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Music City Invitational Tournament to Take Place on March 24

music city invitational tournament

Nashville will again welcome hurling and camogie teams from across the Midwest and Southeast for our Fourth Annual Music City Invitational. This year, the tournament is an official Music City Irish Festival event! Here’s what you need to know so you can come enjoy a day filled with Irish sports.

Date: March 24, 2018

Where: Metro Soccer Complex, 1266 Donelson Pike, Nashville

Opening ceremonies: 9:30 am

Championship matches: 5:00 pm

Afters: 7:00 pm at East Nashville Beer Works

We’ll be playing on two fields throughout the day. They’re located at the far end of Metro Soccer Complex. Games will start every hour on the hour. A food truck will be available at lunch time, so bring some cash! As always, no alcohol is allowed in any metro park. Besides, there will be plenty of beer at afters, where we’ll also hold the trophy ceremony.

The tournament is free to the public. We hope to see you there!

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17 Irish Things to Do in Nashville in March

irish in nashville

St. Patrick’s Day is on the way, and that means the Irish are out in force in Nashville. If you’re looking for something to do, we have a big list to choose from. Sports, music, art, beer… It’s all right here! So pull out your calendar and start making plans.

Irish Music Session at The Violin Shop – March 4

Visit the Violin Shop on 8th Avenue on Sunday between 4 pm and 8 pm to enjoy some classic Irish tunes. Bring your own instrument and join in the fun, or just sit back and listen. Some light snacks and beverages will be available, too, so you can make an evening of it.

Gabriel Donohue at BB King’s – March 5

Singer and instrumentalist from Galway Gabriel Donohue will perform at BB King’s, along with other Irish musicians. The show starts at 7 pm and a $10 cover charge will get you in.

Dropkick Murphys at Marathon Music Works – March 6

Celtic rock giants Dropkick Murphys will come to Nashville on March 6 for their St. Patrick’s Day tour. Pick up tickets for the show at the Marathon Music Works website.

Molly Ramone at The Old School – March 8

Nashville Irish band Molly Ramone will appear at The Old School restaurant on March 8 at 7 pm. Tickets for the event are $10. If you can’t make this one, you can see Molly Ramone again later this month.

County Sumner Irish Festival in Castalian Springs – March 10

Hosted by Visit Sumner TN, the County Sumner Irish Fest will take place form 10 am to 2 pm at Bledsoe’s Fort Historical Park. Enjoy live Irish music, brews, and great Irish food. You can also tour Rogan cottage, an authentic Irish dwelling. Don’t miss the hurling and Gaelic football exhibit matches by your favorite Gaelic club in Nashville.

Paul Brock Band at The Old School – March 10

The Old School will host Paul Brock, Denis Carey, Eimear Arkins, and Shane Farrell, playing Irish, French-Canadian, and bluegrass favorites. The show starts at 7 pm, and the tickets are $15 at the door.

Celtic Rhythms on Fire – March 10 & 11

The Nashville Irish Step Dancers will perform their annual March show on March 10 and 11 at The Capital Theatre on Main Street in Lebanon. Tickets for adults are $20, and $15 for kids and seniors. You can purchase tickets online here.

Triona at BB King’s – March 12

Ireland’s singer-songwriter Triona will perform original songs at BB King’s on March 12 at 7 pm. A cover charge of $10 covers entrance and the show.

Exploring Your Scots-Irish Genealogy – March 12 & 13

Join Fintan Mullan and Gillian Hunt from the Ulster Historical Foundation during their annual North American lecture tour to learn how to get the most out of Irish resources and records, gain strategies for breaking down brick walls, and grasp important historical context that may help fill in gaps in your research. Monday’s workshop is $15 for non-members. Tuesday is devoted to private consultations for $45 per person.

Irish Night at ACME – March 13

Come at 6 pm for the Finnegan & Carmichael concert and stay for the film John Hume in America at 7 pm. Following the film will be a Q&A session with the filmmaker Maurice Fitzpatrick. Admission is free!

