Eigse Mrs Crotty mystery

Eigse Mrs Crotty mystery

Does anybody know what the story is with Eigse Mrs Crotty? The best festival for tunes without the side shows of broken bottles, cans,drunks with no interest in Irish music etc…..I normally go as its all about the concertina but I heard its cancelled.True or false??

Re: Eigse Mrs Crotty mystery

True

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Re: Eigse Mrs Crotty mystery

True indeed - no money.
I gather there will be informal gatherings on the usual weekend, but nothing organised.
Sadly, if people aren’t drinking, publicans won’t sponsor music.

Re: Eigse Mrs Crotty mystery

You hit it there RockyRoader. We have a local festival and the usual line up is: Monday Pub Talent, Tuesday Pub Quiz, Weds Pub Talent etc. etc.,

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Re: Eigse Mrs Crotty mystery

Perhaps all the other festivals depend on their drunks with no interest in traditional music to keep them go.

A great shame. I hope it manages to find its feet again in future years.

Re: Eigse Mrs Crotty mystery

Sad to hear, but this got me thinking, and I can’t remember ever seeing a drunk concertina player. Are they all ‘Pioneers’? ~ teetotallers? Oh yeah, there’s Dow/Mark, but does he count, he plays an English system concertina? 😎

Re: Eigse Mrs Crotty mystery

That really is a shame. But rather than the pubs withdrawing their support, I think it´s more likely that funding from the bigger sponsors, ESB, Shannon Development, etc. has dried up.
Still, if there are going to be sessions as usual, I for one won´t be changing my holiday plans.
It reminds me of the All Ireland in Listowel in 1971 which was cancelled by Comhaltas at the last minute as a protest against the recently introduced internment in the north. So many people had made travel arrangements, etc, that the pubs were still full of sessions. Only the competitions were missing.
Anyway, let´s see if they give a last minute repreive to Kilrush.

Re: Eigse Mrs Crotty mystery

Folks, it is no mystery really that a local festival like the Mrs. Crotty Festival in Kilrush is not being held. There is a worldwide recession on at the moment and, I’m afraid, that Ireland is on the leading edge of it, having just come back from there and seeing the huge difference from even a year ago. You don’t need to chant the litany of greedy publicans, uncooperative or miserly business sponsorships, apathetic public when it comes to supporting trad events in this case. People simply have less money and organizers of festivals like the Mrs. Crotty Festival are feeling it first and many others fear a similar result. Instead of trying to place blame all around, maybe some will appreciate what it takes to put on either a local trad event or a large one for the organizers who face that in good, bad or indifferent times every year.
Anyhow, I heard directly from one very respected Clare concertina player that folks are trying to salvage the Mrs. Crotty Festival in some fashion because it has made an impact in that part of Clare and to keep her legacy alive.

Re: Eigse Mrs Crotty mystery

"the pubs were still full of sessions. Only the competitions were missing"

As it should be, I reckon. I’ve never thought of music as a competitive sport.

The best sessions are the ones that gather without organisation, and I think a very enjoyable festival could be had by just turning up, settling into a pub, and playing.

How much structure and organisation is needed to get musicians to gather and play tunes and drink pints? Is simply setting the date not enough?

Re: Eigse Mrs Crotty mystery

I am a drunk concertina player. I know a few others who broke the pledge, too…

Re: Eigse Mrs Crotty mystery

Ahh Christhy,
Now I have you…

Re: Eigse Mrs Crotty mystery

😉 ~ Yes, it is all coming back to me now…including ‘THE RECESSION!’ ~ AAAAAAAA!!!

"the pubs were still full of sessions ~ pnly the competitions were missing" ~ as it should be, seconding tradshark’s comment… However, the time for workshoping is valued highly too…

Re: Eigse Mrs Crotty mystery

Hmm… Workshopping and teaching. Yeah, fair enough, I suppose that has to be organised.

Now I, and I’m sure many other players would be quite happy to teach workshops for free, for anyone willing to learn, the trick is organising the venue, isn’t it? Some kind of a hall or something would be needed. Maybe a local school…

So, we could have a perfectly enjoyable festival, with great sessions, but the workshops might fall down if we couldn’t find a venue. I wonder how difficult it would be to get around this problem, if you had strong players willing to give of their time for free?

