Féile Mhaigh Eo, a brand-new festival celebrating young musical talent, made its debut at the Linenhall Arts Centre on Saturday. What set this launch apart was the spotlight on a Youth Council of musicians aged 11 to 17 who led the event with their performances and speeches. This festival, forming part of the “We Are Music Generation 2024”, initiative, co-funded by U2, The Ireland Funds, the ArtsCouncil and the Department of Education, aims to showcase the incredible young musical talents across County Mayo, giving them a platform to perform, collaborate, and share their passion for music.

The festival began with a session of traditional Irish music on 5 April at Áras Inis Gluaire, Belmullet, marking the start of a series of events designed to inspire and engage young musicians throughout the county. Upcoming highlights include a busking competition in Westport on 5 May, a showcase of youth bands at the Ballina Arts Centre on 10 May, and a multiple music events at the Linenhall Arts Centre on 17 May.

One of the festival’s unique features is the collaboration with Mayo’s own alt-trad harpist Lisa Canny and the Music Generation Mayo Harp Ensembles, who will premiere new pieces they’ve created together. The festival will culminate in The Big Day on the Mall on 25 May, promising a full day of music and community spirit. This day will see performances from a wide variety of groups including Bofield, Admiral Brown and Rolling Waves Comhaltas groups, the Mayo Youth Orchestra, and many more, alongside workshops, music sessions, environmental projects, open mic opportunities, food stalls, and activities for people of all ages to enjoy.

Organised and planned by the Music Generation Mayo Youth Council since December, Féile Mhaigh Eo reflects Mayo’s rich youth musical scene, offering a diverse and inclusive lineup that showcases the county’s vast talent.

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