If you’ve got a question about anything involving the Masters of Tradition, you should find the answer here. Click on any question to reveal the answer. If you can’t find the answer you’re looking for, just email us or call us on 00 353 (0)27 52788.
Our Masters of Tradition festival usually falls in the fourth week of August every year, from Wednesday to Sunday. We usually publicise the dates for the following year as soon as the current year’s festival is over.
You’ll find our most current dates in the header of our Masters of Tradition webpages (see the top of this page!).
If you are unsure of travel directions please get in touch with our local Tourist Information Office – they are more than happy to help you to get to this beautiful part of Ireland.
There is a wide choice of accommodation in the region – Manor House Hotels and Hotels, Lodges and Guesthouses, Bed & Breakfasts and Farmhouses. To explore your options, browse our Fáilte Ireland-approved listings or see the Co Cork listings at Discover Ireland.
If you’re having trouble finding accommodation our local Tourist Information Office will be delighted to help you.
You can also find out more about our local area and things to do on our own Tourist Information pages.
There are various sessions and gigs in pubs and venues in the town year round, with more during the summer – some are anything goes, some traditional, some with another particular focus. All are very welcoming.
Our local Tourist Information Office will be able to give you an up-to-the-minute listing.
But we advertise everywhere! Each festival has its own advertising campaign which includes local, national and international media.
We do everything we can to encourage our younger audience.
Martin Hayes carefully selects our programme to include traditional music and song that will appeal to a wide audience.
Many young people, especially music students, volunteer for the Festival.
And we offer tickets discounted by 50% to under 16s.
Written suggestions are easiest for us to follow up on. You can write to us at West Cork Music, 13 Glengarriff Rd, Bantry, Co Cork, or email us.
If you’ve any suggestions while you’re attending our festival, look our for our surveyors. Every year we ask our audience for feedback and suggestions – and our surveyors will provide you with a form designed with that in mind.
West Cork Music is our management company. It was established in 1995 and has grown from a small voluntary organisation to a company which is dedicated to bringing the highest calibre of musical experience to Ireland. We promote the West Cork Chamber Music Festival, now in its 21st year, which has become one of the leading chamber music events in Europe, attracting local, national and international audiences alike. We also organise the West Cork Literary and Masters of Tradition festivals and educational activities as part of our Festivals and through the music-in-schools programme, ‘Tuning Up’, in partnership with Cork County Council, visiting 50 schools throughout the county each year.
Our commitment to excellence and distinctive West Cork identity have secured us special place in the Irish cultural landscape.
Find out more on our About Us pages.
You can order a Brochure in advance of publication – or any time after. Just phone us on 00 353 (0)27 52788, or email us with your request.
Remember to let us know your full name and address, and which festival you’re interested in.
We’ve produced the Masters of Tradition for nearly twenty years and have looked at this every which way. At the end of the day (which it is) it’s the only time that fits in our schedule. We need the half hour between the Ceolchoirm and the Níos Déanaí to allow the earlier audience to leave, and the later one to check in; we can’t schedule the Main Ceolchoirm any earlier, allowing for dinner, and; we would be reluctant to shorten the time given to it.
In addition, the unique combination of our beautiful Bantry House venue, the soft lighting of the candelabra after dark and the skill and subtlety of our musicians makes any concert extraordinarily special. With long summer days, the late hour is needed to fully appreciate this special lighting. We recommend attending at least one late night concert at the house for a musical experience you’ll remember with delight for a long time to come.
We realise it’s a bit late for some of our audience and can only hope the rest of our full and varied five-day programme can recompense for the disappointment.
Yes! We have several reduced rates, in all categories of seating:
Please get in touch our West Cork Music Box Office for these requests as they aren’t currently available on our website – 00 353 (0)27 52788.
Yes! We can sometimes offer discounts:
Please get in touch our West Cork Music Box Office for these requests as they vary and aren’t currently available on our website – 00 353 (0)27 52788.
