McClean in an attempt to bring all the young talented artists together, as a team, to promote Irish Music, Song and Dance in the form of a Stage Show. Since then the show has gone from strength to strength and the groups have performed at many major music festivals throughout Ireland, UK, Denmark, France, Spain, Italy and USA. The groups have also played support acts to many famous Irish bands, namely Lúnasa, Sharon Shannon, Frankie Gavin, Beoga, Sean Keane, Dervish and 4 Men & a Dog. In 2015 they were personally requested to perform alongside “THE PRIESTS” throughout their Ulster Christmas tour, which involved 3 sell out concerts at Letterkenny, Donegal, the Waterfront Hall, Belfast and the Millennium Forum, Derry.

In recent years they have also been the headline act for FOUR major cruise ship companies, released 4 CDs, appeared numerous times on Irish TV and been described by Irish media as “The Best of Irish Culture”.  The group’s three Irish Dancers are also champions in their field and they hail from a family steeped in traditional Irish dance.  Their sister Lauren Smyth has been lead dancer in RIVERDANCE and their brother, also a champion Irish dancer, is a lead dancer with LORD OF THE DANCE. Furthermore they have personally performed for the ROYAL FAMILY, ie HRH Prince Charles and HRH Duchess of Cornwall, at their private residence in Hillsborough Castle! Other important events include performances at:

  1. Major Charity events (local and overseas)
  2. Local Tourist attractions (Giant’s Causeway, Titanic Centre, Ulster Folk Park, Ulster Museum etc)
  3. Grand Opera House, Belfast
  4. Hillsborough Castle (Visitation of International Guests)
  5. Local Government Events
  6. All Ireland Fleadhs (Main Stage)

These groups are absolutely sensational so don’t miss them in action at this year’s Ulster Fleadh!!

Ards CCÉ Under 12 Group – Fleadh Extravaganza 

Ards CCÉ Under 12 group will be performing a number of times as part of the line up to the Ulster Fleadh, including a slot at the Fleadh Extravaganza Concert on Tuesday 25th July at St Columbanus’ College, Bangor. Ards CCÉ are extremely proud of this young group, the future of the branch!  There is a range of instruments throughout the group and some aged as young as 6. They have worked very hard this year and are really enjoying their friendships and music. The group is lead by Niall McClean and Colleen McCleery.

The Mulholland Family

Don’t miss this great family gig at the Rabbit Rooms Bar in Bangor on Friday 28th July….and admission is 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.

Brendan Monaghan

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”.

The Kieran Sisters


The Kiernan sisters, featuring Paula (fiddle), Roísín (flute) and Joan (guitar, concertina, vocals) have been immersed in traditional music all their lives, growing up in the musical village of Madden, County Armagh. They have been taught by some of the finest traditional musicians around including Brian Finnegan, Paul Meehan and the legendary Tommy Peoples. All members of the Armagh Pipers Club from an early age, they have each since taught at the club, as well as at various other music clubs and Comhaltas groups across Ulster. Individually and with various other ensembles, the sisters have performed at notable events such as the Piping Live Festival, Danny Kyle Open Stage at Celtic Connections Glasgow, Fiddle Fair Festival in Baltimore Cork, Tonder Festival Denmark, William Kennedy Piping Festival Armagh and at the opening ceremony for the Transplant Games NI at the Waterfront Hall.

The sisters will have their own slot at “FLEADH IN THE PARK” at WARD PARK BANDSTAND on SUNDAY 3OTH JULY and provide a support role at the MULHOLLAND FAMILY GIG on FRIDAY 28TH JULY at RABBIT ROOMS BAR, BANGOR.  This is going to be a superb weekend of traditional Irish entertainment, so don’t miss them!  Admission is FREE!!

Lauren Smyth – Riverdance

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 McGinn Sisters


The McGinn Sisters, Catherine, Dearbhla and Aoife from Bangor have successfully represented Ards CCÉ at County, Provincial and National levels in their chosen instruments of fiddle, whistle/flute and harp respectively on numerous occasions. They have enthralled and mesmerised local audiences for many years despite their youth. Their musical tapestry of traditional Irish and classical music will leave you spellbound, evidenced by the success of their recently released CD, which is a true testimony to their increasing popularity. It is therefore great news for Fleadh Uladh 2017 that these amazing siblings will be performing at the Fleadh Extravaganza Concert on Tue 25th July at St. Columbanus’ College, Bangor AND Fleadh in the Park on Sun 30th July at Ward Park bandstand.

Conor Smyth

conor smyth and m flatley

Broadway comes again to Ulster Fleadh Bangor! More fantastic news for Fleadh Uladh 2017! Conor Smyth from Michael Flatley’s Broadway Show “Lord of the Dance” will also be making an appearance at the fleadh opening ceremony at Marine Court Hotel, Bangor on Friday 28th July. He will join big sister Lauren Smyth and other family members for an Irish dance extravaganza. Full details of this amazing family event will be posted soon, so keep checking our facebook page for the complete performance line-up.