The Ceilidhs

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Ask anyone in the know about the céilidhs we held in 1996 and 1998 and they get a dreamy look in their eyes. 

The céilidhs are hard to categorize. They were based on “authentic” céilidhs I’d attended in Scotland. Our version was like a mini-Lotus, only focused entirely on local talent. The explanation we gave was “world music, poetry, dance, and storytelling.”

My role was organizer, producer, marketer, creative director, vocalist, and more. I participated in the collective planning/producing brain with the outstanding Daniel McDeavitt and Denise Travers. I believe Hanna McDeavitt helped produce the ’98 one.

The 1996 edition was focused on audience participation, so we saw a lot of artists breaking the fourth wall. Many of our acts performed in the audience space rather than onstage. 

In 1998, artists focused more on collaborating with each other, so we ended up with the Trifecta Of Bliss: Vida, Rhythm Quest, and Windfall Dancers all performing together.

All of the artists were outstanding. Planned to last about 3 hours, both céilidhs went overtime but the audience never left. After 4 hours in ’96 and 5 hours in ’97, people still hung out afterwards to soak in the bliss. Alain Barker ended both céilidhs by leading everybody in a group jam with instruments he brought and shared among the crowd.

Somewhere in the CATS vault is a recording of the 1998 céilidh. If you want a real treat, ring them at 812-349-3111 and request that they play it. After more than 10 years, it still holds up!

These “events” were sacred for me and remain dear to my heart. I will always feel bonded to Denise and Daniel for co-manifesting a night to remember.

The line-ups for 1996 and 1998

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One Response to The Ceilidhs

  1. […] was overflowing and the smiles were glowing. It was similar to the effect we achieved with the céilidhs, but not to their degree. It was deeply satisfying to create an event that people enjoyed so deeply […]

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