Photo from Navan Website
Even if you don’t have tickets to see U2 at Soldier Field, you can still experience a blast of great Irish music on the weekend of September 12-13 by checking out Celtic Fest Chicago, which will be celebrating its13th anniversary in Grant Park. This year’s event offers big names like Gaelic Storm and Leahy at the Petrillo Music Shell; lesser known but entertaining acts from around the world on the smaller stages; roaming bagpipe bands; and a variety of dance troupes. Visitors will also find plenty of food and beverage options, as well as vendors selling art, jewelry, and clothing.
The best thing about Celtic Fest Chicago for any music fan is the opportunity to discover a new favorite band, and the Next Generation Tent is a great place to do that. It’s an inspirational showcase of talented young musicians, many of whom are students from the Shine School, Irish Music School, Murphy Roche Music School, or Academy of Irish Music. Baal Tinne, a mixed group of younger and older musicians, can always be counted on for a lively, and sometimes majestic performance. Baal Tinne, as well as many of the younger musicians, have CDs for sale.
Navan, a Wisconsin based a cappella group comprised of three women and one man, is another prime example of what Celtic Fest has to offer. Acting as a sort of coed, Gaelic Crosby Stills, Nash, and Young, the quartet uses beautiful harmonies to spin ancient tales from Scotland, Ireland, and England. Even though singer Paul Gorman once joked that it’s probably better that Navan’s songs aren’t sung in modern English because some of the lyrics are pretty gruesome, the band’s music is always entertaining.
Last year, much of Celtic Fest Chicago was canceled due to heavy rainfall, so the perfect weather forecast for this weekend should bring out an especially appreciative crowd.