Russell Festival Weekend 2023
The countdown is on for the Russell Festival Weekend 2023, which features more events than ever before! With Concerts, Recitals, Workshops, Album Launches, Lectures, Live Q&A, Children-friendly events, Singing Circle, Storytelling and more it’s not a weekend you want to miss out on so here’s everything you need to know about this year’s festival.
What is the festival all about?
The annual weekend is a traditional Irish music festival held in Doolin to celebrate the legacy of Micho, Packie & Gussie Russell and the musical heritage of Doolin in general. What a way to kick off the season with the brightest musicians descending on Doolin from the four corners of the world to play in sessions, attend workshops and perform at concerts and recitals.
The highlight of the festival are the Saturday and Sunday Concerts which take place in the Russell Cultural Centre. The performers in 2023 are Frankie Gavin & Catherine McHugh with support act by Aisling Lyons & Alan Reid on Saturday, and Mary Bergin & Mick Conneely followed by Tara Breen, Padraig Rynne & Jim Murray on Sunday.
Where is the festival held?
The festival takes place in Doolin, County Clare, Ireland. The main concerts and other festival events take place in the Russell Cultural Centre and sessions take place in all the local pubs and hotels.
Is there a festival schedule available?
Micho, Packie and Gussie Russell were very talented musicians who learned most of their music through their mother and other local musicians. They were from Doonagore in Doolin and lived there all their lives and played for house dances and later in the pubs of Doolin.
How much does the festival cost?
The Saturday and Sunday concerts cost €25 each, but you can get a Weekend Ticket for €40. Instrument Workshops cost €40 for two days. All other events are completely FREE!
Who is playing at the main concerts on Saturday 25th and Sunday 26th February?
Saturday: Frankie Gavin & Catherine McHugh (with special guest Aidan Quigney, All-Ireland Senior Concertina Champion 2022). Support Act by Aisling Lyons & Alan Reid.
Sunday: Mary Bergin & Mick Conneely, followed by Tara Breen, Padraig Rynne & Jim Murray.
Is there anything else happening at the Russell Cultural Centre during the Festival?
Yes, there is a lot happening at the Russell Centre! In fact, this year the Russell Centre will be used as a Festival Hub which will host an information point and pop-up shop.
Other events taking place at the Russell Cultural Centre are the official opening on Friday afternoon, followed by the traditional “Céim Ar Chéim” that evening, a lecture by Niamh Ni Charra on Saturday lunchtime followed by a live Q&A with Frankie Gavin and Sunday will feature a presentation about the Russell Brothers and other Doolin musicians by the wonderful Eugene Lambe. So make sure to visit the Festival Hub during the weekend!
Other highlights of the weekend..
Other events include Album Launches (Theresa Garrihy, Derek Hickey), the Irish World Academy Stage (featuring students from the MA Irish Traditional Music Performance from the University of Limerick), a selection of Acoustic Recitals (Yvonne Casey, Kevin Griffin & Pauline Brody, Aoife Kelly, Noel O’Donoghue & Michael Hynes, Christy Barry), Instrument Workshops (James Cullinan, Aisling Lyons, Christy Barry, Conor Crimmins), Sean-Nós Dancing Competition in memory of Gussie Mac Mahon, Community Singing Circle, Kids & Teens Sessions & much, much more.
Where to Stay
Doolin has a great selection of accommodation options to cater for all tastes, budgets and requirements. Choose from Hotels & Guest Houses, Inns, B&Bs, Hostels, Welcome Standard Speciality Lodging, as well as holiday homes to hire or campsites for caravans, campervans or tents.
Where to Eat
Guinness, Irish whiskey, Irish coffee, “The Fry”, Irish stews, vegetable soup and soda bread, potato cakes and fish and chips are just a few of the traditional dishes and beverages that are on offer here in Doolin. If you’re looking for pub grub, rustic fine dining or something in-between, Doolin is the place to enjoy all of these in both relaxed and vibrant dining atmospheres. The local eateries are stocked with all the best local produce, craft beers, wine and Irish favourites. Come and experience the tastes of the land and sea!
What to Do
If you’re looking to do some extra activities or shopping during the festival, you’re in luck. Aside from amazing musical experiences, Doolin is also home to some great activities, shops and places to see. Nestled in the beautiful Burren on the wild Atlantic coast, Doolin is rich in scenery, heritage and outdoor excursions.
Be sure to explore the rest of our website to find out more information, or to plan your next visit to beautiful Doolin in County Clare. Check out ’11 Tips To Enjoy An Authentic Irish Trad Session’, for more local knowledge and hidden gems!