Once again, the 6.5 hour ride each way was well worth the trip, considering the talent that the LARGEST Irish Festival has gracing it’s stages. Bands like Brigid’s Cross, , John Whelan and his collection of amazing talent, The High Kings, Lunasa, Full Set, The Sreaming Orphans, The Red Hot Chili Pipers and the Elders ALWAYS are great to see!
But the highlights of the weekend (for me at least), and judging by the crowd reaction they were in agreement with me, were TWO things: 1) A tribute to American music by an AMAZING lineup consisting of all of the members of Eileen Ivers and Immigrant Soul, Scythian, and We Banjo 3! In all my years doing this, it is RARE when i see a set that is SO good, I felt chills going down my spine!
The other highlight came about due to a very lowlight of the weekend. EVERYBODY’S favorite BOH (beer on head) poser, the one and only Marty Cahill (Director of the Syracuse, NY Irish fest) received the news that his brother had passed away suddenly on Thursday just as he was at the airport about to make the trip to Milwaukee to join in the festivities. What happened over the weekend was such an outpouring of love for Marty was an amazing thing to see. Many people posted pics on FB with beers on their heads as a tribute. The crowning acheivement came from an idea Pat Murphy and I came up with in the bar the night before. We got the WHOLE crowd (many thousands) to all put beers on their head in the background while the band Gaelic Storm rested beers on their heads from the stage. It was a night I’ll NEVER forget!
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For the FULL SET of images from the weekend, please go HERE