New England Celtic Arts is joining forces with the Bethel United Methodist Church (Bethel Celtic Concerts) to host several top level touring bands in 2015. It all starts on Wednesday, July 15, with the highly acclaimed Irish/American folk trio Makem & Spain. Phill McIntyre, director of New England Celtic arts will be working with team local leader Linda Howe to bring an initial lineup of four concerts as a trial run for a potential expanded series in 2016. “We want to give it a good effort and are very excited about the potential to bring this level of entertainment to Bethel,” said Howe
“Celtic and Roots/Traditional have always been the backbone of the events we present,” said McIntyre. “We have some exciting new bands coming to Bethel this year.” The Stanfields from the shores of Nova Scotia on Wednesday July 29; a dynamic young band from Ireland “Socks in the Frying Pan” will be here on Wednesday Aug. 19, and finally Old Man Luedecke a Juno award winning Folk singer from Canada on Wednesday Sept. 9 as part of Western Maine Music Week.
NECA has a long track record of working with non-profit organizations that are looking to expand their community based outreach. As a result several new arts groups have been established in the rural areas of Western Maine. A very successful new series was started this year in Mexico as the Green Church Concert Series and others in the circuit of venues include the North Church Concert Series in Farmington; Route 27 Arts in Stratton; The Phillips Area Community Center in Phillips and Old South Congregational Church in Farmington. McIntyre has developed a solid base of venues and Celtic music fans over the past decade and regularly works with established venues to provide mid-week opportunities for artists touring from Canada, Ireland, Scotland, Wales, France, and the US.
The shows will be reasonably priced at $15 for adults and $5 for youth 18 and under. “We are very family friendly,” said McIntyre. “We love working with organizations like this to merge their needs with ours. There is a shift in rural America to bring live music back to intimate settings and the church here in Bethel is a perfect fit.”
Information on the shows in Bethel can be found on the Bethel Celtic Concert page on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/pages/Bethel-Celtic-Concerts/1642927925937860 or on the NECA website: http://necelticarts.com.