The festival is a voluntary, non-profit making community group, organised by a committee of volunteers who work with no personal remuneration.It consists of: Chairman, Cormac O Mahony; Secretary, Ned O’Callaghan; PRO: John Reidy and Conor O’Mahony; Treasurers: Patsy O’Donoghue and Jerome Hartnett; President, Pats Broderick; Committee members: Charlie Nelligan, Tommy Dom O’Connor and Brenden Herbert and Tommy Doody.
The festival consists of recitals, concerts, workshops and classes for traditional instruments and singing, lectures, exhibitions and a Ceilí Mór.
We also run an extensive pub trail with organised and indeed impromptu sessions featuring Ireland’s top traditional musicians throughout the town over the weekend. Last year we ran 45 sessions over the four days.The musicians, teachers, concert performers and lectures must have their expenses paid and guests artists who travel long distances must be provided with accommodation. We advertise the festival in the local papers and on Radio Kerry. We hire in a sound system and engineer for the main concert.
We also have the expense of producing a programme booklet and posters. All added up the cost of running a festival in a normal year is €22,000 approximately.
Local business generously provides us with sponsorship through adverts in the festival programme that raises €6,500. The pubs and vintners’ society contribute €4,000.
Kerry County Council Community Support Scheme comes to €2,000.
The Arts Council grant is usually €5,000. Receipts from the concert and workshops raise €4,500.Total: €22,000.
In 2017 we celebrated the 25th anniversary of the festival, we received a large grant from North and East Kerry Development – Leader funding which we spent on a greatly extended programme of events.
At 5.20pm on the opening day of last year’s festival, on Friday 28th October 2017 we submitted our application on-line to the Arts Council for funding the 2018 festival. The deadline being 5.30pm that evening.
The Arts Council office computer system had crashed and did not accept our application. Despite our protests, which included screenshots of our application being submitted on time, our application was rejected.
We knew we were in trouble for 2018. Earlier this summer we were contacted by a local politician who told us he had secured a large grant for us from Leader funding.
As the 2018 festival approached we went about drawing down the said grant to discover it was not there at all. He had mistaken it for the grant we had received and spent on the 2017 festival.
This is how we discovered, at this late stage, we were not going to be able to run this year’s festival as planned unless we can secure an extra funding stream.
We have decided to launch a GoFundMe drive to make up the shortfall. There is, I hope, enough goodwill towards the festival in the local community and among the large Castleisland, Sliabh Luachra and musical diaspora spread all over the globe.
I would be hoping that people who have never been asked before to contribute to the festival would do so now to help get the 2018 festival over this hurdle.
In the words of the well-known grocer ‘Every Little Helps.’
Thank you……Cormac O’Mahon
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Fundraising team: Patrick O'Keeffe Trad Music Fest (3)
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