Great Irish Hooley Returns to Raglan Road

Central Florida’s only authentic Irish and roots music festival, the Re-plugged Great Irish Hooley, will return for the long Labor Day weekend at Raglan Road Irish Pub & Restaurant in Disney Springs. 

Never heard of a “Hooley?” It’s a Gaelic term for a lively party with music, entertainment, and fun for the whole family, and from September 3-6 guests can enjoy performances from top Irish bands alongside food and beverage offerings.

Great Irish Hooley Entertainment

Great Irish Hooley Raglan Road 2021
Raven’s Rock

This year’s Hooley entertainment headliners are a rare collaboration of luminaries from the traditional Irish music world playing everything from trad and folk to Celt grass and blues:

  • Raven’s Rock—All-Star Band Featuring Members of Lúnasa – These unique one-off daily performances at the Re-plugged Great Irish Hooley will bring together Cillian Vallely and Kevin Crawford, current members of Lúnasa, one of Ireland’s most renowned progressive traditional Irish music acts of the past 25 years. They are joined by Matt Mancuso (Eileen Ivers and Lord of the Dance) and Allan Murray (Ivers and Paul Brock). The Raven’s Rock happens to be the title of Cillian Vallely’s solo CD.
  • The Gothard Sisters – This dynamic sister trio, performing throughout the Hooley, are making waves on the major Irish festival circuit, touring, writing and performing contemporary Celtic folk music with an optimistic style that resonates with their loyal fan following. Their latest album, Dragonfly, features the sisters playing an assortment of acoustic instruments combined with vocals and modern production that explore themes of resilience and adventure.
Great Irish Hooley Raglan Road 2021
The Gothard Sisters
  • The Byrne Brothers – This exceptionally talented trad Irish music family from Donegal is back for an encore on the Raglan Road stage. American Celtic Radio listeners voted them “Rising Stars of 2021” and “Best CD cover of 2021” for Living the Dream. Dempsey, 12, is an Irish dancer who sings and plays bodhran and whistle while revving up the crowd with his jokes and on-stage antics. Finn, 15, dances and plays banjo, mandolin, and guitar. Luca, 17, dances and plays button accordion. Dad Tommy sings and plays Uilleann pipes, bagpipes, fiddle and whistles. They’ll perform Sept. 4-6.
  • The lineup is complete with Raglan Road house artists SlygoAaron O’Grady, and the Raglan Road Irish Dancers.

Delicious Dishes

Great Irish Hooley Raglan Road 2021

The Raglan Road kitchen will offer dishes to pair with the De Fesht and other Raglan Road brews including a Grilled Lollipop Pork Chop with spiced pineapple chutney, purple kale, parsley mashed potato, and smoked butter sauce.

“We created this dish to complement the festival beer,” Sean Griffin, Director of Operations at Raglan Road Irish Pub & Restaurant, says. “De Fesht would pair best with pork and smoked flavors. Of course, there are many other dishes to try if you prefer fish, beef, or a vegetable-forward dish.”

Great Irish Hooley Raglan Road 2021

Another new entrée is the pub’s Florida Key Lime Salmon—whiskey cured, lightly smoked Atlantic salmon, Florida key lime and herb crushed potatoes, peas, shaved horseradish, and crispy salmon skin.

Veggie lovers can try the new all-plant-based Shepherd’s Pie.

Sláinte

Raglan Road International Beer Day

The Re-plugged Great Irish Hooley will include Hooley-crafted cocktails plus creative new bites by the pub’s inventive culinary team.

The pub also will feature a new local craft beer and will serve the delicious Rollicking Raglan Brunch Saturday through Monday, Sept. 4-6 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.; the regular menu will be available for the Hooley from 3-10:30 p.m.

To kick off the Re-plugged Hooley, Raglan Road will introduce a limited-release craft beer in collaboration with The Tank Brewing of Miami (since 2014).

