TradFest’s Opening Event: Mary Black Concert

On the 12th of June the Traditional Irish Music Festival officially started, opening this third edition with an incredible concert in Flagey.

The Festival, initiated in 2015 by the Embassy of Ireland, aims to celebrate Irish history and traditions, and to promote its culture also outside the Irish community. Every year, the Festival organizes concerts, art exhibitions, workshops and events around Brussels, to reach out to the Irish community in the city and to give a first -but very complete- idea of what being Irish means. “TradFest uses venues that range from Irish pubs, where traditional music is at its most natural and perhaps at its best, to bigger venues”, said the Ambassador of Ireland to the Kingdom of Belgium Éamonn Mac Aodha.

This year’s edition started with a concert of a well-known and appreciated artist, Mary Black. Yesterday, in fact, she welcomed the public at the concert hall “Radio House” in Flagey and shared her music, her memories and her affection for the Irish heritage with the public.

“On behalf of BNP Paribas Fortis we are delighted to support this event and to bring such high level of Irish music to the headline concert, to the expats and to the Irish people in Belgium and in Brussels”, said Salvatore OrlandoHead of Expatriates at BNP Paribas Fortis.

Mary Black, one of the best known Irish folk artists, delighted the evening with a rich repertoire of modern and traditional folk, that inspired the public and involved people in the performance. The audience found itself singing along the most famous songs, actively participating in the show and sharing the moment, the common memories and the Irish culture with the artist. Black’s songs touched several important topics, such as the relationship between parents and children, break ups, love relationships and grief. She shared her thoughts, memories and feelings with the crowd, introducing each song with a brief personal description and reading a moving passage from her book.

Celebrating Ireland 🇮🇪 in Brussels! Starting the tradfest with Mary Black 👌 #ExpatAtBNPPF #TradFest

Publié par Brussels Express sur lundi 12 juin 2017


The atmosphere created was engaging, intense: one could easily picture landscapes, relations, memories and feelings while listening to the music, even if heard for the first time, and therefore feel closer to the artist and the celebrations.

The concert succeeded in highlighting the Irish culture and in making it more accessible both to the Irish community and to the expats; it was able to bring together people from different backgrounds, traditions and cultures, sharing with them values, ideas and customs.

Check out the full TradFest Programme to find out the upcoming events.