Chloë Agnew of Celtic Woman at The Old School – March 15

One of the original Celtic Woman members, Chloë Agnew, will perform favorites and original tunes at The Old School from 7 pm to 10 pm. Tickets are $15 to $30 and can be purchased any time before the show.

Gulliver’s Travels at Nashville Public Library – March 16, 17, 23, 24, 30, & 31

Irish stories and puppetry will take over the library during these weekends at the Nashville Public Library. Perfect for the kids, but fun for all.

St. Patrick’s Day Celebration at Riverfront Park – March 17 & 18

Two days of fun, drink, food, music, and Irish goods await at the Nashville Riverfront Park. A stage will host musicians throughout both days, including Molly Ramone, Colm Kirwan, Nashville Pipes & Drums, The Willis Clan, Skerryvore, and We Banjo 3, among many others. Admission is free!

Main Street Brew Fest in Franklin – March 17

Tickets are available for the Main Street Brew Fest on St. Patrick’s Day, where dozens of micro-breweries—local, national, and international—will be featured. Enjoy live music, food trucks, and of course, beer.

The Luck of the Irish Pub Crawl – March 17

Registration begins at Winners Bar & Grill at 11 am. Stops on the crawl include Winners, Whiskey Rhythm Saloon, The Slider House, DawgHouse Saloon, and many more! It’s a great way to drink your way through Music City.

Shane Hennessy Shows – March 19 & 22

Irish guitarist Shane Hennessy will perform first at BB King’s on March 19 and then again at The Old School on March 22. BB King’s charges a $10 cover to get in. Tickets for The Old School show are $10 each.

Music City Invitational Hurling Tournament – March 24

The NGAC will again host clubs from various cities across the United States in a hurling and camogie tournament. Festivities will kick off at 9 am on March 24 and end with an after party and trophy presentation at East Nashville Beer Works at 7 pm.

There are quite a few more fun events planned for the Music City Irish Festival, which lasts all throughout the month of March. If this just isn’t enough Irish for you, check out their calendar for more!

As always, if you see anyone wearing a Nashville Gaelic Athletic Club crest, stop us and ask about hurling and Gaelic football. We’re starting our spring league soon, and we’d love to welcome you out to play or watch any time!

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Nashville Gaelic Athletic Club To Host 2nd Annual Music City Invitational Irish Sports Tournament

The Nashville Gaelic Athletic Club (Nashville GAC) will host the 2nd Annual Music City Invitational Irish sports tournament on April 2, 2016. Teams from the Midwest and Southeast will compete in hurling and camogie for a shot at the trophy. The tournament will take place between 9 am and 4 pm at Heartland Fields in Donelson, and the general public is invited to watch.

Hurling, a fast-paced, high-scoring field game, is the national sport of Ireland, where it is predominantly played, but is also found in parts of the world where Irish immigrants settled. Camogie is the game for women, with slightly adapted rules. While many Americans have yet to discover the ancient game, which has been played for over three thousand years, most are familiar with derivatives hockey, field hockey, lacrosse, soccer, and even golf.

Nashville GAC will welcome players from Atlanta, GA; Charleston, SC; Knoxville, TN; St. Louis, MO; Indianapolis, IN; New Orleans, LA; Akron, OH; Raleigh, NC. The teams will play at least three matches each throughout the day, with winners playing four or more. Food and drink will be available for sale at the fields, as well as commemorative items, including T-shirts and pint glasses with the Nashville team crest.

The day will begin with performances of the American and Irish National Anthems, words from our founder John Watson, and music from bagpipers. A celebration, trophy presentation, and social gathering for teams and fans will take place at 7 pm that evening.

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Music City Invitational Match Report

By Jameson Hurley

The inaugural Music City Invitational, hosted by the Nashville Gaelic Athletic Club, was the first event of its kind in the state of Tennessee. Hurling and camogie teams from St. Louis, MO; Indianapolis, IN; Atlanta, GA; and Knoxville, TN traveled to the host city for an action-packed day of Gaelic games. The event, which was postponed for two weeks due to ice and snow that rendered the pitch unplayable, was played under beautiful sunny skies and mild spring conditions.

