The Fleadh Cheoil, the best music concert in Ireland, has packed the roads in Sligo. With huge parts of the center now a large pedestrian only place, thousands and thousands yesterday parked their vehicles up to 2 kms away from the town and boarded special buses to relish sessions of traditional dance and music in dozens of bars and at each street corner.
Buskers – aged 8 to 80 – whistled, tapped and fiddled their bodhrans in mob parades along the Garavogue River banks that flows through the centre of the town. An estimated 30pc of around 350000 visitors to Sligo for the sixty third Fleadh Cheoil this week are from foreign, specifically from the United States and United Kingdom. They also include music lovers from Korea, Japan and Australia.
The fleadh school, Scoil Eigse, has been so filled that people were turned away on few days. Also, people were turned away from a special fleadh movie running at Gaiety Cinema. Bartley Gavin, the Fleadh chairman, told that the fest had been attracting people since President Michael D Higgins started it previous Sunday. Yesterday was the biggest day as of now.
The surge in the number of visitors was partly handed to it being the opening day of the competitions. This year, 3 days have been set aside for contests compared 2 in earlier years. They would end tomorrow night, but there would be other programs including a final on Monday.
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