We also cater to registered Tour Groups for all our festivals. Please contact Sarah Honore if you’d like to know more.
We offer a 50% concession for most events to those aged 16 and under. No other concessions are available.
Please get in touch our West Cork Music Box Office for these requests as they aren’t currently available on our website – 00 353 (0)27 52788.
There is a single €3 fee for each booking by Cheque, Postal Order or Credit Card.
To avoid multiple booking fees, plan ahead to make all your bookings at the same time.
We are charged the booking fee by the bank and credit card companies. We regret we have to pass the fee on to the customer. But do note, there is no charge when paying by cash at an event or our offices.
Note there is an addition fee of €2 for postage if you wish your tickets to be posted out to you. There is no charge if you elect to collect your tickets at the event.
Concerts at Bantry House and St Brendan’s Church have varied pricing to reflect the position of the seats – better seats have higher pricing. You’ll see the seat layouts in our Seating Plans.
Other venues are free seating, first come first served, and so all seats are the same price. It’s best to arrive early for these events to get the best seats.
Refunds will be given only in the case of a cancelled concert.
Our festival’s pricing is very reasonable – especially when compared to other festivals of the same genre.
Our Bantry House and St Brendan’s Church venues have tiered pricing that reflects the quality of the seating – better seats have higher prices. Our lowest price seating is accessible to the most thrifty of customers.
At the end of the day, to operate sustainably, we have to charge for tickets to cover our costs. We believe our prices are fair and reasonable for the unique musical experience we offer.
You can find out everything you need to know about booking, including when booking opens, here. Our dates vary every year.
You’ll find our terms and conditions on our Booking pages – with all the other information you’ll need to know about booking.
Our programme usually goes online in the spring or early summer. Booking for our Masters of Tradition Friends opens two weeks before General Booking does. During this time you’ll see our programme online, but you won’t be able to book online until General Booking opens. Find out more about our Friends schemes and benefits here.
You can give us your booking sooner by filling out our booking form and posting or emailing it to us. The booking form is available in our brochure and is downloadable here as soon as the brochure is published, usually spring or early summer. Note your booking will be placed in a queue and will not be processed until your grade of booking opens.
We have several discount pages and different categories of seating for our venues, which makes our festival options flexible and affordable for everyone. But that does mean our booking form can look a bit complicated.
If you’re having any trouble at all, just call us on 00 353 (0)27 52788, and we’ll do our best to talk you though it. Or we can take your booking by phone, if you’d find that easier.
Because of the complexity of our venues the site is set up to prevent certain occurrences. These include:
If you cannot resolve the problem, just give us a call on 00 353 (0)27 52788 and we’ll talk you through it – or we can make your booking for you.
Some concerts sell out very quickly either due to the repertoire or the special musicians – or both. The only way to guarantee seats for these concerts is to subscribe as a Masters of Tradition Friend in order to get priority booking.
Find out more about Festival Friendship here.
We do have waiting lists for sold out concerts. If you get in touch with the office – 027 52788 – we can add you to the list and we’ll phone you if a ticket becomes available.
To avoid disappointment, do keep in mind firstly that we might not get any returns. Secondly, returns can often be at late notice and, in that instance, we will move on to the next person on the waiting list if we don’t get a reply from you.
In addition, if you like living dangerously and are already attending the Festival, you will occasionally get a return ticket for a sold out concert at the very last minute before the concert.
Shhhhh! They’re Secret!
Our Secret Concerts were introduced in 2018 as a way to delight and surprise our audience with a free concert in an unusual venue most days. The musicians attending are a secret – and you’ll only find out who they are if you attend. Places are limited for these concerts so, although free, they still require booking to avoid disappointment. And if you decide not to go, do let us know so we can free the seat up for someone else.
Currently we don’t. With our temperamental weather, it can be a bit risky. However, in future years, our Secret Concerts may include open-air venues. Watch this space!
