After staging the All Ireland Championships, band members were immediately back to three times weekly rehearsals in preparation for our forthcoming visit to the Festival Interceltique de Lorient.

The band leaves for Lorient on Thursday 4th. August and will spend 10 days in France. The Festival Interceltique is the biggest Celtic Festival in the World and it involves the bringing together of all the Celtic nations of Europe: Ireland; Brittany; Scotland; Wales; the Galician and Asturian regions of North Western Spain; as well as representations from the Isle of Man and Cornwall. The festival involves close on 600 musicians and dancers from the Celtic nations and attracts half a million visitors over the 10 days. It is organised by a force of 600 volunteers who give up their holiday time each summer to help keep the festival running smoothly. Highlights include the Sunday morning Grand Parade of the Celtic nations which features 130 different marching groups and which goes out live on French Television. (Google France 3 Bretagne and tune in between 10.00 a.m. and 1.00 p.m. on Sunday 7th. August). Another highlight of the festival is the Interceltique nights which are somewhat similar to the Edinburgh Tattoo and involve pipe bands ,dancers , folk groups, and spectacular fireworks displays entertaining crowds of 10,000 per night for five nights in the local football stadium.

The Irish delegation to the festival consists of a pipe band from Northern Ireland as well as the New Ross and District Pipe Band , 30 Irish dancers, 4 folk groups , and a number of traditional musicians who host workshops during the festival for the many enthusiasts of Irish traditional music. Local musician Theresa Shalloe (who was a member of the New Ross band for many years) is one of the traditional musicians heading to Lorient. Theresa will conduct workshops each day on concertina and tin whistle technique.
During the 10 days the New Ross band will participate in four different parades, take part in five Celtic night shows, perform their own concert in an 800 seat open air amphitheatre and they will also participate in a pipe band competition on the final weekend of their visit.

The New Ross band have been visiting the Festival Interceltique since 1988 and have made numerous friends in Lorient over the years. Many people from Lorient have visited New Ross over the years and two musicians from Lorient, Alain Finot (Bagpipes and keyboard) and Jean-Louis Caoudal (Drums) will perform with the band in their concert and in competition during the festival.

The Irish department in the BBC in Belfast are doing a documentary this year on the Lorient festival and have asked permission to film the New Ross band in concert and to interview members during the festival. The programme will air over the winter months.
This current visit to Lorient was originally scheduled for August 2020 until Covid caused the cancellation of all festivals and even band practices. It had been hoped that the event could take place then in 2021 but unfortunately, Covid was still causing havoc both here and in France. This year, despite the fact that Covid is still with us, it’s been all systems go – so far. Flights are booked , passports have been dusted off. Fingers and toes are crossed.

During the festival, the band will post regular short and snappy updates on our blog which can be accessed at

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