Irish traditional Music Cavan Fleadh Cheoil 2012.
The competitions are over now and the regional Fleadh competitors and runner ups are making or confirming their plans to attend The Irish traditional music competition that is the Cavan Fleadh Cheoil na Eireanne 2012. If you are not familiar with a fleadh, well it’s a music competition for the different Irish instruments, singing, styles, whistling, for individuals and groups. Each competitor plays selections for a judge or adjudicator and is then judged on their ability to play and their adherence to the Irish traditional music styles. The first two placing competitors earn the right to go on to the all Ireland competition, being held again in Cavan. Third place finishers are sometimes allowed to compete as well if their play is deemed good enough by the adjudicators and are recommended.
You would think that the qualifying for the Fleadh Cheoil would be the hard part, but if you qualify the next step can be the toughest. The planning and the cost. Depending on how organized your organization is they can be quite helpful in organizing group housing, meals, and transportation. if you are not lucky enough to have a large chapter in your area to help, or you decide to make family vacation out of your attendance to this Irish traditional music jamboree there are a few things to try for.
Get a B&B or hotel room within walking distance to the town. Besides the fact that when competition day rolls around and you want to be sure to make it, Cavan will grow to over 250,000 people, streets will be re routed and you want to be able to get to the spots you need to.
The crowd grows as competition day approaches, the most fun had by most musicians is had in the pub sessions the sprout up all over town. you don’t have to be drinking to go to the pubs. many sessions will have young children playing in them, the mix of old and young learning new tunes or watching an old master play, that’s what’s it all about.
For the non competitor, the lively atmosphere of the fleadh is hard to beat. With the crowds you still need to practice pub etiquette but with the amount of outsiders you may see some odd conduct. Remember if you have to drive to your B&B don’t do so after imbibing at the pub. There can be road stops and the DUI laws are quite strict.
Checkout the local shops for quick bites, sausage rolls, go to the local markets for bags of raison scones to supplement the restaurant meals. Be prepared for rather pricey meal costs. Consider renting a house for the week and sharing the space and costs with other Fleadh competitors in your area. My daughter from Boston made friends with the St Louise group one year and was able to stay at their rented house at the following years fleadh.
Parents be prepared to let the kids network with their fellow Irish musicians as they will tend to group together organically and most home curfews go out the window. It is not uncommon to see young teenagers playing in an impromptu session on the steps of a late night hotel to the wee hours. Be prepare to text as that can be the only means of communication with all the music going on. That being said keeping tabs on your young ones is easy to do, set up meeting times and places, have them check in and update you on whats going on. There is a lot of pub sessions so prepare your children to ask for water, or, cokes, many times groups will guess at the age of players and buy them a drink. If your child can be mistaken as being 18 or older (as was my daughter) set up ground rules.
Overall the energy and overall fun and excitement of the Fleadh Cheoil needs to be experienced, and the Cavan Fleadh 2012 should be another great event.