The Irish Festival of Oulu has been chosen as the 97th action within the “One Hundred Actions from Oulu” campaign. The festival is the world’s northernmost and biggest Irish cultural festival in northern Europe gathering musicians and friends of Ireland to Oulu for the 10th time already.
The person behind the event is Brent Cassidy, known as the Irish cultural ambassador in Oulu. Thanks to him, the festival was originated in the early 2000s. The Irish Music Society of Oulu was established in 2005 and the first Irish Festival of Oulu was held in October 2006. At that time, nearly 2 000 people gathered to enjoy the festival. All in all, the festival has attracted more than 60 000 people since the beginning. The festival is still organized as teamwork and mostly by volunteers. They are united by their passion for Irish music and culture.
The Irish Festival of Oulu is not just a music festival, but it reflects Irish culture in many ways. From the very beginning, the festival has featured storytelling, poetry, films, courses, lectures and theatre, among other things. This year, the program is even more extensive including, for example, Gaelic football and a lot of different courses, such as a music workshop, dance course, Irish language course and, for the first time ever, an Irish cooking course. Even some of the performers, such as Flook and Réalta, will hold workshops and take part in other organized events.
The festival is held in September-October. The event headliner this year is The Chieftains, the winner of six Grammy awards. It is the world’s most famous Celtic band and a legendary messenger for Irish folk music. All concerts will be offering different styles of music from different regions. Guests are coming from Great Britain, Ireland, Russia, Sweden and around Finland. The aim of the 10 year anniversary is to attract altogether 8 500 visitors. The Irish Festival of Oulu is a significant event and definitely worth experiencing in the autumn of Oulu.
Brent Cassidy, Festival Director, +358 50 380 1908, www.irkku.fi