The ‘Rings from Ireland’ Guide to Fleadh Cheoil 2018

Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann 2018

Are you planning to attend Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann 2018? The world’s largest annual celebration of Irish music, language, song and dance comes to Drogheda, County Louth for the first time ever and takes place from Sunday 12th to Sunday 19th August.

The Fleadh will put Ireland’s Ancient East firmly on the map and a massive 300,000 visitors are expected to visit Drogheda for the events. 30% of the visitors are expected to be from overseas for the biggest family festival in the country.

Rings from Ireland is a proud ‘Friend of the Fleadh’ and here is your Guide to some of the highlights of Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann 2018:

Fleadh Cheoil Logo

What is the Fleadh Cheoil?
The event is the biggest Irish traditional music festival on the planet - a week-long jamboree of music, song and dance, late nights and family fun. This will be the 68th Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann and it will feature traditional arts, workshops for young musicians, competitions, concerts, singing, céilís and lots of fun throughout the week.

Newgrange monument in Ireland's Boyne Valley
Newgrange monument in Ireland's Boyne Valley

Why the Boyne Valley?
Locating this year’s Fleadh in the Boyne Valley underscores the importance of this historic area, also the home of Rings from Ireland. With recent new discoveries at Newgrange, the area is in the news like never before. The Boyne Valley is situated in the east of Ireland. It is at once Ireland’s ancient capital and its most sacred and mythical landscape. In 1849 William Wilde, father of Oscar, wrote of the Boyne that “the history of Ireland may be traced through its monuments”. This remains true today. Moreover, its sites and monuments are among the best examples of their kind in Europe and are all within a short distance of each other.

Mellifont Abbey outside Drogheda
Mellifont Abbey outside Drogheda

What attractions are there to explore?
Drogheda is also the ideal base from which to explore and learn more about the nearby attractions of Brú na Bóinne (Newgrange), the Battle of the Boyne site at Oldbridge, Beaulieu House, Mellifont Abbey, the monastic settlement at Monasterboice, Slane Castle, Ledwidge House and Museum. Further into the Boyne Valley are the ancient Hill of Tara, Loughcrew Cairns, Trim Castle and the bustling towns of Navan, Trim and Kells.

When is the official opening?
There will be a Gig Rig at Bolton Square, Drogheda with free music from Sunday 12th to Sunday 19th August, the entire duration of the Fleadh. On Sunday 12th August at 2.30pm, Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann 2018 will be opened by Uachtarán na hÉireann / President of Ireland, Michael D Higgins.

Free Morning Sessions
Following the popular Frank Crusty informal morning sessions in Ennis, Sean O’Laoire, well-known singer and gaeilgeoir, will lead these relaxed sessions of music, song and dance, each weekday of the Fleadh. These will take place at The Barbican Centre from 11am to 1pm from Monday 13th to Friday 17th August and are free.

Laurence's Gate in Drogheda
Laurence's Gate in Drogheda

Enjoy Music at the Gate
Uileann piper Darragh Ó Héiligh and friends will host sessions of informal music, song and dance engaging audiences to observe and appreciate, enjoy and participate at one Drogheda’s most iconic monuments. There will be free music from Monday 13th to Sunday 19th August from 12 to 1pm at Laurence’s Gate.

Millmount in Drogheda
Millmount in Drogheda

Millmount – the Cultural Quarter
High on the hill with spectacular views of the Boyne and the town is Drogheda Musuem & Martello Tower. There will be an exhibition on traditional Irish music from the greater Drogheda and North-East area and a chance to choose from the mythological and historical tours. In the evenings, visitors can experience ‘living history’ presentations. Millmount Cultural Quarter is also home to a number of craft studios, with artists and makers, from silversmiths and knitwear designers, to quilters and an exquisite painted silk practitioner. Makers will open their studios, offering courtyard demonstrations and a daily aonach ceardaíochta. This all happens from Sunday 12th to Sunday 19th August and further information is available from

Where do you get updates?
For comprehensive updates, the full programme and news and information on all the concerts, competitions and events, follow Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann Drogheda 2018 on Facebook, on Twitter / Instagram @FleadhDrogheda and YouTube or visit for tickets, accommodation information and updates on all the events.
Posted on August 10, 2018

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