I like traditional Irish fiddle tunes accompanied by bodhrán http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bodhr%C3%A1n , mandolin http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mandolin , and guitar. I also like the ancient wire-strung harp http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cl%C3%A0rsach and the sound of uilleann pipes http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uilleann_pipes http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aF3fW4Nox9U which are smaller compared to the Great Highland Bagpipes of Scotland.
The very first time I attended a Celtic festival, I had no idea as to what Irish stepdancing was like, but I was immediately smitten by this art form and intoxicated by the high-pitched sounds of traditional music that accompanies it. The tunes are usually announced as jig, reel, slip jig, or hornpipe. Irish dancers wear soft shoes to dance to the slip jig which is more like ballet compared to the dance performed to the hornpipe tune using hard shoes which makes it more like tap dancing. (There's a good documentary film by Sue Bourne- Jig (2011)- on this dance form.)
For several years in a row, I couldn't get these Celtic tunes out of my mind for days after a weekend at an annual event filled with traditional music. Now that I've become thoroughly initiated, I'm less affected by the hypnotic power of Irish music and less inclined to let my mind wander like the clouds.
I've always been drawn to authentic experiences and dress casually for these ethnic cultural events, staying away from my kilted skirts made from (probably) unnamed Scottish and English (made for Marks and Spencer) wool tartans, unrelated to any of the clans my paternal grandmother might have claimed as kin based on her mother's surname and rather well-researched family history.
What concerns me more is that I'm comfortably dressed for the weather and can expect to last several hours sitting on a hard bench or a folding chair in the open air. Although I'm all for promoting traditional crafts and cottage industry http://www.vam.ac.uk/content/articles/r/regional-knitting-in-the-british... , I don't need an Aran jumper or an Irish shawl. Of course, if I were a tourist on an Aran island http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inishmaan , someday, I might be tempted to bring back a honeycomb pattern jumper as a souvenir; that's not out of the question at all.
It is not so much that I mind being singled out as a tourist but it would certainly be preferable to be able to feel comfortable quietly appreciating Irish culture in a way that would not mark me as a plastic Paddy http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plastic_Paddy , whatever plastic paddyness means.
Mary Robinson, former President of Ireland, is a fine role model in the way she demonstrates warmth and openness towards the Irish diaspora whose expressions of Irishness overseas contribute to the international movement of Celtic Revival. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Celtic_revival