De Fesht (which translates to “festival”) is a full-flavored medium-bodied amber lager with lighter malting that contributes to underlying notes of hazelnut and honey. The brew’s dry finish enhances its drinkability, says Raglan Road general manager Alan Delahunt. “It’s a seasonal, one-batch brew perfect for the end of summer into fall. It’s a traditional-style Marzen which would be consumed by the liter at Munich during Oktoberfest,” he says.

Raglan Road 2018 Mighty St. Patrick’s Festival

There’s no cover charge to join the Great Irish Hooley fun, which begins at 4 p.m. Friday, September 3, and continues into the wee hours of Labor Day, September 6.

Reservations are recommended.

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Frontyard Festival at the Dr. Phillips Center

Dr Phillips Center Front Yard Festival - Logo

The Dr. Phillips Center has kicked-off the Frontyard Festival, a series of live entertainment events featuring local artists designed to bring people together to enjoy the arts.

“COVID-19 has created significant challenges for performing arts centers and stages around the world,” said Dr. Phillips Center President and CEO Kathy Ramsberger. “To keep our mission moving forward, our team has come up with a unique way for guests to re-connect and re-engage with one another and enjoy live entertainment and culture again. This big idea is gaining fantastic support by sponsors, partners, and artists.” 

The Frontyard Festival transforms the outdoor areas in front of the Dr. Phillips Center’s three front parcels, including the Seneff Arts Plaza, into the region’s most unique, dedicated outdoor entertainment venue that will showcase a diverse mix of music, comedy, films, health and wellness programs, and local community arts performances.  

Dr Phillips Center Front Yard Festival - view

“Fully activating the arts center’s front parcels and Seneff Arts Plaza has always been part of our long-range plan,” said Ramsberger. “We had intended to complete Phase 2—Steinmetz Hall and The Green Room—then turn our attention to conceptualizing how we could transform the plaza into a vibrant, active outdoor space for the arts, entertainment, and wellness.”

In addition to the live entertainment plus health and wellness programs, several local restaurants and popular food trucks will be on-site each day offering seasonal menus, beer, wine, and cocktails for purchase. 

Many performances will require the advance purchase of tickets, allowing artists and arts groups to generate much-needed revenue. There are also additional daytime programs showcasing professional musicians at no cost to attend.  

“More than anything, we’re excited to produce a platform that will reunite artists and wellness instructors with live audiences,” Ramsberger said.   

Health & Safety First 

To keep guests properly distanced from one another, the arts center has built 380 elevated seating “pods” inspired by a similar outdoor venue created at the Virgin Money Unity Arena in Newcastle, UK.  

Each 5’ x 7’ pod, which can seat up to five guests, has been built using metal scaffolding materials with six feet of space between each pod.  

Additional health and safety protocols, developed with guidance from federal, state, and local health authorities and the Dr. Phillips Center’s partner, AdventHealth, include a mask requirement, temperature checks prior to admission, and mobile purchasing options for tickets and Food Trucks. 

“Arts and events not only help provide needed jobs and employment for our residents but also food for our souls,” said Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer. “That’s why we are proud to partner with the Dr. Phillips Center as they create a new outdoor venue in our downtown. The space will help bring our arts back and bring our community safely together to gather, celebrate, relax, and be inspired.”  

For more information and to purchase tickets to the Dr. Phillips Center Frontyard Festival, please visit their website.

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Disney on Broadway Concert Series 2020 Details

Disclosure: I was an invited guest of Walt Disney World to experience an Epcot International Festival of the Arts preview. All opinions and over-use of exclamation marks are all my own.
Disney on Broadway Concert Series 2020 Details Epcot international Festival of the Arts

The highlight of the Epcot International Festival of the Arts is hands dow the Disney on Broadway Concert Series that brings different pairs of stars to perform some of the songs they helped make famous and beyond.

Performances are included with your theme park admission, and take place on the American Gardens Theatre stage at 5:30 PM, 6:45 PM and 8:00 PM daily from January 17 to February 24, 2020.

While the concerts are amazing, on select nights there are special performances featuring twice the star power!

