The Michigan Irish Music Festival returns 4-Day Festival Returns September 15th to 18th and will kick off the 2016 festival with a Pub Preview Party on Thursday night. The Pub Party will give patrons a preview of the weekend with food, beverage, and entertainment in the pub tent only. Entry is only $5 (cash only Thursday). Three bands will play Thursday. The full festival opens Friday with all five stages and the complete compliment of food, beverages (domestic beer, Irish whiskey, Irish cider and local craft beer), shopping and cultural/dance offerings. The music line-up is being finalized with over 20 bands on tap.
Altan – The seeds of Altan lie in the music and spontaneity of sessions in kitchens and pubs in their hometown of Donegal, where their music was heard in an atmosphere of respect and intimacy. It is here that the band’s heart still lies, whether they are performing on TV in Australia or jamming with Ricky Skaggs on the west coast of the United States.
Andy Irvine – Andy Irvine is one of the great Irish singers, his voice one of a handful of truly great ones that gets to the very soul of Ireland. He has been hailed as “a tradition in himself.” Musician, singer and songwriter, Andy has maintained his highly individual performing skills throughout his 45-year career.
A festival favorite, Scythian, returns. Named after Ukrainian nomads, Scythian (sith-ee-yin) plays immigrant rock with thunderous energy, technical prowess, and storytelling songwriting, beckoning crowds into a barn-dance rock concert experience. Celebrating 10 years of getting people dancing all night, Scythian released their new album, Jump at the Sun, this summer, with new songs debuting at shows across the country.
JigJam will return this year. JigJam are the hottest new act on the Celtgrass music scene. They have developed a new, exciting, energy-fueled live sound blending bluegrass and Irish folk music. The band comprises Jamie McKeogh (Guitar, tenor banjo and lead vocals), Daithi Melia (5 String Banjo and vocals) Cathal Guinan (Double Bass, fiddle and vocals) and Gavin strappe (Mandolin, tenor banjo & vocals).
Tupelo – Tupelo is an award-winning alt-folk act from Ireland inspired by Van Morrison’s Tupelo Honey encompassing different musical backgrounds. With two albums behind them and a third on the way, led by their charismatic singer, Tupelo’s energetic live shows have captivated many around the world.
Aoife Scott – Her sublime voice is a thing of beauty that stops people in their tracks. Fragile and ethereal one minute and strong and vibrant the next, Dublin Folk singer-songwriter Aoife Scott has become a force to be reckoned with on the Irish folk and traditional scene.
Bonny Men – Since forming in January 2011, The Bonny Men quickly became the most talked about and exciting acts to emerge in the Irish trad / folk music scene. Upon releasing their highly-acclaimed debut eponymous album in October of that year, the band quickly established themselves as the hottest ticket in Irish music.
Ten Strings & Goatskin – Members of Ten Strings And A Goat Skin, a bilingual band hailing from Prince Edward Island Canada, multiple nominees for the 2013 Canadian Folk Music Awards, East Coast Music Awards and Music PEI Awards, are having the time of their lives as a trad/folk/fusion trio.
Dallahan – Since they started in late 2013, Dallahan have exploded onto the traditional music scene. Their unique arrangements of original music and traditional Irish tunes and songs have secured their presence at such prestigious UK and international events as Milwaukee Irish Festival, Celtic Connections, Edinburgh Fringe, Copenhagen Irish Festival,etc.
Strung – Strung won the first ever Michigan Irish Music Initiative (MIMI), sponsored by the Festival, held in
Limerick Ireland in March. It brought together seven of the top Trad-Irish groups from colleges in Ireland with the grand prize being travel and a feature spot at the 2016 Michigan Irish Music Festival. Congrats to Strung!
Seamus Kennedy –. A fan favorite of the Michigan Irish Music Festival, Seamus’ trademark is his ongoing interaction with the audiences. From the moment he steps on the stage, he starts talking with the audience – and encourages them to talk back! He is quick with a quip and likes nothing better than to discover someone in the audience is similarly inclined. Fast-paced humor is very much a part of what Seamus does, whether he’s telling a series of rapid-fire jokes or launching into a lyrical parody.
Blackthorn – Traditional songs of emigration, lively jigs and reels, and ancient airs combine with Ireland’s best contemporary songs for a musical experience that captures the history and legend of Ireland. Each member of the band plays multiple instruments, including the wooden flute, accordion, tin whistle, five string banjo, cittern, bones and more. These instruments complement the lead vocal of Belfast native Richard McMullan and the band’s tight blend of five-part harmony. Based in Detroit, Blackthorn has played throughout the Great Lakes region since 1984.
Moxie Strings – The Moxie Strings is the electrifying combination of fiddler, Diana Ladio, and electric cellist, Alison Lynn. Their ear catching originals and dance-worthy traditional tunes have made the Moxie Strings one of Michigan’s most promising and well-loved instrumental acts.
Kennedy’s Kitchen – Kennedy’s Kitchen has been making Irish music together since 1998, averaging about 80 shows per year playing everything from backyard parties and weddings to pubs, concert halls, and national festivals. They are family and friends, gathering every Thursday evening for laughter and music rooted in traditional Irish music, jigs, reels, hornpipes, stories, and songs…..adding their own compositions along the way.
Sponsored by Mercy Health, the Michigan Irish Music Festival returns to Heritage Landing in downtown Muskegon September 15th -18th. The festival features Irish & Celtic music on five covered stages. In addition to live music, the Celtic Kitchen and beverage stations serve authentic Irish food and beverages including Irish Fest Stout, Irish Cream, Magner’s Irish Cider, Irish whiskey, wine, local craft beer and Budweiser products. The Tea Room provides non-alcoholic choices in a relaxed atmosphere. Other festival activities include the Irish Market and the Irish Store, children’s activities, a cultural center, and a session tent. The Highland Games will also return. On Saturday is the FEIS, an Irish dance competition. Sunday morning a Catholic mass will be held at 9 am followed by a traditional Irish breakfast. This year, the festival introduces Celtic Canines on Sunday – learn about and meet Irish dog breeds.
Advance tickets and a festival pass are available online. Patrons can save $5 per ticket when they buy online versus the gate price. The festival offers an Early-In Free promotion on Friday only from 5-6 pm sponsored by Family Financial Credit Union. Other major sponsors of the festival include G&L, Waddell & Reed, and Budweiser. The Holiday Inn Muskegon Harbor and Shoreline Inn are the host hotels for the festival. For complete festival information visit www.michiganirish.org. Additional bands will be announced on the website.