The biggest provincial Fleadh Cheoil returns to Tralee for the first time since 1978, with upwards of 10.000 visitors expected over eight days in a summer boost for the Kerry capital. The Munster Fleadh takes place in 2023 in the town between July 9 and July 16 next, with Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann Kerry branch members entering fifth gear in their preparations for the traditional music, singing and dancing festival.
Though it's not Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann, Fleadh na Mumhan is nonetheless set to see the Kerry town burst to the seams with traditional colour and sounds in a similar manner to the All-Ireland final experience. Come July 13-16, Tralee will come to life in trad with competitions taking place at the Munster Technological University's North campus, busking competitions and performers livening things up on the streets and numerous fringe events in smaller venues across town. "It's going to be a great boost for Tralee as the Munster Fleadh will bring in a really substantial amount of people, anywhere from 10,000 to 12,000 over the course of the event," Kerry Comhaltas organiser John Stack told The Kerryman. "It was held in Newcastle West last year amid great crowds, but we expect an even bigger and better event as it's the first full year out of COVID. Restrictions were lifting and things were just starting to come back last year, but were fully out of it now, so it's going to be massive," he said.
Comhaltas Ceoltóiri Éireann (CCE) branch members are now in talks with bigger businesses around Tralee with a view to canvassing support to help with running the impressive range of events that is planned. The MTU campus, as well as CCE's brand-new own Duchas building, will be the main focus of the competitive side of the week - where the vast range of provincial finals take place, through which the contenders for Fleadh Cheoil na hEireann will be selected, across 22 discrete venues in the campus. "We're in negotiation with some of the bigger businesses in Tralee who are coming on board, and so far we're very pleased with their response," John said. "We need their help as we're putting together a fairly substantial programme to bring as many as possible into the town centre. We want to bring entertainment onto the streets, in the Square, we're looking to run fringe events with singing, sean-nós singing and dancing workshops, history talks and history trails, family fun days and much else showing our visitors’ everything Tralee has to offer. We will even be promoting the Greenway. "The on-street entertainment will be free to the public of course, but it's not free to run, and that's why we have a very active committee out seeking support at present "With up to 12,000 coming, they're also going to need places to eat and sleep, so there will be a great dividend for sponsors. "It's not all about outside sponsorship of course as Comhaltas is a major funder of the event. "We have been lucky, too, to have Kerry County Council come on board with us, and they are a major part of this Fleadh.
The MTU is also on board supporting us, and we're very thankful for their backing." Comhaltas is not canvassing the smaller businesses in town for support given the rocketing cost of living and energy, but they say all will benefit from the influx of trad fans and per-formers. Prospective sponsors and anyone interested in volunteering their help for the Fleadh can contact CCE via email@example.com.