During the media preview for the Epcot International Festival of the Arts, we were treated to one of these amazing concerts with Kissy Simmons, Alton Fitzgerald White, Heidi Blickenstaff, and Gavin Lee. I STILL have goosebumps!!!

2020 Disney on Broadway Concert Series Schedule

Disney on Broadway Concert Series

Lets first take a look at who will be lighting up the stage as part of the Disney on Broadway Concert Series. 

Kissy Simmons and Alton Fitzgerald White

  • January 17
  • January 20 through 21
  • January 24

Heidi Blickenstaff and Gavin Lee

  • January 18 through 19
  • January 22 through 23

Heidi Blickenstaff, Gavin Lee, Kissy Simmons, Alton Fitzgerald White

  • January 25

Kara Lindsay and Kevin Massey

  • January 26
  • January 28 through 29
  • February 1 through 2
  • February 5 through 6

Liana Hunt and Adam Jacobs

  • January 27
  • January 30 through 31
  • February 3 through 4
  • February 7 through 8

Liana Hunt, Adam Jacobs, Kara Lindsay and Kevin Massey

  • February 9

Ashley Brown and Josh Strickland

  • February 10
  • February 12 through 13
  • February 18 through 19
  • February 22 through 23

Michael James Scott and Syndee Winters

  • February 11
  • February 14 through 17
  • February 20 through 21

Ashley Brown, Michael James Scott, Josh Strickland and Syndee Winters

  • February 24
Epcot International Festival of the Arts 2019 - Disney on Broadway Concert Series

Disney on Broadway Concert Series Dining Package

While the concert series is included in your theme park admission, seating is not guaranteed and often requires arriving at least 45 minutes prior to the start of the concert.

However you can choose to purchase a Disney on Broadway Concert Series Dining Package where you can enjoy breakfast, lunch or dinner with guaranteed seating at one concert on the day of your dining.

The Dining Package price includes a 3-course meal experience that includes an appetizer, entrée, dessert and non-alcoholic beverage or one full buffet, where applicable at select World Showcase restaurants.

Participating Dining Package restaurants include:

Biergarten Restaurant
Germany Pavilion
Lunch: $57 for adults; $32 for kids
Dinner: $57 for adults; $32 for kids

Coral Reef Restaurant
The Living Seas Pavilion
Lunch: $69 for adults; $22 for kids
Dinner: $69 for adults; $22 for kids

The Garden Grill Restaurant
The Land Pavilion
Breakfast: $52 for adults; $31 for kids
Lunch: $65 for adults; $39 for kids
Dinner: $65 for adults; $39 for kids

Rose & Crown Pub & Dining Room
United Kingdom Pavilion
Lunch: $57 for adults; $22 for kids
Dinner: $57 for adults; $22 for kids

Here are a few things to keep in mind about the Disney on Broadway Concert Series Dining Packages:

  • Dining packages are paid for at the individual restaurants
  • Guests should check in 15 minutes prior to reservations
  • Dining reservations must be at least 2.5 hours before showtime
  • Tax, gratuity and required Epcot admission not included with dining package cost
  • Guaranteed concert seating badges for the America Gardens Theatre will be provided at the restaurant
  • Alcohol will only be served to Guests 21 and older
  • Magic Your Way Dine and Deluxe Dine packages will be accepted as payment (requires 2 table service entitlements per Disney on Broadway Concert Series Dining Package)
  • Disney Dining Plan and Disney Deluxe Dining Plan will be accepted as payment (requires 2 table service entitlements per Disney on Broadway Concert Series Dining Package)

To book a Disney on Broadway Concert Series Dining Package, visit the official website.

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Real Music Real Masters Concert Series 2020

Real Music Real Masters, the longest running concert series at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay, brings unique acts to the Stanleyville Theater from Tuesdays through Sunday from January 7 to March 15.

Real Music Real Masters Concert Series 2020 Busch Gardens Tampa Bay

The Real Music Real Masters concerts include performances from first-rate tribute acts, acrobatic performances, and chart-topping artists from the greatest musical eras.

Real Music Real Masters concerts are included with park admission.