Currently we don’t have any workshops during our festival.
But you might be interested in our Retreats – we have a weekend-long fiddle workshop every year in the Spring. Find out more here.
We’re so sorry you can’t make it! But there are a few ways you can still feel part of the experience.
We occasionally have film coverage of concerts. We’ll post those videos on our YouTube channel, as soon as they’re available to us, for you to enjoy at your leisure.
Your participation in our surveys help us to continue to prove high calibre festivals in Bantry.
Our survey data is valuable in a number of ways. It gives us information about who comes to our festival and how satisfied you are with your experience here. It allows us to identify what you liked and how we could improve the festival experience for you.
The data we gather also gives us realistic estimates of our festival’s tourism economic impact within the local and wider community. The data is submitted to the Economics Department of UCC which compiles an independent Economic Impact report. The results of these reports have enabled West Cork Music to access the level of funding required to keep presenting festivals of this calibre.
Great to hear! There are a variety of ways you can support the Masters of Tradition festival. Find out more on our Supporter pages.
And do keep coming back to our Festival – we couldn’t produce it without you!
Yes, we couldn’t survive without it. We get funding from Donors, from a variety of Supporter options, Corporate Bodies and Funding Organisations. And we are most grateful for it!
You can find out more on our Supporters pages.
At present, all we can suggest is souvenirs from Bantry and the local surrounds. There are lots of lovely shops in our village where you’re bound to find some great memories of your time here.
In the future we hope to have merchandise for the festival itself. We’ll keep you posted.
You have a choice of gift options:
I’m afraid not. We’re really sorry but we no longer produce CDs of the Festival.
We have several maps of the venues available to you:
All our local venues are within easy walking distance of each other. Note that Bantry House, the furthest, is a 15 minute walk from the Tourist Information Centre on the market square.
We apologise that we can’t find any room for a map in our Brochure.
Bantry House has parking available for visitors just off the main road. You can see it’s exact location on our Venue Map.
In the town itself, street parking is limited to 2 hours, Mon-Sat 9am – 6pm. But there are several free car parks around the town:
Bantry House has convenient parking by the house. Please let us know in advance and we can book you a space for any concerts you are attending.
St Brendan’s Church has disabled parking spaces directly outside. Again, if’s worth booking in with us to be sure you get a space.
There are also disabled parking spaces throughout the town centre, and in the carparks mentioned in the previous FAQ.
Yes, they are. We know it’s confusing with the names so similar!
St Brendan’s Church is the large church on the square. St Brendan’s Hall is the school hall at the bay end of the square on the right as you’re facing the bay. Both are signposted. Unfortunately the Hall’s signposts are sometimes obscured by the buses that park there.
You can see the situation of both venues on our online map here.
The ferry to Whiddy Island leaves from Bantry Harbour. You’ll find it on our Venue Map here.
The short trip from Bantry pier takes approximately 10-15 minutes.
Times for the ferry will be detailed on any event using it as a venue. If you want to know all the ferry times, you’ll find them on the Whiddy Island website here.
Some of our seating options have obscured views, particularly at Bantry House. The pricing reflects this.
You will not be able to buy such seats online – they can only be purchased directly from our box office team. When you’re booking, we’ll let you know when seats have an obscured view and you can make an informed decision about purchase.
Note that these may be the only seats available in heavily booked concerts. Again, we’ll let you know if this is the case when you’re booking.
Both these venues are unique and special. Bantry House is just slightly more so – and ticket prices reflect this.
Bantry House has three separate toilet facilities:
St Brendan’s Church has luxury portable toilets behind the main building. As you’re facing the entrance, go round the left of the building and you’ll see them.
Other venues are well signposted and should be no problem. If you feel otherwise, let us know and we’ll add directions here.
Our main offices have no public toilets.
Oh! We certainly would! And we’re doing so as we type this. Find out more soon!