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Ulster-Scots Agency presence at 'Irishfest' in...

22 September 2009

The Ulster-Scots Agency received an invitation from the festival organisers to attend and have some representation at this years’ 2009 event, following on from Alistair McReynolds appearance at last years’ 2008 Irishfest summer-school. Arrangements were made for Risin Stour, a local Ulster-Scots musical group to appear on stage at several of the Festival music stages. As it turned out this proved to be a considerable undertaking for Risin Stour as the smallest venue seated 500 people and the biggest 2,500 people.

Maynard Hanna and Alistair McReynolds lectured at the Festival Summer School classes, held at the local Milwaukee School of Technology buildings and gave lectures and talks at the on-site festival Hedge School.


They also gave assistance to local festival staff to man the festivals’ Ulster-Scots information stall that catered for all things Ulster-Scots; an opportunity to give to interested parties an update on the work of the Ulster-Scots Agency.  Alistair was also able to promote his recently published book titled “Legacy”, in the book tent.


Irishfest proved to be an enjoyable and educational event in so many ways. It was a busy week as some 250,000 people attended the event, with a huge number stopping at the Ulster-Scots stall, with many interested in all that it does. 


As for Risin Stour they played to appreciative audiences and over the course of the week built up an enthusiastic following, while at the same time making new friends with prominent musicians such as Colin Grant and Samantha Robichaud, Indeed on the occasion of their last on stage performance Colin Grant and his band guested on stage along side Risin Stour, earning all concerned a standing ovation.