Author Archives: editor

Dermot Byrne Masterclass

This year we’re delighted to honour the world renowned accordion player Dermot Byrne who will conduct the Masterclass in Accordion. Masterclasses will also be hosted by Brid Harper and Michael O’Rourke. For the full run down of events see the Festival Programme.

See Dermot perform here on Glór with Steve Cooney:

Cup of Tae 2020 Livestream Show

Cup of Tae Livestream Show on Facebook

With the cancellation of the 2020 Cup of Tae festival due to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, Owenea FM in association with the Cup of Tae Festival committee are going to be streaming a special two-part show this Saturday (2nd May) & Sunday (3rd May) from 8 pm on their Facebook page, Owenea FM Radio.

This special two part show will feature clips/videos of musicians and artists near and far performing from their homes as well as some archives and memories of previous festivals.

The show will also broadcast on 100.8 FM radio for those in the local area who do not have access to the internet.

We hope to see you all tuned in!

Visit Owenea FM on Facebook

Dermot Byrne, Cup of Tae Festival 2020

Dermot Byrne to be Guest of Honour at Cup of Tae 2020

The Festival Committee is delighted to announce that accordion virtuoso Dermot Byrne will be Guest of Honour at the Cup of Tae Festival 2020.

Dermot is one of Ireland’s most outstanding traditional accordion players. For many years a member of Altan, Dermot performed, recorded and toured extensively with the group along with artists like Donal Lunny, Steve Cooney and Stephane Grapelli, bringing the beauty and joy of traditional Irish music to audiences all over the world.

In other collaborations he has performed previously with KGB, Frankie Gavin, Sharon Shannon, and The Stunning along with many other outstanding Irish and international musicians.  For his contribution to Irish music Dermot was chosen as TG4’s Traditional Musician of the Year 2013.

We look forward to having him as Guest of Honour at the Cup of Tae 2020.

North Atlantic Drift

North Atlantic Drift to perform at Cup of Tae Festival

Dan MacDonald, Brian Taheny and Ross Griffiths are bringing their trio, North Atlantic Drift
over to Ireland for a short tour. Beginning in Donegal, they will be performing at the Cup of
Tae Festival from May 3rd to 6th.

The North Atlantic Drift is a water current that runs between the east coast of Canada and the
west coast of Europe and Ireland. The music of North Atlantic Drift reflects this, following a
centuries-long tradition of trading music and musical styles between Ireland, Scotland and
Canada’s east coast.

Brian Taheny from Sligo, Dan MacDonald from Cap Breton Island and Ross Griffiths from the
Ontario piping tradition form this particular trading triangle and the product is a multi-
instrumental, multi-styled celtic sound that is truly Canadian in its diversity.

“Their music is outstanding… reels and jigs exceptionally well played… ringing fiddle
harmonies and crisp ornamentation. They cover all the bases from Edinburgh to Ennis, Cape
Breton to Cumberland Gap.”
Folkworld #61

Bríd Harper to be Honoured at 2019 Festival

Bríd Harper

The committee are delighted to announce that Bríd Harper will be honoured at the 2019 Festival.

Bríd Harper is the niece of that wonderful Castlefinn fiddle player Frank Kelly and Brid was encouraged by her parents and uncle to play the fiddle as a young girl.

Her family home was a mecca for Irish music and Bríd today is hailed as one of  the finest exponents of traditional fiddle playing in the world. A regular player with Dermot Byrne and Steve Cooney on the traditional music circuit, Brid is renowned for her encouragement of up and coming musicians.

The good news is that Bríd will lead the Master Class at the 2019 Cup of Tae Festival School of Music. This is a wonderful opportunity for musicians of the fiddle to be in the company of a world class performer. It is also appropriate that Bríd follows in the footsteps and joins her uncle Frank as a recipient of the Guest of Honour at the Cup of Tae Festival.

Again, another super festival is promised.

Ardara “Cup of Tae” Festival – May Bank Holiday weekend 3rd to 6th May, 2019.

This festival, often called “The Biggest Wee Festival in Ireland”, is famous for its spontaneous music sessions.  The huge influx of Irish and International musicians who just arrive for the Festival love the free spirit.

This year the Committee honours one of the best, as they duly honour Brid Harper, one of the most outstanding fiddle players in Ireland.

She will be honoured at a special Concert on Friday 3rd May in the Nesbitt Arms Hotel at 8.30pm.  All friends and people who appreciate this lady and the wonderful talent will be treated to the best of traditional music from Brid and company.

Saturday and Sunday see the ever popular Schools of Music take place, lead on the Master Class will be Brid Harper with Theresa Kavanagh.

Join the many Musical Recitals, all free for all visitors.

The famous “Cup of Tae” Festival 3rd to 6th May, 2019.

Visit our 2019 Programme for further information

Contact: Stephen on 087 2424590 or email

Biggest Festival Ever

The biggest “Cup of Tae” Festival of all time is expected this weekend in Ardara!

World renowned traditional musician Mairéad Ní­ Mhaonaigh will be the special guest of honour at the opening concert in the Nesbitt Arms Hotel on Friday night at 8pm. Mairead will be joined on stage by the band Altan, her family and friends.

This is a special event, probably never experienced in Ardara or anywhere before.

Tickets are €15 and a limited amount may be available at the door but demand has been huge for this special event.

Contact Stephen 087 2424590