By Bobby Tanzilo Senior Editor/Writer Published May 25, 2021 at 2:01 PM

Irish Fest is back on tap this summer – celebrating its 40th anniversary! – and on Tuesday, organizers announced the entertainers booked for this year’s event, which takes place Aug. 20-22 at the Henry Maier Festival Park.

Among the many artists who will help celebrate this anniversary festival are:

  • Ashley Davis Band
  • The Byrne Brothers
  • Cherish the Ladies
  • Eileen Ivers
  • Gaelic Storm
  • JigJam
  • John Whelan and Brian Conway
  • The Murphy Beds
  • Natalie Haas and Alasdair Fraser
  • Rory Makem
  • The Screaming Orphans
  • Scythian
  • Seamus Kennedy

“This year’s lineup puts a spotlight on the music and heritage of Irish America,” said Melissa Ward of CelticMKE, which produces the festival. “We look forward to sharing the spirit of the music and traditions that were brought over from the Emerald Isle and other Celtic nations across the centuries.

“There’s certainly no shortage of top-notch musicians that play Irish and Celtic music in the States. The rich cultural heritage will be on full display throughout the festival weekend.”

In addition to the in-person festival, there will be a virtual event running at the same time, with Irish-themed music and cultural shows for those unable to attend in person. In addition, Irish Fest will stream one concert per day to provide a live look at the Milwaukee festival. Details on these will be coming soon.

Irish Fest is also running a BOGO ticket promotion online through May 28. Buy one admission ticket for $20 and get one free. Purchase tickets at
“Céad míle fáilte! We can’t wait to greet our guests back with 100,000 welcomes and celebrate our love for Irish and Celtic culture together, in person,” said Ward.

For more information visit, which includes the complete lineup, details on hotel packages during the festival, health and safety info and more.

Bobby Tanzilo Senior Editor/Writer

Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., where he lived until he was 17, Bobby received his BA-Mass Communications from UWM in 1989 and has lived in Walker's Point, Bay View, Enderis Park, South Milwaukee and on the East Side.

He has published three non-fiction books in Italy – including one about an event in Milwaukee history, which was published in the U.S. in autumn 2010. Four more books, all about Milwaukee, have been published by The History Press.

With his most recent band, The Yell Leaders, Bobby released four LPs and had a songs featured in episodes of TV's "Party of Five" and "Dawson's Creek," and films in Japan, South America and the U.S. The Yell Leaders were named the best unsigned band in their region by VH-1 as part of its Rock Across America 1998 Tour. Most recently, the band contributed tracks to a UK vinyl/CD tribute to the Redskins and collaborated on a track with Italian novelist Enrico Remmert.

He's produced three installments of the "OMCD" series of local music compilations for and in 2007 produced a CD of Italian music and poetry.

In 2005, he was awarded the City of Asti's (Italy) Journalism Prize for his work focusing on that area. He has also won awards from the Milwaukee Press Club.

He can be heard weekly on 88Nine Radio Milwaukee talking about his "Urban Spelunking" series of stories.