Northern Ireland

Annual Donegal Fiddle Festival goes online to beat crisis

Fiddle players from all over the world attended last year's Donegal Fiddle Week.
Fiddle players from all over the world attended last year's Donegal Fiddle Week.

ONE of the key events in the Irish traditional music calendar is going online to beat the coronavirus crisis.

Organisers of the annual Donegal Fiddle Week say they are determined that the pandemic won’t force them to abandon this year’s festival.

The week-long carnival dedicated to the fiddle music of Co Donegal attracts 'trad' enthusiasts from across the world. Organised by Cairdeas na bhFidiléiri (Friendship of Fiddlers), it has become a firm fixture in the Irish music calendar since the first festival in Glencolmcille 35 years ago.

With the Covid-19 lockdown many of the events organised by Cairdeas na bhFidiléirí have been forced to go online.

The group organised a series of online concerts to mark World Fiddle Day, drawing huge audiences. As a result, they’ve decided to go ahead with this year’s event.

Rab Cherry said they’re currently completing a substantial virtual programme for the first week in August.

“We decided that we couldn’t go ahead in the usual way....but we’re intending to have a full roster of classes, talks and concerts online," he said.

Cairdeas experimented with online Zoom fiddle classes marking World Fiddle Day.

“Those classes worked very well. We’ve also had a series of Donegal fiddle concerts online which have drawn big audiences. With the lockdown over the past few weeks, many people have been accessing music and also music classes online so we think there will be a good response,” he said.

Anyone interested in attending the virtual Fiddle Week should email