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Welcome to the Baltimore Fiddle Fair Website

"Congratulations, big time, on what was for me one of the more enjoyable events of music I have been to in a while, just outstanding. I can't tell you how much I was thrilled with it."
--Brian O'Donovan, Celtic Connections
"Congrats on another savage weekend, best festival in Ireland..by far!"
--Siobhan Peoples
"WOW! Baltimore rocks! BFF2007 exceeded all my expectations - the concerts were breathtaking, the pub sessions were incredible and the workshops inspirational - thanks Declan and your team for a brilliant event!"
--Alison, attendee
"Very well done to Declan and all the people involved. I Will be coming back next year and I'll be bringing half a dozen friends with me. The best music I've heard in a long time."
--Iain O'Neill, attendee
"The Fiddle Fair has now firmly established itself as one of the premier opportunities to help encourage and develop the talents of budding fiddle players from Ireland and abroad."
--Irish Music Rights Organisation
"How on earth do I get hold of a ticket for next year's festival?"
--Phil Thomas, FolkMusic.net
"The standard and talent of all the musicians took my breath away. Thanks for such a magical weekend and I look forward to returning ... for a top up of pure heaven."
--Wendy Jane Lichtblau, attendee
"The Baltimore Fiddle Fair is unique. Whether listening through an open window to the children at an open-air workshop master a tune or the swirl of a master-fiddler in the early hours, Baltimore weaves a sweet melody. Beir bua!"
--John Creedon, The Creedon Show RTE Radio 1
"I just came back home from Baltimore. I just wanted to thank you for giving us such a wonderful festival."
--Fumihiko Akamine, attendee
"You can't ask for a nicer setting, or a more interesting lineup. Declan knows bigger isn't necessarily better ... everyone feels at home."
--Tim O'Brien, 2006 Grammy Winner

25th Anniversary Baltimore Fiddle Fair
3rd to 7th May 2017

Tickets are ON SALE NOW!

Hello and Welcome to Fiddle Fair 2017

It sure is hard to believe that it is 25 years since we got the notion to have a little Fiddle Festival in a tiny village in West Cork and we certainly did not think back then that we'd be here today announcing a world-class line up of national and international acts to celebrate our 25th anniversary.

We are delighted to welcome back some old friends, some all-time favourites and some who have never been here before and we hope you'll agree that our line-up is truly extraordinary.

Special mention goes out to 'Waterboy' Mr. Steve Wickham who is the only artist here this year who performed at the very first Fiddle Fair back in 1992. Welcome back Steve!

I'm sure some of you were here then, I know myself and Liam Cotter were, and I look forward to hearing your memories over these 5 days in May.

See you soon,


Fiddle Fair 2017 | Wednesday 3rd - Sunday 7th May

Wednesday 3rd, Saint Matthew's Church, 8.30pm

We thought it appropriate to open our 25th anniversary festival with a fiddle-only show and we're delighted to welcome Danny Diamond and Conor Caldwell to our festival. These Belfast-born fiddlers are two of the countries finest and their album 'NORTH' was one of the most critically acclaimed albums of last year. A night time concert in the beautiful Saint Matthew's Church is always very special and this should get Fiddle Fair '17 off to a magical start.

Thursday 4th, Fiddle Fair Marquee, 8.30pm

Two of our all time favourite acts kick off our series at the marquee, one of them has been here once before and the other has been here a thousand times.

Gilles Apap and Myriam Lafargue created a huge impression when they were here in 2007. They usually perform in the grand concert halls of the world with symphony orchestras but are equally at home in intimate venues such as ours. Believe me you do not want to miss these guys.

We follow them with possibly the most popular act in the history of the our festival The Foghorn Stringband. Introduced to us by fellow Portland resident and Fiddle Fair legend Kevin Burke back in 2003, they have been here many many times and always put on a stellar show - we just couldn't have this anniversary bash without them and to be honest they wouldn't have allowed us to.

Friday 5th, Fiddle Fair Marquee, 9pm

Another great double bill at the marquee featuring some amazing musicians who have been here before in various guises.

First up from Shetland and Dundee we welcome back Chris Stout and Catriona McKay.

Fiddle Fair regulars will need no introduction to this spellbinding duo who have been here once before as a duo but several times, including last year with the incredible Fiddler's Bid. Their interplay between fiddle and harp is astonishing and we're delighted to welcome them back – and I know Kieran Hourihane is as well!

Tickets are ON SALE NOW!

Traditional Irish music of the highest order next with a band making their Fiddle Fair debut, although three of the four have been here with various acts before. Buttons and Bows comprises of Jackie Daly, Manus McGuire, Seamus McGuire and Gary O'Bríain . We have wanted to bring them to the festival for a long time and are delighted they have finally made it. All apart from Seamus have played the festival before with various acts so I'm sure the lads will look after him!

Saturday 6th May, Saint Matthew's Church, 1pm

For the first of our two lunchtime shows at Saint Matthew's we are delighted to welcome back Liam Flanagan and Derek Hickey, with Caoimhín Ó Fearghaill. Liam and Derek performed a memorable concert at Dún na Séad Castle a few years ago playing music from the Sliabh Luachra tradition at a lovely mellow pace. This time around they are joined by the great young West Waterford musician Caoimhín Ó Fearghaill for what should be a very special show.

