Irish Festival returns to Liverpool

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Irish musicians playing at the Samhain Photo Pic © Liverpool Irish Festival / Twitter

Irish musicians playing at Kelly’s Dispensary. Pic © Liverpool Irish Festival / Twitter

The Liverpool Irish Festival returns for its 14th consecutive year this week, continuing the celebration of Merseyside and Ireland’s unique historic connections.

The festival is set to take place over 10 days between October 13th and 23rd, celebrating Ireland’s contribution to Liverpool’s cultural identity and heritage at a host of happenings.

This year is set to be one of the biggest yet, after the festival managed to reach an audience of over 20,000 people last year.

It also boasts having more than 50 events to attend, featuring 80 performers, covering music, culture, performance, art, print, dance, theatre, film, talks and tours.

One of the main themes in the festival is the Easter Rising of 1916. Marking the centenary of one of the biggest uprisings Ireland had ever seen, the festival has several programmes based on those events, including one that follows the story of volunteers who travelled from Liverpool to Dublin to take part in the rising.

YouTube: Liverpool Irish Festival 2015

Organisers also plan to celebrate another anniversary, as this year now marks 100 years since famed Irish author James Joyce released his debut novel, ‘A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man’.

The festival will open with a panel exploring the life of Joyce and his novel, as well as Irish writing.

There is also the promise of both traditional and modern Irish music, which has long been a highlight of the festival.

This year there are various acts such as The Divine Comedy, who will be playing at St George’s Hall, and the highly-esteemed Damien Dempsey, who will be closing the festival at the Philharmonic.

About James Jones, JMU Journalism