Live Irish music is an unforgettable experience and IrishCentral has some great tips to help you find the best Irish “ceol” near you!
Irish music plays an invaluable role in the preservation of Irish culture, artistically depicting the political and social issues of the day, telling the story of the nation and shaping its identity.
Read more: Watch live from North America’s biggest Irish festival on IrishCentral
Traditional Irish music is a bodily experience involving both musicians and their audience, but where can you find them?
Local Irish Bars
It goes without saying that the best and fastest way to find Irish music is at a local Irish bar. Plus, an Irish bar is arguably the best place to savor the whole experience.
Irish bars usually host Irish bands, solo musicians or the unbeatable “seisún” (session). A seisún (pronounced: seh-shoon) is an informal gathering of musicians who collectively play their respective instruments, sing songs and take a few pints.
Accordions, violins, flutes, banjos, and bodhrán are just a few of the instruments you can expect to see or hear. The great thing about a traditional Irish music pub session is that you’re never quite sure what you’re going to get – it can be relaxed and sedentary, but in the blink of an eye, everything everyone can be on their feet dancing the night away. And that’s what Irish music is, participating and having the “craic”.
You will find a seisún pub in almost every village, town and town on the island, especially on weekends!
You can also expect a bit of dancing in seisúns. People clap to the beat as the dancers twirl and jump.
The famous cobbled streets of Temple Bar are always teeming with Irish musicians, whether in the bustling pubs or on the streets, Temple Bar is your go-to place to experience Irish music to the fullest in the nation’s capital.
While the pubs crowded with overpriced food and drink may not be to your liking, there are a few hidden gems not far from Temple Bar that will allow you to soak up traditional Irish music in a more relaxed setting. .
A stone’s throw from the Liffey river, you will find Darkey Kelly’s next to Christ Church Cathedral, fully equipped with a spacious dance floor for you to try out Irish jigs.
Cross the Liffey to Dublin 7 and you will find a “musical pub with a drinking problem”, The Cobblestone.
Further east is The Celt on Dublin 1 which features traditional Irish music seven nights a week or just around the corner, The Confession Box, voted Dublin’s Best Bar 2017 by 98fm listeners.
Opposite the entrance to the former Beamish and Crawford brewery, An Spailpín Fánach (the migrant worker) is a century old pub in the heart of Cork City. Its stone floors, open fireplaces, and cozy nooks will make you feel like you’re in 1779 (the year it was founded) and local musicians play relaxed sessions here every night.
Dive into West Cork and you will find De Barras Folk Club in the seaside town of Clonakilty. Flutes, violins, bodhráns, pipes and mandolins paint the walls of this famous venue and prominent artists like Jack L, Sharron Shanon and John Spillane are regular performers here.
“There’s Carnegie Hall, The Royal Albert, Sydney Opera House and then there’s De Barra’s,” said Irish music legend Christy Moore!
In the charming town of Westport, along Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way, you’ll find an old-fashioned pub named after and run by Chieftains fife player Matt Malloy.
Read more: Irish band The Chieftains planning 2020 US tour
The back room is where you’ll likely find a lively trad session or at Matt Molloy’s Yard Bar you can see popular Irish bands like Coda, just ask ex-US Vice President Joe Biden!
The home of world renowned musical talent Enya, Clannad and Moya Brennan, Leo’s Tavern in Co Donegal is simmerse yourself in the history of music and you are guaranteed a great evening of music!
Killarney Co Kerry
The beautiful town of Killarney is one of Ireland’s top tourist destinations and it’s easy to see why. Gorgeous sites, great food and drink, friendly people and a hub for wonderful Irish musical talent.
Pick a pub in Killarney and you’ll find Irish music. The ever-lively Failte Hotel bar will have you dancing on tables, just like the Grand and Killarney Towers Hotel have a beautiful large bar downstairs, great for epic chants and plenty of space to dance!
Read more: Irish bride and groom cried as family and friends surprise them with ‘Stand By Me’
The INEC Center in Killarney hosts major events including Live at The Gleneagle, which features the best in music and dance.
Mainstays of Irish music like Brendan Shine, Mike Denver, Michael English, Cliona Hagan, The High Kings and Bagatelle are just a few of the top performers performing at INEC.
If pubs aren’t your thing, there are plenty of other ways to enjoy Irish music!
Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann
Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann (Musicians’ Gathering of Ireland) is the largest group involved in the preservation and promotion of traditional Irish music and has hundreds of local branches around the world where activities and 1,000 weekly lessons take place.
The Comhaltas The website has a map showing all of their local branches and is a fantastic resource.
There are over 60 branches of Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann in the United States, twelve of which make up the Mid-Atlantic region and you can check their Facebook page for more.
Irish cultural events
If you know of any Irish cultural events in your area, chances are there is plenty of Irish music to accompany it! Be sure to check with your local immigration centers / communities if you are also outside the US.
The Irish Gaeltachts are a hub of Irish cultural events, especially in the summer, and Irish music and céilí are never far away.
Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann
“The Fleadh “or” Irish Music Festival “is Ireland’s largest traditional Irish music festival organized this very week at Drogheda, County Meath. Some of Ireland’s most talented musicians, singers and dancers are in attendance, including Nathan Carter, Martin Hayes, Damien Dempsey, Horslips and Stockton’s Wing.
Traditional Irish céilís will be in full swing at weeklong event, but for those who can’t attend, you can watch all of the entertainment from FleadhTV live on IrishCentral from Thursday August 15th through Sunday August 18th.
Willie Clancy Summer School
The Willie Clancy Summer School is a major event of traditional Irish music, song and dance held annually in Miltown Malbay, County Clare, Ireland.
In its volume of Fleadh-style music in the bars it has become a sort of music mecca, its suite of up to one hundred and fifty teachers and hundreds of advancing and competent musicians, dancers and singers attracting thousands of people. listeners.
Chief O’Neill Festival – Bantry, County Cork
Every musical legacy of Chef O’Neill is celebrated in Bantry with a traditional music festival to mark his achievements as a collector of traditional Irish music.
Born in the town of Bantry, West Cork, Francis O’Neill served as the Chicago Police Superintendent General from 1901 to 1905. O’Neill is still remembered as a judicial officer, but he tis his dedication to traditional Irish music. , and the work he did to support it, which sustained his legacy.
The 2019 Festival takes place from September 6 to 8.
Milwaukee Irish Day
The biggest Irish event in North America. the Milwaukee Irish Fest is held annually the third weekend of August on the shores of Lake Michigan in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
If you’re too late to make arrangements for this week, check out our live streams and coverage here.
No matter where in the world you live, a live Irish music session can be just a few clicks away! With nearly 2.4 billion active users worldwide, the social networking site Facebook is possibly the best way to connect with musicians or venues hosting Irish music! It’s also a great way to keep up to date with concert announcements.
Just type “Irish music” into the search bar and click on events. Then, refine your search to include your location and the dates you’re looking for. There you will see any pub, group or organization (who have posted on Facebook) that will be playing Irish music in your area.
Plus, you can tell people you’re leaving by sharing the post and Facebook will set a reminder so you don’t forget the nearest date! Easy right!
In August we celebrate Gaeilge (the Irish language) and Irish music with a series highlighting those around the world who speak and learn Irish and play Irish music.
Visit our dedicated music section here or our Irish language section here to know more.
You can follow throughout the month using the hashtags #ICMusic, #ICGaeilge or by following us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram Where LinkedIn.
Do you have a story idea about Irish music or the Irish language? Why not join Irish Voices, IrishCentral’s contributor platform? You can find out more here and register here.