THE Munster Fleadh Cheoil will be held in Cork City the first time ever this month.
Traditionally held in the county towns of Munster, such as Listowel, Killarney, Nenagh and Dungarvan, this will be the Munster Fleadh’s first outing in a major urban setting.
No major Comhaltas event had been held in a city until the All Ireland Fleadh in 2013, which was hosted in Derry. The move away from the intimacy of smaller venues took a considerable leap of faith, organisers have said.
A statement on behalf of the organisers said: "Fleadhs have three main elements - the three Cs - competition, concerts and craic.
"At the very heart of each Fleadh is the competition element. Between July 18 and 23 next, competitors of every age and from every corner of Munster will descend on Cork city to compete for a place in the All-Ireland Fleadh which will be held in Ennis in the third week in August.
"Each competitor will be hoping, ultimately, to become All-Ireland champion in their chosen instrument or discipline. At the provincial level, the competition is intense, as all of the competitors will already have beaten all comers in their class at county level."
CIT has made the Cork School of Music available to host the majority of the competitions.
"In many previous locations, competition venues were widely dispersed. In Cork, the competition venues are far more accessible."
The City Council has also opened its doors to the Fleadh, making the Concert Hall available for the larger and some of the most popular competitions such as the Ceilí Band competition.
The Cork Education Training Board will also welcome the Fleadh into the School of Commerce while the Everyman Palace will host the dancing competitions over the weekend.
The statememt added: "No Irish music festival would be complete without showcasing the very best of the top end practitioners of Irish music. Next month Cork will host two extraordinary concerts.
The first, Glór Chorcaí, will feature the legendary box player and Kanturk native, Jackie Daly and the incomparable Matt Cranitch on stage in the Curtis Theatre in Cork School of music.
They will be joined by another singing legend, Jimmy Crowley and, just back from the US, Máirtín de Cógáin.
The concert will take place on July 18."
On July 20, the second concert, Masters of Munster, will take place in the same venue and will feature Buille, Jack Talty, Richard Lucey, Nell Ní Chróinín, Brian O’Leary, Karl Nesbitt Joanne Quirke and Shane Creed. To top it all the concert will be compered by the great Sean Ó Sé.