Grab Your Bagpipes: Where to See Live Music During CelticFest

Photo Credit: CelticFest Vancouver Society

It’s almost time to kick off CelticFest: Vancouver’s week-long St. Paddy’s Day extravaganza, which runs from March 16-20.  Dozens of Irish-themed shows, seminars and celebrations are scheduled, from the big parade to whiskey tastings and even a Celtic film fest.  But one of the big highlights, as always, is the music.

Celtic music in all its incarnations – folk, rock, even fusion – is set to take Vancouver by storm.  Here’s a quick rundown of what to expect.

The party starts at noon on Tuesday, March 15, when the Colin Grant Band kicks off a free lunchtime concert series at the corner of Georgia and Granville Streets in the heart of downtown.  Grant weaves rock and even funk into traditional Celtic music.  Free shows at noon featuring other Irish rockers will continue through Sunday, March 20.  Check out the CelticFest page for details.

If you prefer your Irish music in a pub setting, you’ll have no shortage of options.  For the duration of CelticFest, Ceili’s Irish Pub, Doolin’s and Johnnie Fox’s Irish Snug (all clustered near each other on Granville Street) will feature live Celtic music throughout the day and night.  Check the CelticFest website for details.

The World’s Greatest St. Patrick’s Day Ceilidh (pronounced kay-lee) will take place at the Yale on Thursday, March 17, at 8 p.m.  This traditional impromptu gathering features a dozen different musicians, including Daniel Lapp, whose fiddling was heard during the Olympic opening ceremony.

If you’re into more progressive fare, check out the AfroCeltic Dance Party at the Edgewater Casino’s Stadium Club on Friday, March 18, at 8 p.m.  West African guitarist and singer Alpha Yaya Diallo will perform with both Irish and African musicians and dancers.

The big highlight of the week’s Celtic music spectacular is a performance by Spirit of the West at the Vogue Theatre on Saturday, March 19, at 8 p.m.   The Vancouver-based folk rockers will be preceded by The Starbirds, a new variation on another local favourite, The Paperboys.

Those are just a few of the live music offerings during CelticFest.  For a complete list, check out the CelticFest website.

Anyone planning to listen to some music during CelticFest?  Any recommendations?  Please share your tips.

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