The Opening Ceremony

Early arriving players were welcomed to the pitch by a dense layer of fog. As the players warmed up, the fog lifted, and the day was underway. The Nashville Pipe and Drum Corps kicked off the opening ceremonies followed by the singing of the National Anthems of the United States of America and the Republic of Ireland. Reverend John Hammond, of Christ the King Parish, gave a moving benediction, and with that, the matches were off.

6 hurling teams and 3 camogie teams set off into battle to see who would claim the cups. In the group stages of hurling, Indy Green, St. Louis, and Nashville competed in the Green Division, while Atlanta, Knoxville, and Indy Black faced off in the Gold Division. Over on the camogie pitch Atlanta 1, Atlanta 2, and a combined Indy/Nashville squad were set to compete in a round robin tournament.

On to the Matches

The first two matches of the day featured Indy Green v. host club Nashville and Atlanta v. a newly formed club form Knoxville, a team of U.S. Army Reserve soldiers. Both matches were spirited and competitive, but the experience of the long established clubs of Indy and Atlanta proved too much for the newer kids on the block. Final score: Indy Green 7-12 (33) to Nashville 1-3 (6) and Atlanta 7-16 (37) to Knoxville 1-0 (3).

Next up on pitch 1 were the Sons of Liberty from St. Louis v. Indy Green. The long-established friendly rivalry between Indy and St. Louis proved to be one of the highlights of the day, with an excellent display of long-range pointing and strong defensive stands from both teams. In the end, it was the crisp passing and efficient teamwork of the men from the Hoosier state that gave them the full-time edge. St. Louis 0-7 to Indy 0-11. Over on pitch 2, Indy Black put up a valiant effort, but their friends from the South proved too experienced and too strong a side. Atlanta took the victory, and with it advanced to the next stage of the tournament along with Indianapolis Green.

Over to the Camogie Pitch

Who would face Indy Green and Atlanta in those next matches? That was to be decided shortly thereafter when Nashville faced off against St. Louis, and Knoxville tested their improving skills against Indy Black. But first, all in attendance would be treated excellent match on the camogie pitch. Atlanta, last year’s North American camogie champions split their squad for the round robin stages. The first camogie match featured Atlanta 1 v. Indy/Nashville, and what a thrilling match it was. Excellent ball movement, precise scores, and amazing defensive plays kept the assembled fans on their toes. In the end the Indy/Nashville Squad found the space between the posts more often, scoring 7-8 (29) to Atlanta’s 5-3 (18). Indy would go on to face the second Atlanta squad, ending that match with a similar result, and thus claimed the championship. What would happen in the “friendly” scheduled for later in the day, when Atlanta would play at full strength against their northern rivals?

Back to Hurling

Back on the hurling pitch, it was Chairman of the Nashville GAC Johnny Watson’s former club mates from St. Louis who were set to do battle the host city. Pride was on the line for the Nashville forward, as a victory against the men he led to a National Championship just 4 years prior would mark quite an accomplishment for the club he founded just 2 years ago. The winner of the match would go on to face Atlanta in the next round, while the loser would be relegated to a shield match against the Gold Division’s 3rd place team. The competition was fair but fierce, with both sides exchanging blows. With minutes to go, Nashville took a 2-point lead, when Watson snuck a ball past the goalie. St. Louis, not done with their effort responded with a quick point followed closely by another. With time nearly expired and the match level, Nashville was awarded a free. Tension filled the air as the sliotar was lifted and struck. Wide. The game ended in a draw, with both teams earning a point, and St. Louis advanced on point differential.

On the adjacent pitch, the men from Indy Black faced off against Knoxville. The newcomers, strengthened by the addition of two experienced subs, dug in and played hard. While the skill was not quite there, the passion and courage was. Indy Black, with their experience, led the charge, putting up 7 brilliant points from play. But those points, combined with 3 goals would, in the end, not be enough to offset the new found goal scoring prowess of the Knoxville side. At the final whistle, the scorecard read: Knoxville 6-3 (21) to Indy Black 3-7 (16). Knoxville was set to face the other Indy side in the next round.

