HERE WE GO … IT’S GONNA BE EPIC
Fleadh Cheoil Na hÉireann has chosen Drogheda as the host venue for 2018 and 2019. The festival will run from 12-19 August in 2018 and 11-18 August 2019
Since its inception in 1951, Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann has grown and grown to become the world’s largest annual celebration of Irish music, language, song and dance.
The aim of Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann is to protect and promote Ireland’s living traditions. At the time, there was a marked decline in these traditions. They understood that the only way to arrest this decline was to bring the traditions of music, language, song and dance to people of all ages and backgrounds by bringing them into everyday life. This has expanded to the present mission of encouraging the development of Irish traditional culture in all corners of the world.
The Fleadh travels from host town to host town under the guidance of Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann. Each host town bids for the opportunity and must demonstrate that it has the infrastructure, resources and skills to deliver such a large event. But it also has to demonstrate that it has as its backbone the spirit of Irish culture, music, song and dance.
Drogheda’s first bid to host this festival was submitted in 2012 for the 2014 festival. The bid committee was a solid collaboration the local Comhaltas Branch, the community, Drogheda and District Chamber and Louth County Council.
The Ard Comhairle were immensely impressed with what Drogheda had to offer. However Drogheda would not have been know as a centre for Irish culture and it took 4 more years of determination and work by the Fleadh Bid Committee to convince them. In March 2017 it was announced that Drogheda would host for 2018 and in March of this year we were confirmed once again as host town for 2019.
THIS IS EPIC … Drogheda has never seen anything like this. What does this mean for the town and the business community? On paper the Fleadh statistics are difficult to comprehend. €1.5 Million staging cost, €40 million economic boost to the region, 350,000+ visitors over a single week. National and international media attention on our town focused on a positive story. 600+ houses required for self-catering rental. Every B&B and Hotel bed filled within a 45min radius for the week. It is not until you experience first hand the festival that you can have any understanding of how big an opportunity this even presents to the region.
The staging cost will be funded from a mix of sponsorship, revenue from events and advertising and support from Fáilte Ireland and Louth County Council.
The Economic boost to the region feeds directly to the hospitality sector and the broader business community. Without doubt, there will be disruption in the town for the week as it bulges to accommodate the wave of visitors. While the visitors will not immediately directly benefit all businesses, we are confident that it will be more than compensated for in the weeks and months following the event with the additional money now in our local economy.
BUT THIS IS ABOUT WHAT YOU MAKE OF IT … we’re encouraging retailers and hospitality organisations to work collaboratively. How can we make people’s experience of Drogheda really special? How can we get them to come back again and again? How can you market your product to this audience and offer value for money and a great experience. If you think that the Fleadh will just deposit money straight into your till, you’re wrong. But if you think about this audience, what they value and what they need you’ll be sure to maximise the impact of the Fleadh for your business. So get talking to your business neighbours and get planning for August.
WE’RE ALL WORKING IN TOURISM THAT WEEK … Drogheda and District Chamber envisage that the greatest benefit resulting from this festival will be the opportunity for us to introduce our town to a vast number of visitors, many of whom have never visited before. It is our opportunity to help people to understand what we have to offer. Our opportunity to re-frame their perceptions of Drogheda and to build a tribe of people who have happy memories of Drogheda and want to come back again and again.
BE PART OF IT … whatever business you are in, we want you to be part of this event. Drogheda and District Chamber will be facilitating workshops/meetings to provide information on how you can participate.
DON’T MISS OUT … Be part of this. Whether as a business, a volunteer or as a spectator, be part of this event … it’s the biggest thing to hit Drogheda and we want you to be part of the excitement and the opportunity.