With a little over three weeks to go until the 2018 Sydney Irish Festival opens the gates, organisers have today announced performance times and more around the ground action, as well as confirmation that the Wild Geese Trophy, the first fully sanctioned, full format hurling match played outside Ireland will be broadcast live around the world on FOX SPORTS.
The Wild Geese Trophy between 2018 National Hurling League victors Kilkenny and 2017 All Ireland champions and archrivals, Galway, will take place on the final day of the 2018 Sydney Irish Festival over 10 and 11 November 2018 at Sydney Showground, Sydney Olympic Park.
Described as “the Riverdance of sport” and a “warrior game with ancient links to Irish history”, hurling has been played for more than 3,000 years and is one of Ireland’s native Gaelic games. Widely considered to be the fastest game on grass, the game consists of two teams of 15 trying to drive a ball down the field with a stick in order to score against each other. Without a doubt, it is one of the fastest, and most high scoring sports played today and is a colourful mix of skill, stamina and bravery.
The design of the Wild Geese Trophy was inspired by the Catalpa Wild Geese Memorial, situated on the beach at Rockingham, Western Australia, from where six Irish Fenian political prisoners were rescued by the American whaler: The Catalpa, in 1876, and followed their leader John Boyle O’Reilly, to Massachusetts. See here for more background and a hi res picture of the trophy.
Micheál Donoghue, Galway senior hurling team manager, said: “This is a great opportunity to get a really high quality game at what would normally be a quiet time of year. Matches against Kilkenny are invaluable because you know that a Brian Cody coached team will be giving it everything and we will approach it exactly the same way in Sydney. We are looking forward to what promises to be a great occasion.”
The 2018 Sydney Irish Festival is a celebration of all things Irish showcasing traditional Irish dance and music with hurling clinics, market stalls, comedy, face painting, marching bands, buskers, amusement rides, player autograph sessions, and plenty of family friendly activities right across the weekend.
On top of the huge variety of around the ground attractions, the Sydney Irish Festival will include musical performances from some of the Emerald Isle’s musical treasures including Damien Dempsey, Mary Black, Lúnasa and Saint Sister, as well as local Irish outfits Hooper & O’Toole, The Irish Rogues and Irish Hooley on Saturday, 10 November.
Set to enthrall our littlest páistí over at the Davis Amphitheatre Family Stage, Nickelodeon’s PAW Patrol Show featuring rescue pups, Chase and Marshall and those mischievous yellow twins, B1 and B2 – the Bananas in Pyjamas, will each be performing three shows on Saturday, 10 November.
Playing and performance times are below, and a venue map can be downloaded from here.
Day two on Sunday, 11 November commences with a myriad of family friendly activities and more live music, as well as a curtain raiser match between NSW and Victoria commencing at 1.30pm, before the pre-game welcome parade of the teams into the stadium commences at 3.00pm with the teams taking the field for the Wild Geese Trophy tip-off at 3.30pm.
Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA) and Paul Sergeant Events (PSE) are thrilled to announce that the full Wild Geese Trophy match on Sunday, 11 November will be shown in Australia on FOX SPORTS More (Foxtel Channel 507*) commencing at 3.30pm AEDT and throughout Asia on FOX Sports Asia and RTE into Ireland (check local guides for details).
FOX SPORTS is committed to bringing a wide variety of sports from around the globe to the homes of Australian sports fans and their support of niche and emerging sports is second to none. Their commitment to the Wild Geese Trophy compliments an already strong suite of emerging sports in November including hockey, gymnastics and lawn bowls. FOX SPORTS is available on Foxtel.
Ahead of the Sydney Irish Festival, the official Business Function will be held at Dockside, Cockle Bay Wharf at midday on Friday, 9 November. Tickets include a three course lunch, beverage package and first class entertainment including RTE Sport’s own Marty Morrissey as MC, a preview of the 2018 Wild Geese Trophy with both team Managers, Brian Cody (Kilkenny) and Micheál Donoghue (Galway), as well as Irish sporting legends Sonia O’Sullivan and Tadhg Kennelly. For tickets and more details, email SIFhospitality@psevents.com.au.
Introductions to hurling, the weekend’s events, artist bio information and hi res photos, can be downloaded from here
Sydney Irish Festival
Sydney Showgrounds, Sydney Olympic Park
Saturday 10 November -and- Sunday 11 November 2018
PLAYING AND PERFORMANCE TIMES
SATURDAY, 10 NOVEMBER 2018
6:30pm – Saint Sister
7:30pm – Lúnasa
8.40pm – Mary Black
10.00pm – Damien Dempsey
DAVIS AMPHITHEATRE – FAMILY STAGE
MC: Gerald Faulkner
11:30am – Nickelodeon’s PAW Patrol
12:30pm – Nickelodeon’s PAW Patrol
1:30pm – Nickelodeon’s PAW Patrol
2:15pm – Bananas in Pyjamas
2:45pm – Cox Academy of Irish Dance
3:15pm – Bananas in Pyjamas
3:45pm – Carey South West Academy of Irish Dance
4:15pm – Bananas in Pyjamas
4:45pm – Fiona-Gaye Moore Academy
6:00pm – Stage Closes
HORDERN SPRUNG – IRISH MUSIC STAGE
11:15am – The Hooleys
12:00pm – Hooper & O’Toole
12:45pm – The Hooleys
1:30pm – Hooper & O’Toole
2:15pm – The Hooleys
3:00pm – Hooper & O’Toole
3:45pm – The Irish Rogues
4:15pm – The Irish Rogues
5:00pm – Gerry Faulkner
5:15pm – The Irish Rogues
6:00pm – Stage Closes
SUNDAY, 11 NOVEMBER 2018
DAVIS AMPHITHEATRE – PRE & POST GAME ENTERTAINMENT
12:00pm – Patrick Brady & Dancers
3:00pm – Stage Closes for Hurling Match
5:15pm (post-match) – Blackwater Band
** All times are approximate and subject to change