Matt Nelligan promises a great day for the Irish — and their friends — on Saturday.
But it will just be one day. The 21st annual Irish 2000 Music and Arts Festival, which in past years kicked off a weekend of Irish traditional and rock music on Friday night, will be held on a single day this year.
Saturday’s 12-band lineup at the Saratoga County Fairgrounds in Ballston Spa includes rockers such as Off Kilter, Shilelagh Law, Screaming Orphans and Hair of the Dog. The Irish pub stage will include acts such as the Brothers Flynn, McKrells and the Druids.
In 2007, Nelligan said, Irish punk rock bands began opening the festival on Friday nights. Organizers have decided to drop the two-day format, partly because of low attendance, partly because the festival often could not sign up the right mix of bands.
The absence of Friday night acts means the absence of higher ticket prices. Advance tickets for Saturday’s show are $15 in advance (with the Price Chopper “Advantage” card) and $20 at the gate. Festival chiefs also have lowered vendor fees in an effort to increase vendor selection. Kids under 12 will still be admitted to the festival for free.
Some people will go to Irish music festivals at any price.
“When you look around at others during an Irish Music Festival everyone is “Irish,” said longtime Schenectady Ancient Order of Hibernians member Tom Lawrence. “It doesn’t matter what color you are, what language you speak, or anything else. We are all there for the music. It’s intoxicating.”
Added brother Hibernian Michael Glenn: “You have to think dying and going to heaven is a lot like an Irish music…
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