Event dates and details subject to change and/or cancellation without prior notice.

Seating is limited and available on a first-come, first-served basis.

With that out of the way, let’s look at this year’s Real Music Real Masters concert line-up!

Busch Gardens Tampa Bay Real Music Real Masters 2020

Leonard, Coleman and Blunt: Former Lead Vocalists of the Temptations, Platters and Drifters Busch Gardens Tampa Bay Real Music Real Masters 2020

January 7-12 | Concerts at 11:30 am & 1:30 pm

LEONARD, COLEMAN AND BLUNT: FORMER LEAD VOCALISTS OF THE TEMPTATIONS, PLATTERS AND DRIFTERS

Glenn Leonard, Joe Coleman and Joe Blunt have been around the world and back again several times each as the lead singers of three of the most legendary vocal groups of all time: the Temptations, Platters and Drifters. The three Washington, DC natives have a back-story right out of a Hollywood movie; Leonard, Coleman & Blunt grew up singing together in church and on street corners throughout the 1960s before each found fame and fortune as members of Rock and Roll royalty. Now the childhood friends are back together again, performing the biggest hits from all three groups in one show filled with magic moments and musical memories.

The Diamonds Busch Gardens Tampa Bay Real Music Real Masters 2020

January 14-19 | Concerts at 11:30 am & 1:30 pm

THE DIAMONDS

Through the years since the release of Little Darlin’ (1957), The Diamonds have learned one important lesson—the durability of this classic rock and roll music is as much about the future as it is about the past. As a result, The Diamonds continue to expand their audience to this day, performing in a variety of venues and settings worldwide. These performances include — with Symphony Orchestras, in Performing Arts Theatres and major concert halls, on cruise ships, in casinos, at county and state fairs, on tours of England, Ireland, Brazil, Chile, Korea, and Japan, for benefit concerts, corporate conventions and at nightclubs.

BJ Thomas Busch Gardens Tampa Bay Real Music Real Masters 2020

January 21-26 | Concerts at 11:30 am & 1:30 pm

BJ THOMAS

A true American institution whose iconic pop, country and gospel hits defined their respective generations and now transcend them, B.J. Thomas has found a unique way to celebrate an incredible half a century in music and some 47 years since his first gold selling hit on Scepter Records. The singer, a five time Grammy and two time Dove Award winner who has sold more than 70 million records and is ranked in Billboard’s Top 50 most played artists over the past 50 years, invites longtime fans and newcomers alike to his living room—or more accurately, The Living Room Sessions, his debut recording for Wrinkled Records featuring intimate acoustic re-imaginings of 12 of his most renowned songs.

Piano Men: Sir Elton John and Billy Joel Tribute Busch Gardens Tampa Bay Real Music Real Masters 2020

January 28 – February 2 | Concerts at 11:30 am & 1:30 pm

PIANO MEN: SIR ELTON JOHN AND BILLY JOEL TRIBUTE

Sir Elton John and Billy Joel tribute artists Jeffrey Allen and Lee Alverson have joined forces to create “The Ultimate Tribute Show”. The two capture both artists in this high energy, interactive rock n roll show! Just like the original tour, each artist performs a solo set with the a rock n roll band, and then culminate the show with a “face to face” set which features both of them playing together on two pianos trading off lyrics as their costumes take you “through the years”. The show is an experience of hit songs, energetic performances, outrageous costumes, and true rock n roll at its finest!

Classic Stones Live: The World’s Greatest Rock & Roll Tribute Show Busch Gardens Tampa Bay Real Music Real Masters 2020

February 4-9 | Concerts at 11:30 am & 1:30 pm

CLASSIC STONES LIVE: THE WORLD’S GREATEST ROCK & ROLL TRIBUTE SHOW

Front man Keith Call has all of the moves and swagger of Mick Jagger, and along with his partner in crime Bernie Bollendorf, who portrays rock and roll outlaw Keith Richards, they complete the duo notoriously hailed as “The Glimmer Twins”. Their jaw dropping resemblance to these two rock and roll icons is simply amazing, but what truly makes Classic Stones Live™ unique, is their musical prowess, attention to detail, and the spot on renditions of all of your favorite Rolling Stones “classics”! From the signature saxophone solo in Brown Sugar to the unforgettable backing vocals in Gimme Shelter, every last detail has been accounted for by this eight piece band. Classic Stones Live™ performs all of the songs that are staples of any Rolling Stones show in original tunings.

