One-of-a-Kind 'Traidphicnic' Now in its 6th Year

Ríona Howlin, one of the young musicians taking part in Traidphicnic 2017.

One-of-a-Kind 'Traidphicnic' Now in its 6th Year

Three days of concerts and workshops to take place in An Spidéal from 30 June to 2 July.

Zoë Conway, Kíla, Saileóg Ní Cheannabháin, Pádraic Keane, Laochra, Nuadán and Liam O’Connor are some of the many artists and groups performing at the 6th Traidphicnic festival in An Spidéal, Co. Galway, from 30 June to 2 July.

Along with three days of concerts and instrumental workshops, what makes the festival unique is its vision of creating a traditional music festival for all, whether you play music or not, with a range of outdoor events and activities; and its ethos – a ‘donate what you can’ approach rather than tickets.

Traidphicnic takes place beside Cuan Studios in An Spidéal, overlooking the sea in the heart of the Gaeltacht village. The weekend features concerts throughout the day and into the evening; workshops for accordion, fiddle, concertina, whistle and bodhrán; plus family events and arts and crafts workshops.

Bridge Barker, founder of the festival, describes what makes it special for her:

We have three days jam packed with things to do, with something for every one. What makes Traidphicnic unique is our range of events and ethos – no tickets, just ‘donate what you can’ – accessible and inclusive at every level we hope. I find it hard to pick highlights because every participant is important to us, but I do personally love to see everyone gathered on the stage for the opening – all ages and abilities joined together to play a couple of sets of tunes. This launches the Traidphicnic every year, and when you see a big group gathered, it makes it for me! 

Friday’s concerts (30 June), which are preceded by the opening at 3pm, feature sean-nós singer Máire Pheitir Uí Dhroighneáin, Laochra, Gráinne Ní Fhátharta, Saileóg Ní Cheannabhán and Ailbhe Nic Donncha, and Zoe Conway performing with Johnny Óg Connolly and John McIntyre. Saturday (1 July) begins with Padraic Keane, Paddy O’Laughlin and Fergus McGorman at 2.30pm, followed by Sarah Ghriallais, Skippers Alley, Nan Tom Tamín, Liam O’Connor with Paddy McEvoy and John Blake, Caitlín Ní Chualáin, and Kíla at 7.30pm. 

Sunday 2 July features the group Grian, Sally Ní Dhroighneáin, Hoddman Blind, Nuadán and ‘Ceiliúradh Chonamara’, a celebration of music from the west, including Steve Sweeney, Luisne Ní Neachtain, Aisling Ní Neachtain, Lasairfhíona Ní Chonaola, Anna Falkenau, Brian Terry Mac Donncha, Padraig Ó Dubhghaill and Gearóid Ó Dubháin.

Traidphicnic was recently featured on RTÉ Radio 1’s Ceili House programme, with a broadcast from An Spidéal featuring some of this years’ artists, including Liam O’Connor. Listen to the complete programme here.

For full details, see the programme below or visit

Published on 20 June 2017

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