Harps Alive Festival Launches at Linen Hall Library

Harpers and historians will take to the stage this weekend as part of the 2022 Harps Alive│An Chruit Bheo│Harps Leevin festival.

Harper Adam O’Neill performing at the launch of the Harps Alive│An Chruit Bheo│Harps Leevin festival at Linen Hall Library in Belfast on Friday night.

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.

John Gray (Reclaim The Enlightenment) at the launch of the Harps Alive│An Chruit Bheo│Harps Leevin festival at Linen Hall Library in Belfast on Friday night.

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.

Lord Mayor of Belfast Councillor Christina Black, John Gray (Reclaim The Enlightenment) at the launch of the Harps Alive│An Chruit Bheo│Harps Leevin festival at Linen Hall Library in Belfast on Friday night.

Having already opened with events in Magilligan and Mussenden Template 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.

About the Author

Tina Calder
Journalist, commentator, author and content creator specialising in showbiz, entertainment, business, trade, human interest and lifestyle.