Con Curtin was born in Brosna in 1925, his life story has a Rabelaisian quality to it.
Apprenticed as a blacksmith - a trade with no future he points out - he left for the promise of London at an early age.
There he worked as a ganger for Murphy for ten years, tunneling beneath the streets of the city, before becoming a publican. His 14-year tenancy of The Balloon in Chelsea passed into London folklore. The Balloon was renowned as a place that rarely closed for business -pushed by a policeman on one occasion Curtin defined his opening hours as from January until December.
He played music on the Topic album, Paddy in the Smoke, recorded in London in the 1960s and regarded by many as the finest live recording of traditional music ever made.Musically Curtin is defined by Sliabh Luachra and by his time in London. Brosna is - for him - the place that music comes from and his life has been defined by that music and the people he met through it. Con Curtin was one of the last of his kind: a natural storyteller.
Every year since 2001 the village of Brosna holds a festival in honour of Con, someone who is held in high esteem by the Brosna community. He passed away in April 2009 but is one of the few musicians to have a Music Festival named after him while he was still alive.This page will be filled with more text based accounts of the history of the festival over time, including testimonials, personal stories and a breakdown of the events over the years.
The Arts Council
The Arts Council is a major reason this festival is able to continue to entertain everyone in this area every single year. Thanks to their support we can keep the spirit of traditional music alive in this part of the Sliabh Lúchra areaVisit Site
Kerry County Council
It is due to the permission and support of the Kerry County Council, that our festival has been a signifcant event for the local area every year for many decades. We thank them for their continued support.Visit Site
We greatly appreciate all support given to the upkeep of this festival. All proceeds of this festival goes towards covering costs and investing in the culture of traditonal music in the Sliabh Luchra area.
Donations can be made through our PayPal Account
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