I know it’s a while ago now but I have been on the go ever since; so before I forget I want to say a few words about the Traid Phicnic held in Spiddal on the weeked before Willie Clancy Week back in early July. I spent two days there this year instead of the three as I had to rush off to Miltown for the chance to meet Tommy Peoples…….
This festival is on the verge of something big. This is my second year there and it seemed to have grown this year with great crowds. An wonderful relaxed family atmosphere exhibiting the real spirit of the Gaeltacht. Blessed this time with sunshine taking full advantage of the spectacular location looking towards the spiritual home of Irish music across Galway Bay to Clare (ha ha).
The festival has a lot going for it. It is a great concept where you can relax on the grass, mingle with musicians, experience wonderful acts and attend amazing sessions in the evenings. There is a wide demographic with families, young and old, locals and people from ‘away’. Bridge Barker and her team have really hit on something here. This Festival will continue to gain momentum. There were three film crews from Irish TV and BBC making documentaries so this can only help. The donation ethos is unique. Pay what you can afford. I haven’t seen this anywhere else but despite Bridge telling me that people were generous, I know how hard she and the committee worked to cover costs.
In addition to the music there are circus acts, workshops, craft activities and it is hard to see where improvements can be made. Also a special mention of the food. A small selection but real quality. I wasn’t going to review this festival but I guess I sort of have.
Anyway it was great to catch up and meet with so many wonderful friendly people, I think more than any other festival what makes this one is the way the musicians mingle with the punters. There is no green room other than the surrounding lawns. You could bump into Steve Cooney, Liam O’Brien, Brid Harper, Charlie Lennon, Tola Custy, Laoise Kelly, Jessie Smith and they will make you feel comfortable. And their was participation at all levels both on and off the stage. Fair play to you Bridge.