Let’s party the Irish way

Get ready to feel that Dublin-vibe right here in Delft this Friday. Bands will play Irish folk and traditional music at eight venues in the city centre to mark the first Irish Pub Festival in town.

While this is the festival’s first edition in Delft, it actually has a long history in the Netherlands. It began in the historic town of Deventer in 1994 and celebrated its 20th year in February 2014. To mark the occasion, the festival had bands from all across Europe and was even visited by the Irish ambassador to the Netherlands.

Organisers of the event since 2012, Irish husband-wife duo Noel and Lynn Shannon, are the ones who decided to bring it to Delft.

“The idea of the festival is to give people a taste of Irish music and culture,” says Noel. Interestingly, the festival’s tag-line is ‘Let’s Party the Irish Way!’

“We were performing in Delft at another festival and realised what an ideal venue this town would be for that purpose,” said Noel Shannon, the organiser, adding, “The Delft square is beautiful and compact, and it would be a great place to recreate the Irish atmosphere. Especially that of Dublin, the Temple Bar area of Dublin, which is a cultural hotspot.”

Noel and his wife Lynn, who have been in the Netherlands for 20 years, describe their music as “Folk & Roll”. “We play Irish folk music and some covers, but with acoustic guitars and mandolins for accompaniment,” he adds. At the festival, they perform at Cafe de Clipper.

Other bands include Shenanygens, who perform at Het Konings Huys, play Irish folk music in the style of well-known Celtic band The Pogues. The Lowland Paddies (Grand Café De Sjees) and the Bradley Bunch (Stadscafé De Waag) will play folk and traditional music through the night. Irish duo Gilligan and Byrne, who have played at Celtic music festivals around the world, will play at Biercafe ’t Proeflokaal. Other venues include Cafe De Clipper, Eetcafé De Ruif, Café De Klok and Trappistenlokaal ’t Klooster.

“When we approached people in Delft about the festival we got a mixed reaction. Some were really enthusiastic and willing to come on board immediately while others took some convincing,” said Noel. “Now that we’ve set the ball rolling, the plan is to make it an annual event and make it bigger,” he added.

The festival starts at 21:00 and is entry is free. Which is probably a good thing because a can of Guinness is likely to cost you €4.50 or more.

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