Music and culture from all over the Celtic world will be on display over the next week, when an international festival makes its full return.
The Yn Chruinnaght Celtic Gathering festival takes place from Monday, July 25, through to Sunday, July 31, with a range of concerts, music sessions, dance performances and may more activities.
The music will be provided by a world-class line-up of both Manx and international Celtic folk groups and performers, including some of the best traditional folk players the island has produced in recent years. It will get underway with a concert on Monday evening at the Peel Centenary Centre with the pop-folk group Mec Lir.
Featuring keyboardist David Kilgallon, fiddle player Tom Callister, bouzouki player Adam Rhodes and drummer Greg Barry, Mec Lir are enjoying a successful year, following the release of their album ‘Live Wire’.
Manx fiddle player Isla Callister will host a special premier night of ‘Creeaght’ on Wednesday, a project she has put together, influenced and dedicated to women who have shaped the history of the Isle of Man.
Meaning ‘courage’ in Manx Gaelic, ‘Creeaght’ is a suite of music that explores the stories, lives, experiences and legacies of courageous women, such as Sophia Morrison, Angèle Kneale, the women behind the Campaign for Abortion Law Modernisation and ‘Handmaid’s IOM’.
The music will performed by an all female group, including Katie Lawrence, Mera Royle, Kirsty Lawrence and Ruth Keggin, with spoken word from Annie Kissack, and the show will also feature artwork by award winning illustrator Jo Davies.
Thursday will hear from visiting Irish violinist Frankie Gavin, who will be joined by multi instrumentalist Catherine McHugh.
They will be supported by the stirring sounds of the sea shanty harmony group, the Bryher’s Boys.
Friday will see the action move to the Villa Marina for the ‘Mega Manx Ceili’, open to all to join in with and also featuring performances from the visiting Welsh Pen y Fai dancers, the Manx dance groups Skeddan Jiarg and Perree Bane, the Manx Fiddle Orchestra and the Ellan Vannin Pipes and Drums.
Finally, on Saturday night, the reformed Scottish folk group Deaf Shepheard will play their long-awaited concert at the Peel Centenary Centre, supported by the Manxjazz folk group ‘Tree ny Kiare’.
In addition, there will be daily lunchtime sessions at Noa Bakehouse, in Market Hall, North Quay, Douglas, youth music sesssions and pop-ups throughout the week, daily folk performances outside the House of Manannan, in Peel, family ceilis and music nights at the Peel Masonic Hall and talks and workshops on cultural issues.
Organiser Chloe Woolley said: ‘The Yn Chruinnaght committee are so excited about finally welcoming back visiting acts from the other Celtic nations for this year’s Celtic Gathering festival.
‘It’s been a challenging couple of years for all event planners and performers, but we’ve been very lucky to have been to continue through 2020 and 2021 with a mix of real-life events featuring all the Manx talent, plus an online festival presence which was so well received all over the world.
‘For 2022, we’re particularly delighted to be able to stage the acts booked two years ago: Bryher’s Boys shanty choir, Isla Callister , Mec Lir, the Pen y Fai Welsh dancers, and the mighty Deaf Shepherd from Scotland, along with Irish fiddle and flute legend Frankie Gavin.
‘The re-scheduled Mega Manx Ceili in the Villa Marina is going to a night to remember with plenty of Celtic craic.
‘Taking place in the summer holidays for the first time in years, we have be able to offer a packed programme of wonderful entertainment for everyone, with daily sessions and displays, community outreach projects, craft events and workshops.
‘And for the first time, we have also encouraged local businesses to sign up as ‘Caarjyn ny Feailley, or ‘Festival Friends’, some of these venues will be organising fringe events, so look out for the Celtic bunting and posters.’
l For details of times, venues and ticket prices, go to www. ynchruinnaght.com