This genre name coveres the whole spectrum of Irish traditional folk music, with roots in popular Irish culture, which has preserved and revived songs, dances, tales and tunes over many centuries. Traditional Irish folk music is a powerful force throughout the whole island and internationally, and has had a mighty influence on pop and rock music. The music spans from the unaccompanied sean nós singing of the ancient Gaelic culture, over popular jigs and reels, ballads and folk songs, to newer blends of acoustic and electric expressions.
In traditional Irish folk music we hear predominantly fiddle, tin whistle, the bodhrán hand drum and the Irish bagpipes uillean pipes. Irish and Scots folk music have been at the heart of Tønder Festival since the start in 1974. Some of the greatest musicians in Irish traditional music have played at Tønder Festival, among them The Dubliners, The Chieftains, De Dannan, Dervish and Mary Black.