OVER 30 bands from Clare and around Ireland will perform this weekend during a series of concerts to accompany the Ennis Street Festival.
‘Ennis Sounds Good’ runs across 15 venues in Ennis today=, tomorrow and Sunday, providing a diverse and varied soundtrack to the Ennis Street Festival.
The ‘festival within a festival’ features 36 bands and musicians performing at some of Ennis’ best-known pubs and venues.
Those lined up include Irish country band ‘The Honey Badgers’, Coranzoncito, funk group Earthship, Skazz, the Piebald Ponies and American soul singer, Buck Taylor. The Ennis Gospel Choir will host a special ‘Festival Tent’ performance at Glór.
The new focus on live music forms one part of the bumper programme for the ninth annual Ennis Street Festival, which was officially launched last month. “It’s getting bigger every year,” said Festival Director Ana Bella Alvarez, of the festival, which has gone from strength to strength since its inception in 2006.
“It’s getting quite well known around the country. This year again we have more people involved, more people participating, more people interested in taking part in the festival. It’s great to work together as a community an artistic project like this”, she added.
Art, music, dance, street entertainment and theatre again provide the main elements of this year’s festival. A variety of workshops for adults and children are also running in association with Glór.
The theme of this year’s festival, ‘Dancing at the Crossroads’, will be incorporated into a daily samba show at O’Connell Square each evening during the duration of the festival.
Festival Director Ana Bella explained, “Dancing at the crossroads was how people celebrated 50 or 60 years ago. It was a celebration of Irish culture. Ennis Street Festival is literally the modern version of dancing at the crossroads. Every day at 5.30pm during the festival we are going to have around a dozen people playing samba music, as a celebration of how people celebrate today. It’s our modern version of dancing at the crossroads.”
According to a report on the economic impact of the festival, approximately 3,000 people attended in 2012, contributing an estimated €120,000 to the local economy.
Ana Bella said the festival’s success is built around the support of sponsors including local businesses and Clare local authorities and the local community.
“The economic climate is tough and businesses are struggling but we still get great support. We keep going,” she added.