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Bantry music festival adds a fringe event for first time

June 9th, 2017 5:46 PM

By Jackie Keogh

Ensemble Dadga will be performing at the Fringe Festival

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People with FOMO – fear of missing out – need not worry when it comes to this year’s West Cork Chamber Music Festival, because a free Fringe Festival has been added to this year’s line-up.

A few impromptu sessions last year gave the organisers the idea of bringing music to the people by arranging eight free lunchtime performances in a variety of locations, such as Whiddy Island, Garinish Island in Glengarriff, St James Church in Durrus and the National Learning Centre in Donemark, as well as several public spaces in Bantry town, including Bantry Library, Bantry Tourist Office, and the Westlodge and Bantry Bay Hotels. ‘The idea is to bring music into the community and allow the community to engage more fully with the festival,’ said Deirdre O’Donovan, who is the principle organiser behind this year’s debut Fringe Festival.

The performers include Voice Trio, Ensemble Dagda, the Behn Quartet, Mairead Hickey, Katie Hyland and Fiona Gryson.

In addition to their performances, this year’s Fringe Festival will feature impromptu pop-up concerts and recitals that will take place in local cafés, restaurants, shops and on the streets.

Deirdre explained that some of Ireland’s best young performers are eagerly looking forward to teaming up with professional visiting musicians to perform at these random events.

Voice Trio – the female vocal trio from Oxford – will also be hosting a free workshop for local choirs and the workshops will be followed up with a group performance at Bantry Library at 12.30 on Saturday, July 8th.

Those with an interest in percussion might like to check out the two workshops being hosted by Alex Pectu. He will also be hosting a workshop for children under 12 at the Bantry Bay Hotel on Monday, July 3rd, and a workshop for adults on Tuesday, July 4th at the National Learning Centre.

‘Next year,’ Deirdre said, ‘we hope to host Fringe Festival events in other towns throughout West Cork, but for now it is all about engaging with children, the community, and focusing on the benefits of music for health and well-being.’

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