Tønder Festival – For Folk’s Sake!
28 August 2011
The neat little town of Tønder in the very south-west of Denmark was crowded once again during a final weekend in August. It was time for Tønder Festival (see: www.tf.dk ) – promoted as “Four days of hand made music without borders or limits”.
A huge amount of musicians showed their skill all over the public places and in the festival area with its several music tents. The Dubliners were honoured by “An Evening with Folk and Roots Music Legends”. This final concert of the festival took place exactly 30 years after the first Tønder appearance of the Dubliners in 1981. Since then they performed there several times and became old musical friends of the festival.
Tønder and lousy weather went together again. It was raining cats and dogs during the whole day so that the main festival tent was totally flooded. A lot of electric cable was submerged so the technicians had to do a hard job to avoid any dangerous situation. Well prepared with wellies and rubber coats the Danish audience made their way to the seats through mud and water.
A festival gig is always unlike a concert hall show – 90 minutes music without any break and in full speed. So the boys performed nearly their complete regular music programme in a rousing atmosphere. The rain became a sixth member of the group with its beating rhythm on the tent roof.
It was quite an emotional part of the concert when John Sheahan showed their solidarity and compassion with the Norwegian people. His own compositions “Farewell to Harstad” and “Feathered Gael” were the musical tribute to the victims in Norway.
The end of the performance was a great
craic with a clapping and well singing Danish audience. They cheered when Seán Cannon stated that they hope to come again next year. We all look forward for 2012to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Dubliners in Tønder. For Folk’s sake - a folk festival with its long tradition of nearly 40 years and the Dubliners with even a longer tradition.
& photography by Gerhard Braas
more pictures by Barbara & Peter in our 2011