The 2016 All Ireland Music Festival, or Fleadh Cheoil na hErieann, was held this year in Ennis in County Clare. Media reports estimate the crowd at over 400,000 over the nine days of this traditional festival of the Gaelic culture and language of Ireland.
Events at this year’s Fleadh included musical performances, art exhibitions, workshops in dance, Irish language events and exhibitions of Gaelic sacred music and literature. Among the visitors this year was President Michael D Higgins who went to school in the town. In all, some 10,000 musicians took part, 6,000 of them participating in 180 All Ireland competitions
Micheál O Riabhaigh, Chairman of the Fleadh Executive Committee is quoted in the news reports: “It has been a great privilege and an even greater responsibility to host this incredible event. We thank all the visitors to Ennis and sincerely hope the music and the craic was mighty and that everybody had a happy and a safe time in our town and county."
The Irish Times describes the growth in traditional Gaelic culture reflected in the increased participation by the younger generation. The Times quotes John O’Connor of Custy’s traditional music shop in Ennis musing on the future of the Fleadh and the change in how Gaelic culture is viewed by the young people: " When the Fleadh was last staged in Ennis, playing traditional Irish music was not fashionable, he said. However, this has changed and “now you have the ‘cool kids’ sharing tunes left, right and centre,” he said. “I think that the Fleadh will have a great nurturing effect on the next generation and I hope that will be its legacy.”.