TORONTO — Tourism Ireland’s ‘Green Button Festival’ allows people around the world to celebrate Irish heritage, Irish tradition and Ireland’s national day in their own way.
As the tourism board notes, Ireland is celebrating its legendary St Patrick’s Day festivities live and in-person for the first time in two years. But for those who can’t be in Ireland personally, there’s the Green Button Festival.
Here in Toronto festivities for the campaign kicked off last night at a special event hosted by Tourism Ireland at Noonan’s on the Danforth, complete with Irish oysters, Irish cheese, an Irish band, and Irish dance demo and a whiskey and gin tasting.
The lively music was perfectly in keeping with the spirit of the Green Button Festival, which aims to connect anyone anywhere around the globe with some of Ireland’s best-loved and up-and-coming musicians.
The festival can be viewed “wherever you are on St Patrick’s Day,” says Tourism Ireland, via ireland.com. Social media users can look out for QR codes and ‘scan for music’ promos on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter that will lead them to the festival on their phones.
Festival-goers will be treated to an array of Irish and Northern Irish musicians playing to people around the world. Acts will include Hothouse Flowers performing at Temple Bar in Dublin, Clannad and Denise Chaila in County Donegal, Ailbhe Reddy at Dublin Castle and The Pale playing on top of the Tower Museum in Derry~Londonderry.
Ryan McMullan will be among several acts appearing from the Oh Yeah Music Centre in Belfast, which was named a UNESCO City of Music late last year. And also available on screen will be acts such as contemporary folk band Kíla, DJ and vocalist Gemma Bradley, and Riverdance, performing at the Giant’s Causeway and Cliffs of Moher.
The festival includes interactive digital billboards that will be set up New York, London, Milan and Sydney, which will let passer-by interact with the screen and bring performances to life on the spot using their smartphones.
Martin Harte, Director of TradFest Temple Bar, who produced many of the recordings being shown during the Green Button Festival, said: “This outstanding music festival will connect people all around the world with some of Ireland’s best musicians.
“As Ireland is celebrating its St Patrick’s Day festivities live after a two-year hiatus we’re absolutely thrilled to be able to bring a glimpse of our amazing music and performance culture to those who can’t be with us in person, via the Green Button Festival.”
Charlotte Dryden, CEO of the Oh Yeah Music Centre, Belfast, which also contributed to the festival recordings, said: “As a UNESCO City of Music, Belfast is very proud of its rich musical culture and creativity. We have so many incredible bands and artists, and so we are delighted to be able to bring some of them to the Green Button Festival stage. I can think of no better time than St Patrick’s Day to welcome back live music that can be shared in such a unique way with people around the world.”