The top two hurling teams from each division took to the pitch to decide who would face off in the championship match. On field 1, it was Indy Green who would put Knoxville’s recent winning ways to the test. The boys from Indy wasted no time in putting up the first score, as Knoxville struggled to win the ball. Once they started scoring, Indy did not stop, and while Knoxville turned to the subs that led them to victory in the earlier match against their opponent’s fellow clubmen, their scores came too rarely to slow Indy down. At full time, the scoreboard told the tale: Indy Green 5-18 (33) to Knoxville 1-4 (7). Indy Green advanced to the final.

On field 2, St. Louis, hoping to show that the draw against Nashville was unlike their usual winning ways, faced off against a tough Atlanta side. The match was physical from the start with each team’s strongmen attacking the ball with ferocious intensity. The battles at midfield gave way to attacks on goal, which were shut down time and time again by each side’s defense. While the both sides gave their all in hopes of reaching the championship, it was Atlanta who won the chance to challenge Indy Green for the cup. St. Louis would have to settle for a consolation match against Knoxville.

Over to the Camogie Pitch

Back over at the camogie pitch, a full strength Atlanta side greeted the combined Indy/Nashville squad for a “friendly” battle for pride. A high standard of play was on full display, as neither side wanted to leave the pitch the loser. There were scores to be had, and scores were indeed found, with the ladies from Atlanta showing their supporters why they were the deserving winners of last year’s National title. In the end, it was Atlanta who prevailed with a score of 7-37 (58) to 1-11 (14).

With 3 matches left for the day, the men of Nashville and Indy Black faced off in the shield match. The green and gold side, still suffering for the disappointment of finishing 3rd in their division after the tie against St. Louis, took to the pitch with heads held high, while Indy Black, having suffered two defeats, were determined to get a win. Nashville, however, proved the stronger side, defeating their opponents 3-9 (18) to 1-2 (5).

In the consolation match, Knoxville, having lost their two star substitutes, picked up a number of reserves from Nashville. This new support led to a competitive match at times, but the St. Louis Sons of Liberty, with their seasoned veterans, proved to strong for the tired minds and legs of the men from Tennessee. Final score: St. Louis 8-12 (36) to Knoxville 2-3 (9).

And the Final Match

The final match of the day would give the Music City Invitational its inaugural hurling champions. Indy Green took to the pitch to face Atlanta, two teams that proved all day that they deserved to vie for the cup. The competition was intense from the opening throw in as both teams clashed and fought for every open ball. Indy approached the game with practiced, precision passing, and set themselves up to launch points over Atlanta’s bar. Atlanta countered with attacks from seasoned veterans, many who’ve played for decades, as they worked their way through Indy’s defense. The ash continued to clash, the scores continued to mount, and the players continued to offer a display of elegant, workmanlike hurling. The assembled crowd roared at every hard fought battle, every decisive defensive stand, and every superb score. The sides held each other tight to a narrow score line, but when time expired, it was Atlanta who held the slight edge and claimed the cup: Atlanta 4-13 (25) to Indy Green 4-10 (22).

The day, which had started on such a high note, ended on and even higher one with top class, quality displays of hurling and camogie from all teams involved. From players who have played for a lifetime to those who’ve only been playing for 2 weeks, the standard of play was impressive, the courage and passion were evident, and the love of the games on full display.

Off to Afters and The Trophy Presentation

The teams gathered later in the evening for afters at Dan McGuinness Irish Pub to share in the success of the day, to lick their wounds, and to tell tall tales of sporting heroics. Trophy presentations were made to the ladies of Indianapolis, victors in the camogie tournament, and the men of Atlanta, the winning side in the hurling tournament. The inaugural Music City Invitational was declared a great success, and the future looks bright for this event to become a successful annual event. Proof once again that Gaelic sports are alive and well in the South of the USA.

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