The Johnny Keenan Banjo Festival will not go ahead this year.
A statement on the website earlier this week said, “due to circumstances beyond our control, there will be no Johnny Keenan Banjo Festival in 2013”. “We thank the town of Longford for sustaining the festival from 2002-2011,” a spokesperson added.
The festival which was moved to Tullamore last year was in its 10th year, and dedicated itself to the celebration of Irish traditional, American bluegrass and folk music.
Speaking to the Leader, festival organiser and wife of the late Johnny Keenan, Chris, said the decision to cancel this year’s festival was both “devastating and heartbreaking”.
“It was always a matter of finances and we had 10 great years in Longford,” she added. “When we took it to Tullamore - a decision taken to bring a new lease of life to it – it did not work fiancially, in fact that was a fatal move. We feel now that we have no other option but to pull it.”
The Johnny Keenan Banjo Festival enjoyed nine years in Longford town before being moved to Tullamore. The event drew bluegrass stars and musicians from all over the world during that time and the festival made its name as a niche event with huge potential on the music scene.
Asked if the sounds of the Johnny Keenan Banjo Festival would ever be heard again, Chris said, “I have no comment to make about that, at this stage”. “What I can say is, that, it is not going ahead this year and I want to thank Longford for the 10 great years that we did have,” she concluded.