The Fleadh Cheoil is an Irish music competition run by Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann. There are regional competitions in the United States and Ireland. If a competitor qualifies at the regional level, they may than compete at the main Fleadh Cheoil which is held in Ireland.
North America has two regions where students studying a variety of Irish instruments may qualify for the main Fleadh Cheoil in Irieland:
1. The Mid Atlantic Fleadh which covers the US eastern seaboard, eastern Canada and the Maritimes
2. The Midwest Fleadh which covers the rest of North America from Cleveland, Chicago, St. Louis, Atlanta and Detroit to San Francisco.
Competitions are divided into the following age categories: under 12, 12–15, 15–18, and over 18 (senior).
According to CCÉ’s official rules for 2005:
- Solo competitions shall be held for the following instruments: fiddle; two-row accordion; concert flute; whistle; piano accordion; concertina; uilleann pipes; harp; mouth organ; banjo; mandolin – excluding banjo-mandolin; piano; old-style melodeon; bodhrán; war pipes; miscellaneous such as three and five row button accordion, piccolo, [chromatic] harmonica and other stringed instruments; céilí band drums; accompaniment – confined to piano, harp, guitar and bouzouki-type instruments; solo traditional singing in Irish and English; whistling; lilting; newly composed ballads and amhráin nua-cheaptha (newly composed songs in Irish).
- Solo competitions for slow airs shall be held in all age groups for the following instruments: (a) fiddle; (b) concert flute; (c) whistle; (d) uilleann pipes; and (e) harp (as of 2010).
There are also competitions for the following ensembles: duet, trio, céilí band, instrumental group (grupaí cheoil), accordion band, pipe band, and miscellaneous ensemble.