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The opening parade of the 2008 Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann in Tullamore, County Offaly

The Fleadh Cheoil (Irish pronunciation: [fʲlʲaː çoːlʲ], meaning "festival of music") is an Irish music competition run by Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann (CCÉ).

There are various stages to the competition. In Ireland there are county and provincial competitions leading to the All-Ireland Fleadh. In Britain there are regional, then national stages of qualification for the All-Ireland. North America has two regional qualifying Fleadh Cheoil. The Mid Atlantic Fleadh[1] covers the US eastern seaboard, eastern Canada and the Maritimes. The Midwest Fleadh[2] covers the rest of North America from Cleveland, Chicago, St. Louis, Atlanta and Detroit to San Francisco.

Competitions are divided into the following age categories: under 12, 12–15, 15–18, and over 18 (senior).

History[edit]

The first national festival of Irish traditional music was held in Mullingar in 1951. At its inaugural meeting in September 1951, CCÉ came up with the title of Fleadh Cheoil, aiming to make this a great national festival of traditional music. The fleadh has been held in many different venues.

In the years that followed, the number of would-be competitors grew so large that qualifying stages had to be arranged at county and provincial levels. Since then, Fleadh Nua (the new fleadh), Fleadh na Breataine (an All-Britain fleadh) and regional fleadhanna in Britain, and two major fleadhanna in the USA have also become annual CCÉ events.

From its beginning, the goal of the Fleadh Cheoil was to establish standards in Irish traditional music through competition. The fleadh developed as a mainly competitive event, but it also included many concerts, céilíthe, parades, and sessions.

Today, nearly 50 years on, fleadhanna at each level provide a platform and a meeting place for the thousands of musicians, singers and dancers who carry on the tradition. Around 20,000 performers compete in fleadhanna each year.

The 2008 festival was held in Tullamore, County Offaly and attracted an estimated crowd of 250,000 people making it Ireland's largest festival, music or otherwise.[3] The Fleadh is scheduled to go to Sligo in 2014.

The largest fleadh to date was 2013 in Derry, an event which attracted 430,000 people. [4]

Competition categories[edit]

According to CCÉ's official rules for 2005:

Solo competitions shall be held for the following instruments: fiddle; two-row accordion; concert flute; whistle; piano accordion; concertina; uilleann pipes; harp; mouth organ; banjo; mandolin – excluding banjo-mandolin; piano; old-style melodeon; bodhrán; war pipes; miscellaneous such as three and five row button accordion, piccolo, [chromatic] harmonica and other stringed instruments; céilí band drums; accompaniment – confined to piano, harp, guitar and bouzouki-type instruments; solo traditional singing in Irish and English; whistling; lilting; newly composed ballads and amhráin nua-cheaptha (newly composed songs in Irish).
Solo competitions for slow airs shall be held in all age groups for the following instruments: (a) fiddle; (b) concert flute; (c) whistle; (d) uilleann pipes; and (e) harp (as of 2010).

There are also competitions for the following ensembles: duet, trio, céilí band, instrumental group (grupaí cheoil), accordion band, pipe band, and miscellaneous ensemble.

The full rule set, which may change from year to year, is available from CCÉ web site[5] in the Press Room section. Comhaltas has a constitution or "Bunreacht"[6] in the Irish language.

Application[edit]

Towns and cities wishing to host Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann must submit several applications to Ardchomhairle an Chomaltais – the highest committee within CCÉ. Certain members of the Ardchomhairle then inspect the applicant towns and the locations that have been proposed as competition venues, before coming to a final decision several weeks after the preceding fleadh, usually in September. Once a town has been chosen to host the Fleadh, it undertakes to host the festival for two consecutive years. However, Comhaltas has the right to deny any the successful town the Fleadh for the second year if poor venues, organisational problems, etc. are demonstrated on the town's first year of hosting. On 10 September 2011, the 2012 All-Ireland Fleadh Cheoil was awarded to Cavan, County Cavan, for the third year in succession. The other towns who applied for the 2012 festival were Ennis, County Clare; and Sligo, County Sligo. The Fleadh was held in Derry in 2013, the first time that it was held in Northern Ireland. One of the primary reasons for holding the Fleadh in Derry was due to that city being awarded the UK City of Culture for 2013. In 2014, it was confirmed that the Fleadh Cheoil would be held in Sligo for 2014 and 2015.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "CCE Mid Atlantic Fleadh". Sites.google.com. Retrieved 18 January 2013. 
  2. ^ midwestfleadh.com
  3. ^ Tullamore's Fleadh-trick Offaly Express, 27 August 2008
  4. ^ ""Derry Fleadh 'biggest ever' say organisers"". BBC. |
  5. ^ "comhaltas.com". comhaltas.com. Retrieved 18 January 2013. 
  6. ^ "Comhaltas: Comhaltas Constitution (Bunreacht)". Comhaltas.ie. 2 May 2009. Retrieved 18 January 2013. 

External links[edit]


Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fleadh_Cheoil — Please support Wikipedia.
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679 news items

Irish Independent

Irish Independent
Thu, 23 Jul 2015 18:30:00 -0700

From its humble 'pints and fiddles' origins, Fleadh Cheoil has been transformed into a massive tourist attraction. Graham Clifford looks behind the scenes at the event's formidable organisation skills ...

Nenagh Guardian

Nenagh Guardian
Wed, 15 Jul 2015 02:56:15 -0700

A presentation was made to local singer Nóra Butler at her tribute concert at Nenagh Arts Centre last Sunday night, the opening night of Fleadh Cheoil na Mumhan. Photograph: Bridget Delaney. The enjoyable festivities of the 2015 Fleadh Cheoil na Mumhan ...
 
Irish Independent
Thu, 23 Jul 2015 18:30:24 -0700

Published 24/07/2015 | 02:30. 0 Comments; Share. Facebook · Twitter · Google · Email. Over the course of seven days, Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann 2015 will engulf Sligo with the sounds of Irish traditional music. And what can those who come expect?

Sligo Champion

Sligo Champion
Fri, 19 Jun 2015 16:03:45 -0700

They're appealing to them for finanical support in the run-up to the Fleadh this August. It's estimated the Fleadh will boost the local economy by €50 million. Fleadh Cheoil Finance Director Peter Farrell told The Sligo Champion that they have less ...

Limerick Leader

Limerick Leader
Fri, 22 May 2015 23:56:15 -0700

Cllr John Sheahan, chairman of Glin Fleadh Coiste officially launching the Fleadh Cheoil Luimnigh 2015 with from left; Shannon Kilkenny, Glin, Neal Carmody, Ballylongford, Nicola Sheahan, Glin and Aisling Culhane, Glin at the Community Hall, Glin ...

RTE.ie

RTE.ie
Sat, 07 Mar 2015 10:22:30 -0800

It has been announced the 2016 Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann will be staged in Ennis, Co Clare. Ennis secured the event ahead of two other towns, with Sligo and Drogheda both in contention. The All-Ireland Fleadh comprises a ten-day cultural festival ...

Meath Chronicle

Meath Chronicle
Wed, 03 Jun 2015 08:45:00 -0700

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. We also use cookies to ensure we show you advertising that is relevant to you. If you continue without changing your settings, we'll assume that you are happy to receive all ...

Irish Independent

Irish Independent
Thu, 23 Jul 2015 18:30:00 -0700

This summer Scoil Éigse will take place in Sligo from August 9 to 14, preceding the Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann, and it's expected at least 800 students will pass through the doors with 65 tutors, drawn from right across the country, giving classes ...
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