15 August 2011

Mohill success surpasses expectations

The BIB editor reports:

As a rule, the BIB is still not publishing its own reports on festivals; but as a member of one of the bands taking part, I'd like to thank Tommy Kelleher, Joyce Merne, and their team for a highly enjoyable weekend in a very pleasant little town: the 1st Mohill Bluegrass Festival at Mohill, Co. Leitrim. Getting a new festival off the ground involves months of hard work and anxieties, but the results exceeded all expectations. The concert hall was packed - largely with local residents - and the lively, long-lasting, and rewarding jams were kept going not only by band members but by other expert visiting pickers from Ireland, the Continent, and the USA. The sponsors who supported the festival can consider it money well spent.

Our youngest and our oldest bluegrass festivals thus turn out to have common ground. The programme for this year's Athy festival had to be drawn up with significantly less sponsorship support than in recent years, and the result was a masterly piece of cutting a good coat from the affordable cloth. One very welcome feature was the number of new pickers who showed up at the jams. To anyone who holds that a bluegrass festival has to have an American band, I can only say that (to me) bluegrass is a spirit, not a postal address.



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