Douzelage News

Douzelage Festival of Europe for Bundoran

From Friday 14th to Sunday 16th of October, a unique festival of European music will take place in venues across Bundoran, Ireland as part of the annual Donegal Bay & Bluestacks Festival.

Musicians from Slovenia, Netherlands, Czech Republic, UK, Finland and Hungary as well as local performers will showcase their music in 2 concerts and at various venues throughout the seaside town.

Friday nights ‘Sounds of Europe’ will feature gypsy jazz from Ingo & William from the Netherlands, acoustic guitar performer Ben Reidy from the UK, ska, punk and regaae with Smetnaki from Slovenia and a mixture of Czech and Irish trad from Paddy’s Bangers from the Czech Republic.

Saturday will see unique performances as part of the “Music from the edge of Europe” including folk musician Eero Turkka from Finland best know from Sväng harmonica quartet, as well as CincáR from Hungary bringing their magical old tunes from all over Eastern-Europe. The trio of performers on Saturday night will be completed by local group Meitheal with range of local musicians to add an Irish flavour to the evening.

Both concerts will take place at Bundoran Community Centre.

Festival coordinator Bundoran Tourism Officer Shane Smyth is looking forward to welcoming some talented European musicians ‘we reached out through our Douzelage Town Twinning network and have secured these wonderful musicians to come and play at our inaugural “Festival of Europe”. We are thankful to everyone who is helping to make this event happen particular the Local Live Performance Programme Support Scheme and all of our sponsors.

Traolach Ó Fionnáin, Arts Officer with Donegal County Council and curator of the Donegal Bay & Blue Stacks Festival added ‘We are delighted to have the Festival of Europe come on board as a Blue Stacks Festival event this year and look forward to an eclectic mix of European music from folk to trad to ska across the weekend in Bundoran’.

Shane Smyth with Slovenian band Smetnaki in Škofja Loka.

Smetnaki – a vocal instrumental collective of six schooled and relatively up to your interpretation educated musicians. As enthusiastic and most also academically trained jazz cats their musical interests naturally coincided in a (literally) funky mix of danceable ska, punk and reggae.

Ingo & William – a duo performance of acoustic (gypsy) guitar with trumpet playing a mixture of jazz standards and gypsy jazz classics made famous by legends like Django Reinhardt in the nightclubs of Paris.

Paddy’s Bangers – a quintet from the Czech Republic playing a mixture of Czech trad but mainly Irish folk music. Founded at the end of 2016 as a group of good friends who grew up together in the Sušice Children’s Choir.

Ben Reidy – a solo acoustic guitar/singing act performing a range of covers and originals from his debut album “Be Safe, Goodbye”

CincáR – playing magical old tunes from all over Eastern Europe, Bence and Attila bring their own mix of folk music influenced by a wide range of genres like jazz, classical and oriental. A number of indigenous instruments to Eastern Europe will feature on the night.

Eero Turkka – a folk musician best know from Sväng harmonica quartet, which has been touring around the world since 2003. Besides harmonicas he also plays other instruments and sings folk songs from different traditions. Especially close to his heart are songs of Finnish Roma and music from the Balkans. Since 2010 he has been living in Bulgaria and actively learning local folk music.

Meitheal – features some of the finest performers of Irish traditional music from South Donegal, North Leitrim, and West Fermanagh. Regular members of the group include multi-instrumentalist Seanan Brennan (Kila), Farrah Bogle on fiddle and vocals, singer and bodhran player Fiona Fitzpatrick (Seamas O’Rourke, The Messages) and Marc Geagan (Ronan Gallagher Band) on dobro, guitar and double bass

Participation by local performers in the Festival of Europe is supported by the Local Live Performance Programme Support Scheme, an initiative of the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media – administered by Donegal County Council.