Féile Oriel 2011 succeeds against all the odds

6 May 2011 No Comments by The Northern Standard

By Michael McDonnell

At one point it looked like Féile Oriel 2011 might not happen at all, but any worries along those lines were firmly in the past when the curtain came down on a sun-blessed weekend of traditional music and arts, which attracted musicians and crowds to Monaghan town from far and near.
There were no dark skies over the county town as the recession was forgotten for a few days, the good weather stayed put — and the financial cloud that formed when Monaghan Co Council’s Peace III Partnership Board decided not to fund this year’s event (to the tune of €35,000) was all but blown away when local businesses, sponsors and members of the public rallied around.
Musicians and lovers of the music and craic descended in large numbers yet again, thus ensuring a lively weekend’s entertainment coupled with a boost for the local economy, with many trad sessions of both the pre-arranged and impromptu variety taking place in venues across the town.
Concerts in the Market House and the Westenra’s late-night Club na Feile topped the bill, while the varied programme of events for young and old alike included radio broadcasts, an intercultural concert, ceili dancing events, outdoor sessions, the Gael Linn art exhibition and recordings shop, the ‘Come Try an Instrument’ store, the busking competition and the “Poc Fada” competition (well done Alan Ryan on that one).
The organising committee, as ever, wish to record a big note of thanks to the many volunteers who donned the green T-shirt to help out in numerous ways over the weekend, while a similar word of appreciation goes to funders including the Arts Council, Comhairle Contae Mhuineacháin and Comhairle Baile Mhuineacháin, and sponsors including Monaghan Shopping Centre, Westenra Hotel, Panic Sound and Light, Universal Graphics, Northern Sound, R&S Printers, the Heritage Council, and associate sponsors and others who helped in any way.
The success against the odds of this year’s festival also augers well for its future, with the organisers expressing their determination to see it continue despite the recession and any other challenges regarding the funding.

Full report in The Northern Standard

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