Kilkenny Tradfest 2024 – Bringing You Live Music, Ceol Agus Craic


Kilkenny Tradfest brings you live music, ceol agus craic. Running alongside St. Patrick’s Festival Kilkenny each year. Visitors can enjoy headline gigs with top Irish musicians along with a free Music Trail throughout the city.

Festival Dates: March 15th – 18th

Headline Acts: Hothouse Flowers, John Spillane, Iarla Ó Lionáird, Pádraig Jack, Buíoch, Breaking Trad and Clare Sands

Tradfest Kilkenny – A Celebration of Irish Music, Culture & Creativity

Kilkenny has always been one of the country’s top destinations for live music, offering everything from live music sessions, sing-alongs, from trad to folk and ballads.

For music lovers, Kilkenny Tradfest takes place alongside the St. Patrick’s Festival Kilkenny from March 15th – 18th, and will bring live, in person performances to a range of venues across Kilkenny City. It is a traditional music festival with gigs from some of the best Irish Musicians and Tradfest Kilkenny have just launched the headline acts who will grace Kilkenny City’s stages and venues on St. Patrick’s weekend this year.

Perennial favourites Hothouse Flowers, John Spillane and Iarla Ó Lionáird will be joined by newcomers including Pádraig Jack, Buíoch, Breaking Trad and Clare Sands. There is no better place to be and no better way to experience a real St. Patrick’s weekend in Kilkenny! 

Festival Tickets Already Selling Fast

Festival Committee Chairperson, Brendan Treacy, said they were very excited with this year’s lineup and the fact that tickets are already selling fast within days of becoming available: 

‘Kilkenny Tradfest’s team have worked really hard in recent months to secure some of the best performers in the traditional music scene in Ireland. Despite the attraction for so many artists to travel abroad for the national festival, they have consistently attracted both long-established acts and relative newcomers who are showing the brightness of the future of traditional and folk music.’ 

Special concerts and headline acts of the TradFest programme represent the very best of Irish traditional music and the 2024 line-up includes: Hothouse Flowers, John Spillane, Iarla Ó Lionáird, Shaskeen, Clancy’s Kitchen, Clare Sands, Burnchurch, Tulla Céilí Band, Pádraig Jack, Breaking Trad, Buíoch, Nell Ní Chrónín, Kilfenora Céilí Band, Leonard Barry Trio and Reel to Reel. 

Tradfest Kilkenny are particularly excited to host the legendary Shaskeen group with Katie Theasby, celebrating their fifty-third year in the music businessHaving been formed in London in 1970, they have released fifteen albums in that time and have featured some of the best-known names in traditional music over the more than half a century of their time on the road. Hothouse Flowers are always a hit in Kilkenny, since their earliest appearances in the 1980’s. They have close family contacts in the county and always put on a powerful and upbeat performance with numbers from their own back catalogue of over twelve albums. They also heavily feature their own takes on Irish and international sean-nós and traditional songs and tunes. Pádraig Jack from Inis Mór on the Aran Islands has been making waves in the singing scene in recent years and featuring in festival line-ups all over the country and abroad.

The Medieval Streets of Kilkenny Come to Life with Live Music

Live music is at the heart of Kilkenny’s social scene, and visitors to Kilkenny this year can embrace all the sounds and rhythms of the very best of traditional music with ninety free sessions on the festival’s Bulmers Music Trail. This extensive Music Trail will showcase Kilkenny’s finest pubs throughout the city – a great way to enjoy FREE live music sessions and sing-alongs. The Trail brings the medieval streets of Kilkenny to life as locals and visitors nip in and out to hear great music!

Brendan Treacy, Festival Committee Chairperson thanked the festival committee and all the members of Kilkenny City Vintners for their hard work on putting the festival so far and said they were looking forward to another great St. Patrick’s weekend with ninety free sessions on the festival’s Bulmers Music Trail. 

‘Kilkenny is definitely where the musicians want to be for the national holiday and we look forward to seeing so many old friends of the festival getting together for mighty tunes and songs, here in Ireland’s medieval capital.’

Just Follow the Sound of the Music

The 11th Kilkenny Tradfest promises to be the best yet, with a line-up packed full of both trad legends and young blood. The festival takes place between the 15th and 18th March, coinciding with St. Patrick’s weekend, and capitalises on the unique strength of Kilkenny’s hospitality and creative arts-culture to deliver an event which is truly unique and steeped in heritage. Kilkenny has so many wonderful pubs and venues, too numerous to mention, so the best advice is to book a ticket for an evening gig and hit the Trad Trail early in the day. If you get lost, just follow the sound of the Music! Tickets can be purchased here.


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