The Mayo International Choral Festival, the brainchild of Edward (Eamonn) Horkan, was inspired by a concert for the Mayo Memorial Peace Park whereby several choirs performed in unison in the Royal Theatre. Eamonn, a member of the Mayo Male Voice Choir, attended many choral festivals worldwide and with this experience set about organizing the festival.
The festival takes the form of several international male/female adult choirs travelling to Mayo in late May each year, to partake on a competitive and non-competitive basis. Their visit will include a number of evening and daily performances county-wide, tours of Mayo and a gala concert in the Royal Theatre on Saturday night. The theme of the festival is to allow choirs to meet with other choirs, relax and enjoy a great weekend in the beautiful West of Ireland.
The festival has the support of the Lions Clubs and local Mayo choral groups in the different towns, to coordinate concerts by the visiting choirs in each of the towns, and to act as hosts for the visiting choirs.
The festival is funded by Mayo County Council, South West Mayo Development Company, under the Rural Development Programme ¬†2007-2013, and the Irish Government National Development Plan, 2007-2013, Failte Ireland and also has the support of numerous other sponsors.