In pictures: Páirc Festival Irish music and culture celebrations in Birmingham with Ronnie Wood

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With Rolling Stones Ronnie Wood making a guest appearance Páirc Festival raised the roof in celebrating Irish music and culture in Birmingham

More than 14,000 people joined the celebrations of Irish music and culture in Birmingham at Páirc Festival at August Bank Holiday.

The two day event saw Ronnie Wood make a surprise guest appearance with Saturday headliner Van Morrison, along with Chris Farlowe. And the jubilations carried on throughout Sunday with Nathan Carter and The Waterboys topping the bill.

It’s the second year for Páirc Festival in the grounds of the New Irish Centre in Kings Heath which also welcomed  Mary Black, The Fureys, The High Kings, Derek Ryan, All Folk’d Up, Ceol, Mary Coughlan, The Legend of Luke Kelly, and more.

Local Irish music legends The Father Teds, Bang on the Ear, Caidre and On The Sesh also got the crowds dancing and singing. There were also cheers as it was confirmed at the festival that the Birmingham St Patrick’s Parade will return to Digbeth next year, following a four year hiatus.

Recognised as the third largest parade in the world, the much loved community event will take place on St Patrick’s Day, March 17th 2024 under new custodianship with the Birmingham Irish Association. It will be supported by a Páirc Festival 2024 launch.

This year Páirc Festival supported two charities - Betel UK and the Birmingham Children’s Hospital Charity - following an anonymous donation from a local Birmingham Irish businessman.

Conor McGregor, MMA champion and owner of the award-winning Black Forge Inn pub in Dublin, showcased the first ever Forged Irish Stout VIP Bar at Páirc Festival 2023. Boxing legend Ricky Hatton also made an appearance on staget to introduce the final act on Saturday.

The celebrations continued further with a second traditional music stage, programmed in partnership with Birmingham Irish Association and the Birmingham Trad Fest, street food village, Irish dancing,market stalls celebrating local makers and traditional Irish produce.

Ciaran Healy, Páirc Festival co-owner, and the organising team said: “We are so overwhelmed with the support we have received, it is amazing to see the community come together and celebrate music and culture together. People travelled from far and wide to come to Páirc Festival and we are truly grateful for each and every one who bought a ticket and supported us.”

We were excited to bring huge names like Van Morrison, The Waterboys, Mary Black, Nathan Carter, but when we heard the news about Ronnie Wood and Chris Farlowe joining  Van Morriosn on stage it was a pinch yourself kind of moment.’ It has been a massive pleasure to bring the best of Irish performances to Birmingham, the team have worked really hard, we will have a short rest, and then it is straight back to work to make 2024 even better.”

Maurice Malone, coordinator of the Parade and CEO of Birmingham Irish Association said: “The Birmingham St. Patrick’s Parade is a huge calendar event which holds a special place in the hearts of many. The Birmingham Irish Association look forward to relaunching the Parade, and are thrilled that it will fall on St Patrick’s Day itself. We will be releasing more information as we move closer to the event which will be shared via social media and our website, and hope to see you all to celebrate with us next year.”

Organisers have released a limited number of  Loyalty Super Early Bird tickets priced at just £35 offering attendees a 70% saving, available to purchase via Páirc Festival website subject to availability ends Sunday 3rd September midnight.

Here’s Páirc Festival 2023 in pictures:

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