Fánaid are a first for Celtfest, coming direct from County Down in Northern Ireland. They’re regulars on Belfast’s traditional music scene, one of the most vibrant in the world. Their unique and energetic repertoire champions the music of their native Ulster, with plenty of jigs, reels, barn dances, polkas and marches, but also looks further afield, incorporating tunes from Brittany, Galicia and Cape Breton. Kevin McCullagh, who draws inspiration from the Donegal style of fiddling, is a composer, sound artist and DJ too, whose work has featured at many of Ireland’s top festivals. Fióna Ní Mhearain sings in both Irish and English and plays flute and whistle. Her songs of love, loss and emigration are delivered with a refreshingly honest approach. Guitarist Paddy Morgan has developed a distinctive style of accompaniment that seeks to remain faithful to tradition while exploring new techniques for the guitar drawn from flamenco and jazz.