• Great Irish Hooley Music Festival rocks Labor Day Weekend at Raglan Road in Disney Springs

    By: Shelley Caran

    Updated:

    ORLANDO, Fla. - Central Florida’s high-voltage boutique Irish music festival serves up a colorful live playlist of traditional Irish, Celt grass, folk, blues and soul August 31-September 3 during the 7th Great Irish Hooley at Raglan Road Irish Pub & Restaurant in Disney Springs.

    Celebrating Irish song, dance, food and drink over the long Labor Day weekend, the Great Irish Hooley kicks off performances by nine Irish bands and the new Raglan Road Irish Dance Troupe beginning at 3 p.m. Friday, August 31, and continuing all day Saturday through late Monday, Sept. 3, and into the wee hours.  Indoor shows on the pub’s Grand Room stage will feature crisp acoustics and stunning video choreography.  Bands also will play the pub’s patio stage, where fans can enjoy dinner, drinks and toe-tapping entertainment alfresco.

    Paired with Orlando’s finest contemporary Irish cuisine, local and national craft beers, new hand-crafted cocktails featuring Wild Irish syrups and day-into-night entertainment, the Great Irish Hooley promises a high-energy music festival for families and revelers alike.  

    A traditional Irish social celebration, the “Hooley” combines music ranging from trad to rock tunes with entertainment and fun for the whole family (no cover charge).  The Hooley also will feature Celtic face-painting throughout the festival.  This year’s Hooley entertainment headliners include: 

    • JigJam -- The multi-award-winning Irish quartet will bring their captivating brand of “CeltGrass” (a.k.a. I-Grass) – blending the best of traditional Irish music with Bluegrass and Americana. (Friday through Monday)
    • Lisa Canny Band – The outrageously talented Lisa Canny, 7-time All-Ireland champion on harp and banjo, is an emerging Irish force blending pop and hip-hop with traditional Irish rhythms. (Saturday through Monday) 
    • Billow Wood – Known as Flat Out when they played Raglan Road in 2016, this male/female four-piece band fuses their unique brand of instrumentation with multi-vocals and harmonies for a blend of Irish and folk music. (Monday)

    The Raglan Road Irish Dancers, plucked from the casts and stages of the world’s greatest Irish dance shows, will perform throughout the Great Irish Hooley.  And champion Irish dancer Ciaran Keating, Raglan Road’s show choreographer, will host an entertaining workshop that traces the origins of Irish dance from earliest jigs and reels through contemporary times.

    Additional music acts throughout the long weekend will include:

    • Strings & Things -- Strings & Things are an original Irish folk/trad crossover four-piece band from Tipperary/Galway. Over the years together they have created their own original sound and produced a variety of crossover songs by putting their own stamp on them. 
    • The Byrne Brothers -- An exceptionally talented traditional Irish music family from Donegal. They are Luca, 13 (button accordion); Finn, 11 (banjo, mandolin and whistle); Dempsey, 8, (whistle and bodhran); and father, Tommy (guitar, Uilleann pipes, fiddle, whistles, bagpipes and bodhran). Their show combines traditional Irish tunes with modern dance beats, and they love to interact with every audience.
    •  Reel Republic –- Hailing from the southwest corner of Ireland, Reel Republic are four seriously talented musicians revving up audiences with a solid spectrum of Irish tunes and songs.
    • TradGad – Three talented lads from Kerry, Dublin and Edinburgh charm Raglan Road audiences singing and playing guitar, fiddle, mandolin, uileann pipes, tin whistle, banjo and bazouki.
    • High Road – Three talented musicians hailing from Dublin, Kilkenny and Glasgow meet in the middle to play a crowd-pleasing symphony of traditional Irish tunes and songs.
    • Aaron O’Grady – An Irish import who will entice and beguile with his eclectic mix of Irish music.
    • The Raglan Road Irish Dancers -- Plucked from the cast and stages of the world’s greatest Irish dance shows, the Raglan Road Irish Dancers perform throughout the Great Irish Hooley.  You can even learn some traditional Irish dance steps – no experience necessary!

    Throughout the Hooley, guests can step up to one of Raglan Road’s 130-year-old imported-from-Ireland bars or grab a table for authentic contemporary Irish fare.  A TripAdvisor Hall of Fame honoree and The Daily Meal’s 2018 “Best Irish Pub” in Florida, Raglan Road is known for its beer-battered fish and chips, Shepherd’s pie with a contemporary twist, delectable seafood and desserts, plus gluten-free entrees. 

    The complete entertainment schedule will be posted at www.raglanroad.com and www.greatirishhooley.com closer to the event.

    Owned and operated by Irish partners John Cooke and Paul Nolan, Raglan Road features traditional Irish dishes and new creations with a Celtic twist.  The restaurant’s warm interior of aged walnut and mahogany woods from old Irish bars and churches was built in Ireland and shipped to Orlando.  

    Live entertainment nightly includes the NEW! Rhythms of Raglan 2018 suite of shows featuring Irish bands and dancers. Guests also can enjoy shows during the weekend Rollicking Raglan Brunch.  Lunch is served 11 a.m.-3 p.m.; Dinner 3-11 p.m.; Bar menu 11 p.m.-late; Saturday and Sunday Rollicking Raglan Brunch from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Raglan Road Irish Pub & Restaurant is located at Disney Springs in the Walt Disney World Resort, 1640 E. Buena Vista Dr., Lake Buena Vista, Fla.  Visit www.raglanroad.com or call 407/938-0300. Follow us @RaglanRoadPub

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