Saturday 6th May, Fiddle Fair Marquee, 3pm

We are extremely excited to present the very first Fiddle Fair Dance Festival this afternoon and we hope you'll all bring your dancing shoes!

First up we welcome back the incredible Nic Gareiss with Allison de Groot. Nic has been here a few times before and was part of the show featuring superstar fiddler Jeremy Irons back in 2008.

He is joined by incredible musician Allison de Groot who is making her first visit to the Fiddle Fair but certainly not her last. Nic will also teach a dancing workshop at the marquee at 11am on Saturday morning.

After their set we will push back all the seats and have our first ever Old Time Square Dance featuring a very funky house band and expert caller Ava Honey. As Ava says "All dances will be taught on site. No experience, partner or special attire needed. Come ready to join hands, smile until your face hurts and dance until your legs tire. Old time is a grand time."

Saturday 6th May, Fiddle Fair Marquee, 9pm

After you've had a couple of hours to recover from your dancing we present a double bill of such legendary proportions that we guarantee there will not be a better gig anywhere on the planet tonight than right here at Fiddle Fair '17.

First up arguably the most famous duo in traditional music and definitely the most argumentative Aly Bain and Phil Cunningham are quite simply one of the best acts around and have a loyal following all over the world. Not only are they two of the best musicians you'll ever see but they are also two of the funniest. Playing together for over 30 years they just get better and better and we're delighted to welcome them back for their second Fiddle Fair appearance.

Tickets are ON SALE NOW!

Also making their second appearance at our festival is the world famous American fiddler Darol Anger and his Republic of Strings. At Fiddle Fair 2008, when Darol made what was, incredibly, his first ever Irish performance, musicians came from all over the country to hear him play. He is without doubt one of the most influential fiddlers of them all and also one of the coolest. He is accompanied by Tristan Clarridge on cello and fiddle, John Mailander on octave mandolin and fiddle and Emy Phelps on vocals and guitar.

*This concert is presented in partnership with Music Network

Sunday 7th May, Saint Matthew's Church, 1pm

As both of these incredible American musicians were going to be here at the same time we thought we should make the most of it and ask them to do a show together - and thereby continuing the ancient Fiddle Fair tradition of presenting 'world premieres'.

Tim O'Brien and Darol Anger are two of the best known and best loved musicians from across the water and also two of the most laid-back. When we asked them both individually if they'd be up for doing a show together they both said "sure, why not". So, sure, why not come along!

Sunday 7th May, Glebe Gardens Amphitheatre, 3pm

Weather permitting we will move on to the stunning Glebe Gardens for another very special double bill featuring two acts who are playing the festival for the first time (although two of the musicians were here at Fiddle Fair's 1 and 2 all those years ago).

FF regulars will know that we have a deep love of Scandinavian fiddle music around these parts and we're delighted to welcome The Erlend Viken Trio from Norway. We were lucky enough to catch them at the mega festival Celtic Connections a few years ago and have wanted to bring them here ever since.

We follow them with the long-awaited Fiddle Fair debut performance by Sligo-based 6-piece No Crows. This dynamic folk orchestra came out of the thriving multicultural scene in Sligo in 2005 and include Waterboys member Steve Wickham who played at Fiddle Fair 1 and also Oleg Ponomarev who played at Fiddle Fair 2 with one of our favourite acts from back then, the great Russian trio Loyko.

*This show will be moved to the marquee in the event of poor weather but the sun always shines at Fiddle Fair special anniversaries :-)

Sunday 7th May, Fiddle Fair Marquee, 9pm

To bring the curtain down on Fiddle Fair '17 we present two more of our all-time favourite acts. You could almost say we were saving the best wine until last but as you'll agree all of the wine is pretty damn excellent so we'll just say that we're thrilled with our finale.

First up is the great American troubadour Tim O'Brien who has been to our festival many times. Those who were there will never forget the legendary 'Crossing' show back in the bar in 2002 with Tim and the star studded line up of Dirk Powell, Steve Cooney, Mairtín O'Connor, Karan Casey, and Kevin Burke or his duo appearance with the same Kevin Burke for our 20th anniversary.

Tickets are ON SALE NOW!

We're delighted that he's back this year for our birthday party.

Then finally we are delighted to welcome back the band who helped our festival the most to become what it is today. When Altan agreed to perform on that tiny stage in McCarthy's Bar back in 1997 they gave our festival some serious cred and enabled us to attract other acts whom otherwise would probably have remained out of reach. I had the good fortune to travel to the States with them several times where they introduced me to the likes of Tim O'Brien and many more. They also happen to play Fiddle Music of the highest order and are sure to bring Fiddle Fair 2017 to a rousing finale.

We will be announcing a series of festival extras in the coming days including a couple of book launches, a very special film screening, a series of world-class workshops and a plethora of mighty sessions.

We hope you agree with us when we say that our line-up is the best you'll find at any traditional & folk music festival anywhere in the world this year and we hope you'll join us in beautiful Baltimore for 5 days of musical heaven.

Tickets are now on sale >>right here<< and are sure to sell out quickly so book yours now to avoid disappointment and we'll see you here in May

All the best,

The Fiddle Fair Crew

Fiddle Fair 2017 | Wednesday 3rd - Sunday 7th May

25th Anniversary Baltimore Fiddle Fair, 3rd to 7th May 2017

Fiddle Fair Weblog