Jim Carroll

Music, Life and everything else

Family-friendly festival for Farmleigh

When the Earl of Iveagh had the builders round to Farmleigh House in 1881 and back again in 1896, he could never have envisaged how his 78-acre estate would be used in the future. Over the August Bank Holiday weekend, …

Fri, Jun 22, 2007, 08:39

   

When the Earl of Iveagh had the builders round to Farmleigh House in 1881 and back again in 1896, he could never have envisaged how his 78-acre estate would be used in the future.

Over the August Bank Holiday weekend, the Farmleigh Affair is expected to attract 4,500 people.

Visiting acts over the three days will include São Paulo samba-rockers Clube do Balanco, Canada’s Bebert Orchestra, Australia’s Spooky Men’s Chorale (singing songs about power tools and growing beards), Dobet Gnahore from the Ivory Coast and Macedonia’s brassy Kocani Orkestar, as featured on the soundtrack to the Borat movie.

Flying the Irish colours at the free festival will be singing cellist Vyvienne Long, the North Strand Klezmer Band, Damien Dempsey and the mighty Kilfenora Céilí Band.

According to programmer Gerry Godley from the Improvised Music Company, it’s a showcase for trad and folk music. “It’s about valuing all music equally. We should look at our own trad music in the same way we look at Balkan and European music. That’s why we have the Kilfenora Céilí Band on because they will slay people.”

The impetus for the event comes from the estate’s landlord, the Office of Public Works. “Farmleigh used to host the RTÉ Proms, so the OPW were very keen to have another blue-chip music event there,” Godley explains. “The OPW have a genuine desire to make historical properties like Farmleigh accessible to the public.”

Godley sees the event as “very family-orientated”, drawing an inter-generational audience. “As concert promoters, we put on jazz and world music targeted at a niche audience, but we have created an event here for people who are no longer going to music events because of domestic commitments.

“They can come here with their family and know that Farmleigh is a very safe and robust environment for kids.”

Godley also believes this audience will enjoy the variety of folk and traditional music on show.

“While there will be a lot of stuff which people won’t be familiar with here, that’s kind of the point because they’ll have their eyes and ears opened to new music.”

Entry to the Farmleigh Affair is free and tickets can be obtained online from July 6th.

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