Level Three Covid-19 Restrictions and Donegal Bay and Blue Stacks Festival – Live Performances Programme.
With Donegal’s imminent move to Level Three of the Plan for Living with Covid-19 now confirmed until October 16 next, this has implications for all of the planned programme of Donegal Bay live music and theatre performances at the Abbey Arts Centre, Ballyshannon and the Balor Arts Centre, Ballybofey. Due to the additional restrictions on indoor, public gatherings that will follow, it will not now be possible for these venues to host any of the Donegal Bay and Blue Stacks Festival live performances as advertised, as the period of Level Three Restrictions coincides directly with the festival dates.
As such, the Festival, the venues and the artists impacted are working together to devise optimal solutions for each impacted event. Our collective aim will be to save as much of the festival programme as possible by rearranging performance dates to late October and into November. The Festival website www.donegalbaybluestacks.com will be regularly updated to inform the public of details of rearranged performances, or other possible solutions such as online broadcasts.
Members of the public who have already purchased tickets for festival events which cannot now take place on their advertised dates may opt for a full refund immediately, or they may wish to rebook for their particular event, as rescheduling is organised over the coming days. Please check with the festival website or contact the venue where the booking was made, for further updates.
Meanwhile, the Festival’s online programme commences this evening (Friday, September 25) with the first episode of Dark Daughter’s four-part online drama, Drumshee Days, which you can enjoy from 7:00pm on the festival Youtube channel, via the festival website www.donegalbaybluestacks.com
Ómós do Billy Finn
Robbie Hannan, Shauna Mullin, Damien McGeehan, Dáire Gallagher and Caoimhín Mac Aoidh.
The late Billy Finn was a native of Kilkenny who spent much of his adult life as a secondary school teacher in Ballyshannon, where he was a founding member of the local Phil Rooney Branch of Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann. An accomplished uilleann piper and flute player, his various sets of pipes and chanters have been generously loaned by his family to the Billy Finn Trust, whereby many young Donegal uilleann pipers are now learning to play.
Robbie Hannan is a highly regarded uilleann piper from Hollywood, County Down. Though closely influenced by the playing of Séamus Ennis, Willie Clancy and Leo Rowsome, what stands out clearly in his astonishing playing is the influence of Donegal fiddlers, John and Mickey Doherty.
Songs will be provided by the tremendous Shauna Mullin, accompanied by her husband Damian McGeehan. A gifted singer in both Irish and English, she has toured throughout Europe and North America with the Dave Munnelly Band, as well as in a solo capacity.
Damien McGeehan is one of the finest young fiddle players in the Donegal style of his generation, a category in which the bar is extraordinarily high. One-third of the band Fidil, this evening he will showcase for the first time, a specially curated presentation of material from his innovative 2019 solo recording, The Tin Fiddle. It promises to be a unique experience of fiddle playing, echoing Donegal’s distant musical past.
Talented young Ballyshannon fiddler Dáire Gallagher performs traditional tunes with strong connections to the older generations of Donegal masters. His duet with Caoimhín Mac Aoidh promises to explore that element of the tradition which demands tight playing from two like-minded performers.