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A spectacular state-of-the-art 3D ‘Avatar’-style world will rise up from the waters of Newry’s Albert Basin to launch the first ever virtual Iúr Cinn Fleadh this month (October).

Using up-to-the-minute technology, Newry will host its own online festival where attendees can chat to each other as well as watch gigs – just like the real thing. Though the physical Iúr Cinn Fleadh 2020 was postponed due to the Covid crisis, the Fleadh’s high-tech counterpart will set the city singing, screening artists from Ireland, England, Denmark, Australia and America – against the backdrop of the mountain scenery – and Newry’s planned park.

Australian singer/ songwriter Jodi Martin is just one the international performers at the virtual Iúr Cinn Fleadh this month.
Australian singer/ songwriter Jodi Martin is just one the international performers at the virtual Iúr Cinn Fleadh this month.



Running from 16th-17th October at 8-10pm each night, the digital show will offer a safe environment with screens placed around the proposed city park, on which the concerts will be presented. From the comfort and security of home, festivalgoers will log onto the event at IURCINNFLEADH.COM, explore the 3D realm and converse with friends at the gigs.

Free of charge and without the need for tickets, Fleadh fans will be able to enjoy not only two nights of craic and camaraderie – but also the electronic wonder of the visionary Newry 2020-inspired Albert Basin Park project that’s planned to take the city into a new future. Headlining Saturday evening will be Hilltown singer-songwriter Matt McGinn, whose warm, powerful voice has drawn praise from Whispering Bob Harris. Matt’s set will be the only ‘live’ concert. All other acts are submitting exclusive recorded performances for the Fleadh.

Newry’s The 4 Of Us will bring their acoustic rock back to their hometown. The duo have been listed among TV3’s Top Irish Bands Ever – along with U2 and Thin Lizzy. There will be a return performance from local artist Aisling McAteer, who opened for Paul Brady at last year’s Fleadh. Also taking part are Irish traditional musicians Justin Toner and Paul Meehan, Conor Mallon and Jack Warnock, Traditional Arts Partnership and Warrenpoint Comhaltas. Acts from other nations include – Liverpool jazz band Green Tangerines, Danish band Almost Irish, Dylan Foley from the USA and Australian folk/pop singer Jodi Martin.

Hilltown singer/ songwriter Matt McGinn will headline the virtual Iúr Cinn Fleadh at 9pm on Saturday night. Photograph: Columba O'Hare
Hilltown singer/ songwriter Matt McGinn will headline the virtual Iúr Cinn Fleadh at 9pm on Saturday night. Photograph: Columba O'Hare



Iúr Cinn Fleadh thank Newry, Mourne and Down District Council and Newry BID for their sponsorship. SRC Business Support Innovation Team helped Newry.ie and Kitchen Operating Systems Ltd develop virtual reality experiences through the Department of the Economy NI InnovateUs programme. Newry.ie and Kitchen Operating Systems Ltd have applied the knowledge acquired on the InnovateUsprogramme to help create this cutting edge event. The focus of InnovateUsis to enable small businesses, with fewer than 50 employees, to get the skills to engage in innovation activities across the business.

‘Festivalgoers will recognise the setting,’ said committee member Neil Bradley, ‘based on the 3D rendering for Newry’s city park project. But they won’t just be watching a video – as wonderful as that is – they’ll also be able to walk round, watch gigs and chat to friends. This is new technology and, as far as we know, one of the first places in Ireland to apply it on the scale of a major city festival like Iúr Cinn Fleadh. Newry is breaking new ground.’

#vIURtualCinnFleadh

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