Simply Queen Live Tribute Busch Gardens Tampa Bay Real Music Real Masters 2020

February 11-16 | Concerts at 11:30 am & 1:30 pm

SIMPLY QUEEN: THE MOST INCREDIBLE LIVE TRIBUTE TO QUEEN

Simply Queen is fronted by Freddie Mercury impersonator extraordinaire Rick Rock. Guitarist Bob Wegner was hand-picked by Queen’s Brian May and Roger Taylor to play guitar in several productions of the award-winning “We Will Rock You” musical. Drummer Phil Charrette and bassist Mitch Taylor are veterans of the southwestern Ontario and Detroit circuits. The band performs all the iconic songs that made Queen one of the most legendary rock bands of all time, and faithfully recreates the grand scope of Queen’s live shows, both musically and visually, with attention to detail capturing the live amazing live Queen experience that filled stadiums around the world.

Let's Hang On: America’s #1 Frankie Valli Tribute Show Busch Gardens Tampa Bay Real Music Real Masters 2020

February 18-23 | Concerts at 11:30 am & 1:30 pm

LET’S HANG ON: AMERICA’S #1 FRANKIE VALLI TRIBUTE SHOW

Let’s Hang On™ has established itself as the preeminent Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons tribute group by combining spot-on vocals and crisp choreography with a genuine ability to entertain an audience. The seasoned performers respectfully pay tribute to all these classic “Four Seasons” details while also paying tribute to the Broadway show, The Jersey Boys. This powerhouse group will perform all of The Frankie Valli mega hits including: Sherry, Big Girls Don’t Cry, Walk Like A Man, Can’t Take My Eyes Off Of You, December of 1963 and Who Loves You!

Eaglemania at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay Real Music Real Masters 2020

February 25 – March 1 | Concerts at 11:30 am & 1:30 pm

EAGLEMANIA: THE WORLD’S GREATEST EAGLES TRIBUTE BAND

Eaglemania has evolved into a nationally touring tribute to The Eagles, performing to sold out audiences everywhere they go. Eaglemania performs all of the hits of the Eagles, as well as Don Henley, Glen Frey, and Joe Walsh’s solo albums. Their attention to detail and their ability to reproduce the Eagles exactly leaves their fans with an experience that they do not soon forget.

Cirque Vertigo Busch Gardens Tampa Bay Real Music Real Masters 2020

March 3-8 | Concerts at 11:30 am & 1:30 pm

CIRQUE VERTIGO FEATURING THE WALLENDA DUO

All of the amazing people in this act have grown up in the Cirque/Circus world. There are no “part-timers” in this show ~ they are all true, 100% professional performers. This is their life; it’s all they do! The Wallenda Duo (mother & daughter) have worked all of their lives with the Flying Wallendas and currently do special appearances with the entire family. And now the 8th generation Wallenda, baby Alex has joined the show at 24 months old. You will truly be amazed at their skill and jaw dropping feats!

ONES: The Beatles #1 Hits Busch Gardens Tampa Bay Real Music Real Masters 2020

March 10-15 | Concerts at 11:30 am & 1:30 pm

ONES: THE BEATLES #1 HITS

ONES is the completely new show that Beatles fans have been waiting for. This experience is an audio and visual spectacular with 11 performers that include ‘all-star’ vocalists, orchestra, and spellbinding stories behind the number one hits. Don’t miss this note-perfect performance of the Beatles number one hits!

