Tuesday, September 3, 2019

2019 Milwaukee Irish Fest, Set Up and Day One

2019 Milwaukee Irish Fest, Set Up and Day One

The Skirting Crew
Dale, Donnie, Wesley and me
Missing in Action: Phil, Carrie, Dan

I am one of the four thousand volunteers that works with CelticMKE and Irish Fest to put on one of the world's largest outdoor Irish music festivals.  While I love being a staff photographer, I show up on the Milwaukee Summerfest grounds on Monday morning at 8:00 a.m. to work until 5:00 p.m. on Thursday to make sure the festival is ready to go. 

My main grounds job as a volunteer:  I cover the tables with plastic table cloths.

It is harder than it sounds.

It is always cool to be on the inside of the Irish Fest grounds before the affair begins.

Once it does begin, I am a festival photographer--a job I love.

The festival opens to the public at 5:00 p.m. on Thursday night.

Here are The Whileaways on the Lakefront Stage. The Whileaways are Noelie McDonnell, Noriana Kennedy and Nicola Joyce.

Noelie McDonnell

Nicola Joyce

One of my favs from the festival

After their set, The Whileaways had a signing in the merchandise booth and look who came by to say high--Enda Scahill of We Banjo 3.

Yvonne Kane of The Kane Sisters

One of the most unusual bands at Irish Fest ever was Moxie. These young men respect the traditional forms but modernize in a prog rock sort of sound. I found myself fascinated by their efforts. The band includes Cillian Doheny (tenor banjo/guitar/electric guitar), Jos Kelly (button accordion/keyboard), Darren Roche (button accordion/percussion/keyboards), Ted Kelly (tenor banjo/electric tenor guitar) and Josh Sampson (drums).


My favorite band at Irish Fest is We Banjo 3 from Galway, Ireland. Galway is the host city this year and the band is one of the ambassadors for the city. The band is made up of two sets of brothers: Fergall and Enda Scahill; Martin and David Howley. 





The Iceman

Not the Iceman

Not the Iceman, either

Never the Iceman

 For years We Banjo 3 has been very generous with stage time. This year they devoted part of their set to bringing up the Galway bands being featured at the festival. The first was the previously mentioned The Whileaways.

Next up from Galway, The Kane Sisters. 

Then it was time for the boys to do what they do best. 




 So that is how the "preview night" of Irish Fest opened. A short night of music but it sure whetted the appetite for what would come the rest of the weekend.

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