Despite being stuck in a marquee outside of Miltown Malbay, the banjo and harp players still genuinely believe they are part of the Willie Clancy Summer School.

After unexpectedly popping up a couple of years ago, the classes and recitals of these two notorious instruments have somehow managed to draw crowds. Conveniently, these classes and recitals fell during the same week as the legendary Willie Clancy Week with organisers of the festival dumbfounded as to how this addition snuck under their noses.

"It took us all by surprise really. Since the start it's been mainly fiddle, pipes, flute, accordion, concertina, whistle, singing and the dancing classes. Then that marquee popped up out of nowhere a few years ago and we heard the banjo and harp concerts were taking place there. We couldn't believe it."

Despite words to the contrary, the banjo and harp players still think that they are part of the Willie Clancy Week. Every year, the concerts for each instrument take place in the local community hall, attracting large crowds. Some people have even made they're way out to the marquee.

One banjo player said: "It's great to be part of the week! We don't really mind about being in the marquee, it's quite nice really. It's like a tent, only larger. Don't listen to the begrudgers! The banjo and harp are here to stay!"

Many musicians have avoided treading near the site, for fear of hearing those playing inside. There are plans by many of these musicians to lock the marquee shut and not reopen it until the end of the week.


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