Isle of Man Traditional Music Weekend


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The last weekend of September every year in the Isle of Man brings with it an explosion of Traditional Music. 

For many this is becoming the highlight of their year’s musical calendar with friends coming from all over Ireland, England, Scotland, and Wales.

This year we had so many amazing musicians playing, and indeed teaching.  We had 67 visiting musicians who joined our own local talent for a weekend of some fantastic tunes and craic which embodied the spirit of Traditional Music.  Everyone had a warm welcome and tunes and songs poured out of everyone.  You cannot listen without feeling part of something really special.  We had so many musicians each session over the weekend was split in two so that we had two sessions running at same time, and each session was full to capacity with some of the finest musicians.

We started our weekend on the Friday night with two sessions taking place; one at The Pinewood in Pulrose, and one in The Manor, in Willaston. Wall to wall musicians producing some of the finest music.


The Pinewood – The amazing Finbar McGee


The Manor


The Manor with Eileen O Brien and Benny McHugh

On Saturday, from noon onwards there were two sessions, and music was played in Sir Norman’s Bar at the Sefton Hotel and also at Brendan O’Donnell’s until the early hours of the morning, both of which drew in the crowds to come and join us for the craic and listen to some fabulous music and songs.


Sir Normans


Brendan O Donnells

On Saturday afternoon, Eileen O’Brien, an multi All-Ireland champion and one of Ireland’s top musicians, held a workshop which was attended by nine Island based fiddle players.  It was wonderful to have Eileen here with us for the weekend.  Eileen is a highly respected teacher and has taught and influenced many aspiring fiddle players. She is currently teaching music at the University of Limerick.  Eileen is also a singer and treated us to some lovely traditional ballads over the weekend.  It was truly an honour to have Eileen here for the weekend.


Fiddle Workshop – Tower House

On Sunday afternoon the session took place at The Prospect Pub, on Prospect Hill in Douglas and again the attendance was so great the session was split into two.

On Monday morning the Farewell session was held at The Thirsty Pigeon and carried on until well after 3.00 p.m.

The date for next year’s weekend is 25 – 28 September 2020.

We would like to extend a huge thank you to everyone who played a part in making our weekend such a huge success including, the Pinewood, The Manor, Brendan O’Donnell’s, Sir Norman’s at The Sefton, The Prospect, Tower House, and The Thirsty Pigeon. 

We will like to extend a special thank you to Irene and her staff at The Welbeck Hotel for the fantastic hospitality extended to all of our guests, and accommodated the late night sessions after the pubs and the parties, the musicians who came here for the Isle of Man Trad weekend, partied every night until 6am.  A fantastic time was had by all.

Everyone is still talking about the wonderful Isle of Man Traditional Music Weekend and looking forward to coming back again next year.


Words by Ann-Marie Murphy


A sponsored body of
The Department of Education, Sport and Culture
Rheynn Ynsee, Spoyrt as Cultoor
Isle of Man Government
Reiltys Ellan Vannin
Isle of man Government
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