Toon gears up for weeklong celebrations

Toon weeklong celebrations Tyneside irish festival 2017

The Tyneside Irish Festival returns

All roads lead to the north east this weekend, as a week-long festival of events begins on Tyneside this Sunday.

In the 31st outing of the event, the main attraction is Wicklow based band Perfect Friction who headline the festival on Saturday 21st October. Traditional musicians the Cullen sisters, Lottie (uilleann pipes) and Courtney (fiddle), are joined by another all Ireland champion, Debbie Byrne on accordion and Anton Bracken on guitar, with Eddie Kavanagh on bodhran.

In 2012 they recruited the charismatic and versatile singer Louise Kelly, a graduate in Voice and Dance from the University of Limerick. Louise has performed throughout the World and was chosen to perform for the Dalai Lama.

Together they created an original sound, mixing modern and classic pop hits with their distinctive Irish backing, and dancing skills.

Recently they have been top of the bill at prestigious festivals throughout the World and Ireland including the Fleadh Cheoil, headline act at the Templebar Tradfest and a six month residency contract from Disney World, Orlando, USA.

The Tyneside Irish Festival is delighted to have them make their UK debut in the Toon.

The Tyneside Irish Festival runs from 15th to 22nd October, and tickets and information can be got from or by calling 0191 2610384.

The Tyneside Irish Festival Full listings


Festival Opening Event 5pm + Ceili 7pm A multicultural extravaganza with performers from around the world, including fantastic Irish singer Muhammad Al- Hussaini and harpers Fiana Ni Chonaill and Lizzie Affolter, followed by a ceili from 7pm featuring the Newcastle University Irish dancers. • Newcastle City Guides Walk – ‘When Paddy meets Geordie’. Meet at Grey’s Monument 2.30pm £4 Adults, £3 over 60’s. Discover why Irish refugees fleeing the 1845 Potato Famine were welcomed on Tyneside.


Paddy Cullivan £5. Doors open 7pm. Show 8pm RTE Late Late Show’s Paddy Cullivan brings you an audiovisual spectacular on the events surrounding the Easter Rising. Using satire, imagery, historical insight and song, Paddy reveals the ten strangest things (and darkest secrets) that happened during the Rising, Revolution and Civil War.


Sally Glennon Band at Iona club, Hebburn. £2 on the door 7.30pm Play to be peformed by ‘Antics’, our resident drama group. Pay what you feel. 7.30pm • Freedom City Lecture (Free) 7.30pm We Shall Overcome! America and the Civil Rights Movement in Northern Ireland. Dr Sarah Campbell (Newcastle University)


Raised on Songs and Stories – (Free, by invitation, call 0191 2610385 for details) 12.30pm – 4pm A get together for our Tyneside Irish elders to enjoy some live Irish music and have lunch. Featuring Dermot Hegarty and Sally Glennon. Film – The Young Offenders (15) (Free) 7.30pm


Tyneside Irish Cultural Society Adult Education Open Night (Free) 7pm to 9pm. Full details on website. Our classes include Irish language, art, creative writing, Irish music, a book club and a new drama group. This is a chance to have a taster of our classes.


Dezi Donnelly and Michael Mc- Goldrick + Anthony John Clarke £15 Doors 7pm. Show 8pm Fiddle and flute from two incredibly well respected musicians. Between them they have been members of Toss the Feathers, Stockton’s Wing, Capercaillie, Flook and Lunasa and have performed with Mark Knopfler, Eddi Reader, Sharon Shannon and Kate Rusby to name just a few. Support from Belfast born singer and songwriter Anthony John Clarke.


Uillean Pipers’ meeting. (Free) 2pm Pat ‘the hat’ Speight, our storyteller from Cork, is appearing at The Word, South Shields. He will run two sessions. Under 7’s 11.15am until 12 noon and then over 7’s 12.30pm until 1.15pm. £2.50 • Perfect Friction £12. Doors open 7pm. Show 8pm Six Irish musicians, among them four All-Ireland champions, blend classic contemporary tunes with traditional rhythms. This lively festival band has been featured on Irish TV and radio and they have shared the stage with The Chieftains, Paul Brady and members of The Dubliners.


Family ceili, magician, face painting and Irish dancing display. (Free) 12.30-3pm • The Navvies £10. Doors open 7pm Show 8pm An amazing five piece band from Co. Wicklow playing favourites by The Dubliners, The Saw Doctors, The Wolfetones and many more. A real hooley to close the festival!

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Irish Arts in W6

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