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Amway Center Welcomes Jason Aldean Tour in 2020

Jason Aldean We Back Tour 2020 Amway Center

Reigning American Country Music (ACM) “Artist of the Decade” Jason Aldean announced his 2020 We Back Tour, which includes supporting artists Morgan Wallen, Riley Green and Dee Jay Silver on the first leg of the tour. Produced by Live Nation, the 20-city trek launches January 30 in Columbia, SC and spans across the U.S. including Orlando’s Amway Center on Friday, January 31, 2020.

Aldean is a member of country’s elite headliners whose incendiary tours are nearing legendary status as he has sold over 10 million tickets and is one of the first few acts in the genre to sell out multiple stadiums. Known to “immediately turn up the velocity” (Calgary Herald), Aldean continues to make “fan fervor reach a roar” (Times Colonist).

After almost 15 years at the top of his format, the three-time ACM “Entertainer of the Year” has seen trends come and go. He has helped bring a few out of the shadows, like a country-music Christopher Columbus making the mainstream’s first contact with hard rock (“Hicktown”), hip-hop (“Dirt Road Anthem”) and R&B (“Burnin’ It Down”). After all that time, he continues to hold his ground making modern albums with an old-school soul. With the upcoming release of his ninth studio album, “9,” as the album’s fiery lead single, “We Back” rounds out the first-released songs, and in characteristic Aldean fashion, it explodes into a hard-rock country anthem” (Rolling Stone).

As a dominant force on the charts, Aldean has scored 23 number ones  and is the only country act in history to top the all-genre Billboard 200 chart four times in a row, while racking up 15 billion streams and more than 18 million albums sold.

Morgan Wallen’s debut album, “If I Know Me,” (Big Loud Records) delivered back-to-back platinum-certified number ones including “Up Down” featuring Florida Georgia Line; the multi-week chart-ruler “Whiskey Glasses;” the gold-certified lead, “The Way I Talk” and current single, “Chasin’ You.” With over one billion total streams to his credit, he received his first-ever Country Music Award (CMA) nomination for “New Artist of the Year,” after earning a Country Music Television (CMT) “Breakthrough Video of the Year” award nomination for “Whiskey Glasses.” The breakout star was chosen as a MusicRow 2019 “Next Big Thing” artist, spotlighted in CMT’s Listen Up “18 for 2018” class, and named a 2018 Taste of Country “Riser” among other accolades. Wallen has co-penned hits for Aldean (platinum-certified multi-week number one, “You Make It Easy”), Kane Brown, A Thousand Horses and Dustin Lynch, and garnered critical acclaim for his cover of Jason Isbell’s, “Cover Me Up,” while Diplo collaboration, “Heartless,” continues to gain momentum nationwide. 

Riley Green released his full-length debut album, “Different ‘Round Here” (BMLG Records) September 20, which has already produced the number one hit, “There Was This Girl.” Highlighting his southern roots and relatability, he co-wrote each track offering a perspective that Rolling Stone describes as, “drinks-in-the-air nineties country at an Alabama vs. Auburn tailgate.” The 14-track project, recorded alongside producer Dann Huff and executive producer Jimmy Harnen, features his new single, “I Wish Grandpa’s Never Die.” Green has been named an “Artist To Watch” by Rolling Stone Country, Taste of Country, Whiskey Riff, Sounds Like Nashville and iHeartRadio and selected as a CMT “Listen Up Artist” as well as MusicRow’s 2019 “Next Big Things.”

Jason Aldean // 2020 We Back Tour With Special Guests Morgan Wallen And Riley Green

When: Friday, January 31, 2020 // 7:30 P.M.

Where: Amway Center // Orlando, Florida

Tickets: $25.50, $51.75, $81.75 & $101.75 (prices subject to change). 

All tickets are reserved. Buy tickets at Amway Center box office or at Ticketmaster.com. All dates, act(s) and ticket prices are subject to change without notice.  All tickets are subject to applicable taxes, service, handling and facility fee charges.  

For Amway Center box office and ticket information, visit amwaycenter.com (phone purchases are not available through the Amway Center box office). 

 The Amway Center is located at 400 West Church Street and the box office is located on the north side of the Amway Center, near the intersection of Church Street and Hughey Avenue. 

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