Derry Harper & Tyrone Fiddle Player Take To The Stage For Harps Alive Festival

Derry Harper Lauren O’Neill and Tyrone fiddle player Eugene O’Neill took to the stage last night at the Deer’s Head in Belfast as part of the 2022 Harps Alive│An Chruit Bheo│Harps Leevin festival.

They are among over 50 musicians (mostly harpers) taking part in the festival throughout June.

The festival, which launched last night (FRIDAY) at the Linen Hall library will see musicians hailing from cities and counties across Ireland, north and south, including Dublin, Antrim, Armagh, Donegal, Portstewart, Ballymoney, Limerick and Galway and coming in from the UK.

Dozens of Ireland’s finest harpers and musicians have arrived in Belfast this weekend to perform at the main festival weekend.

The 2022 Harps Alive│An Chruit Bheo│Harps Leevin festival will bring together harpers, musicians and historians from throughout the island in celebration of the 230th anniversary of the landmark Harpers’ Assembly in Belfast in 1792, while also serving as a recognition of the renowned works of organist and collector Edward Bunting.

Having already opened with events in Magilligan and Mussenden Temple last weekend, the festival represents five days filled with music, history and heritage. The majority of the festival takes place across a number of sites in Belfast this weekend concluding in Dublin on July 24.

The festival marks the 230th anniversary of the Harpers’ Assembly in Belfast in 1792. Back then, the event brought together 11 harpers, six of whom were blind and the eldest, Denis Hempson from Derry (1695 -1807), was 97. One of the greatest Irish traditional harpers, Hempson was the only one to use the ancient way of playing with the fingernails.

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Tina Calder
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