Posted by: mdmusingsie | January 26, 2014

Temple Bar Trad 2014 – cuid a haon

I had to look back at the 2012 and 2013 posts I had for Temple Bar Trad Fest to see if my memories of the festival matched reality. It seemed like there were far fewer events this year and only one outdoor stage where there had been up to three at times in the past. Even Irish dancing was restricted to one day. I also remember being barely able to move when trying to get from one stage to the next, the crowds were so thick.  Whilst there was a healthy amount of people, it was far from crowded, even though the wind and rain from the morning had blown through leaving a cold but at least partly sunny day.

There were new things like the crafts booths and the food court in Meeting House Square.  Events for children were prominent which is always a plus for events hoping to attract families.  However, possibly due to the reduction in stages there was an odd lack of well…Trad!  Maybe it’s the unpredictable January weather, but it seemed that the majority of traditional music was restricted to the pubs, which is a shame for folks like me who aren’t that comfortable hanging out in a pub by themselves or those that might be looking to sample the free entertainment without the pressure of buying a drink or two.

That’s not to say there weren’t things to do – I did catch the Limerick Pipe Band and a bit of the ceilí dancing session. Sadly the second ceilí session was cancelled but they let me in for the last 20 minutes of the first one which got my blood pumping enough to stand near the outdoor stage for a thoroughly enjoyable set by The Jigsaw Jam.

I hope the downsizing of the stages not a permanent trend.  It’s a great festival to chase those winter blahs away and attracts tourist from all over the world and locals alike.  Having a variety of events spread out ensures that those just visiting for the day get a full sample of all the great music, dance, and culture Ireland has to offer.  Maybe next year they’ll put a bit more “Trad” back into the Temple Bar Trad Festival.


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