The next Thrasher Music Festival will take place on December 12th in Kirbys Bar, Ballyheigue

Thrasher night 12-12-15

Pattern Thrasher programme: 6th & 7th Sept. 2015

Pattern Thrasher Concert: Causeway wren boys, Lixnaw Comhaltas, Richard Casey, Scor & many more. 7 to 9 pm Sun. 6th Sept. Community Centre Ballyheigue.

Pattern Thrasher Ceili, Set dancing & old time waltzing: 9 to 12pm Mon 7th Sept. White Sands Hotel Ballyheigue.

Pattern Thrasher Gathering: Best of North Kerry’ Traditional singing, dancing & musicians. 9 to late. Mon 7th Sept. White Sands Hotel, Ballyheigue.


A group of musicians have got together to put music at the centre of one of the biggest community festivals in Kerry. Inspired by the legendary “big wind” of September the musicians have launched the “Pattern Thrasher” music festival which they hope will blow away the crowds at the annual pattern day in Ballyheigue.

Ballyheigue is probably the biggest pattern day that survives in North Kerry. Falling on the 8 September the ‘pattern’ or patron day marks the end of the harvest and people come from all over the county for a day-long celebration. Music has always been a big part of the day and dancing went on into the night … if you had the hay in the barn that is.

If you didn’t the big September wind thrashed any crops still in the fields. According to folklore, any farmer who was late bringing in the harvest was asked ‘Are you going to leave it to ‘The Pattern Thrasher’. There was a lively tune to go with that warning and this has inspired a group of musicians to use the Pattern to showcase the wealth of music that exists in North Kerry.

“We took the idea of ‘The Pattern Thrasher’” says PRO John Thornton “and decided we could have a day or two dedicated to showcasing gifted musicians, dancers and singers from all over north Kerry. We’re bringing together local history, a lively music scene and the Pattern in a big showcase of talent that we hope to build into an annual festival that will blow the crowds away every September.”