Not that there would be anything wrong with an all session festival…

Re: Eigse Mrs Crotty mystery

Some observations on one aspect of the Eigse Mrs Crotty.

I was at the Mrs Crotty Festival in 2004, and a very important part was five days of out-door set-dancing in the Square (some of which I videoed and have since uploaded onto YouTube). There were also set-dancing workshops to cater for the beginners and improvers, and to teach new sets. All those dancers would have made a significant financial and cultural contribution to the running of the Festival and the local economy during the week.

Much as I would like to see the set-dancing there this year, it’s difficult to see how it could be done in the present economic circumstances because there is the basic expense of providing a large area of boarding in the Square for the dancing (most of the area bounded by the roads), necessary safety barriers, a sound stage for the bands, the bands themselves who have their own costs, and indoor set-dancing work-shops (you need a hall in a school or community building or similar, which cost to hire). You can’t run set-dancing without work-shops - the dancers just wouldn’t allow it! - and good teachers are necessary.

Re: Eigse Mrs Crotty mystery SOLVED

Firstly, I must disclose my vested interest as a concertina fanatic.
Our concertina group in Sheffield took a contingency over every year, so Mrs Crotty Fest will be sadly missed.

Having just returned from Clare, it is quite a simple reason - the main organiser had lead the committe for 10 years and had decded to stand down, and no-one else fancied taking on the hard work.
Plus it had got further and further away from a concertina festval (apart from the concertina-club guests and the headline concerts). The sessions had been taken over by the usual instruments as the whole festival didn’t really appeal to enough concertina players..
I must agree that the set-dancing was one of the highlights as they booked top bands to play for them - they were a treat to listen to (and watch).

Luckily England (and Scotland) still have a number of festivals/events that are still aimed at concertina players.

Re: Eigse Mrs Crotty mystery

I have heard some more news about this festival.
The reason for the cancellation was the withdrawal of funding by sponsors due to the financial crisis. However, the festival is being taken over by Comhaltas and the sessions in pubs, the set dancing in the square and the set dancing classes will all be continued.
This year there won´t be instrument classes/workshops, but they could be re-introduced next year.
Instead of four days, the festival will be reduced to three, starting on the Friday instead of Thursday.
So, here´s hoping that this information is accurate and that the festival, in some shape or form, will take place this year - if not "as usual", at least to the satisfaction of those who attend.

Re: Eigse Mrs Crotty mystery

I am the Secretary of Kilrush Comhaltas Ceoltoiri Eireann who are holding a festival on the week-end of Aug 14-to 16 replacing the Eigse Mrs Crotty. Friday Aug 14th 1-4p.m. Set Dancing Workshop with Mary Clancy in Teach Cheoil. 6.45 Official Opening of Festival. 7p.m. Ceili in the Square with Johnny Reidy Ceili Band. Sat Aug 15th 10a.m.-1p.m. Sean-nOs dancing workshop with Aidan Vaughan in Teach Cheoil. 3-6pm. Ceili in the Square with Four Courts Ceili Band. 8p.m. Traditional Concert in the Teach Cheoil. Sun Aug 16th. 3p.m. Music in the Wall Gardens. 7-9p.m. Ceili in the Square with the five Counties.
Traditional Sessions in the pubs throughout the week-end. enquiries to 0860854834. Come along and enjoy the week-end. Anne.

Re: Eigse Mrs Crotty mystery

Thank you for that information, Anne.
Let´s hope that attendance this year is as good as previous years, as this is one of the best summer festivals of traditional music in Ireland, not least for the reasons mentioned in tradmarty´s original posting.

Re: Eigse Mrs Crotty mystery

Many thanks Anne to yourself and the local Comhaltas for making sure there’s a festival in Kilrush during August. Like Murfbox says I’d be surprised if workshops didn’t return in the years ahead considering all the good musicians that there are in West Clare. The festival is on the Comhaltas calendar at http://comhaltas.ie/events/detail/kilrush_traditional_festival/ which might be a good place to have a look at now and again for any updates.