Cork Folk Festival

The Cork Folk Festival 28th sept-1st October is an annual music event that takes place in Ireland’s southern capitol, Cork. The 38 year old festival is emerging as one of the most important folk & traditional music events in Ireland and has a growing reputation in Europe. Performances take place in concert halls, music venues, in 30 bars and on the Streets. It features concerts with international, cutting edge and established artists plus lectures, workshops, children’s events, and traditional set dancing. The event has a strong focus on local Cork City, Sliabh Luachra and Irish Traditional and folk musicians and singers, so prepare for plenty of polkas, slides and harrier ballads.
Festival Preview:
Cork Folk Festival 2017 28th sept-1st October 2017

Since its birth in 1979, Cork Folk Festival has earned a reputation for bringing together some of the biggest names on the traditional and folk scene – as well as championing some of its up-and-coming stars. Set in Cork city, is has a unique atmosphere, taking in 14 of the city’s famous venues, but the festival feels intimate, despite its diversity in venues. Whether it’s local foods; tripe and drisheen, or a bodhrán workshop, fiddle concert or trad session that you’re after, the festival is well catered and all at minimal cost. Put short, it’s an old school festival for audiences who appreciate world class acoustic music.

The line up of this years festival includes, Donovan, Andy Irvine, Steve Cooney, Dermot Byrnes & Bríd Harper, Matt Cranitch & Jackie Daly, Granny’s Attic, Mick Daly, Jarlath Henderson, Cathy Jordan, Máire Ní Chathasaigh, Nollaig Casey and Mairéad Ní Chathasaigh, Colm Murphy, Sean Ryan & Brendan Begley, Geanntrai, Mary & Sorcha MacNamara and many more….

Our Top Five Picks…


Friday 29th Sept 8pm Everyman Palace Theatre

Donovan Leitch was born in the Maryhill area of Glasgow, Scotland in 1946. Donovan burst onto the musical scene in 1965 with the folk songs “Catch the Wind” and “Colours,” and as his songs took on the psychedelic flavours of the day, he was soon helping to define the era. With hits like “Hurdy Gurdy Man,” “Season of the Witch” and “Mellow Yellow,” Donovan cemented his reputation as a hitmaker who could bring the 1960s subculture to the mainstream with verve. At his induction into the R & R Hall of Fame in 2012 it was stated, “Donovan singlehandedly initiated the Psychedelic Revolution with Sunshine Superman”. Donovan is one of the most consummate solo performers of all time.



Thursday 28th Sept 8pm Triskel Christchurch

Andy Irvine has enjoyed a long and successful career as a traditional Irish musician. He began touring with Sweeney’s Men in 1965 and then went on to form Planxty with Christy Moore, Donal Lunny and Liam O ‘Flynn in 1982. They quickly revolutionized and popularized Irish folk music, touring and recording to great acclaim. In the last few years Andy has continued to tour the world and gig with Mozaik, Patrick Street and Paul Brady. As a musician and a living icon, Andy Irvine will remain in the Irish music scene for a long time to come. With Maighread and Tríona Ní Dhomhnaill at his Triskel Concert.

Andy Irvine colour Kása Béla (1)

3. Joe O’Donnell’s Shkayla

Sunday 1st October 8pm Cyprus Avenue

In 1977 Limerick violinist and composer Joe O’Donnell released Gaodhal’s Vision, fusing Celtic, Rock, Indian and other influences. It was recorded with top musicians of the day, including the late Rory Gallagher, with whom Joe enjoyed a close musical friendship. Over his musical lifetime Joe has associated with leading names in rock and folk music; Thin Lizzy, Alan Stivell, Paul Young, Henry McCullough, Gay and Terry Woods (Steeleye Span) and Chris de Burgh. It is his breadth of experience and musical understanding that shapes Shkayla so powerfully today. O’Donnell‘s Shkayla line up is: Joe O’Donnell – electric violin, mandolin, vocals. Si Hayden – guitar, Vocals. Martin Barter – keyboards, Vocals. Adrian Litvinoff – bass and Karen Milne drums. On Saturday at the Rory Gallagher Library, Joe will talk about his influences and motivation, in the release of his seminal CD Gaodhal’s Vision featuring Rory Gallagher and his experiences at the Macroom Mountain Dew Festival in 1977.

Joe O Donnell Recent photo

4. A Tribute to Seamus Creagh

Saturday 30th Sept 8pm CIT Cork School of Music

Featuring; Na Mooneys; Mairéad & Anna Ní Mhaonaigh, Gearóid & Ciarán Ó Maonaigh, Nia Byrne & Manus Lunny,  Matt Cranitch & Jackie Daly, Aiden Coffey & Eoin O Riabhaigh & Mary MacNamara & Sorcha Costello.

Séamus Creagh (1946-2009) was born in Killucan, County Westmeath.  In 1977 Seamus Creagh made his first recording with accordion player Jackie Daly on the Gael Linn label. This album is now generally acknowledged as one of the seminal recordings of the music of Sliabh Luachra.

A Tribute to Seamus Creagh

5. The Corner House Set, (De Cork De Dannan Connection)

Sunday 1st October 5pm The Oliver Plunkett Bar

Celebrating the launch of Aidan Coffey’s CD, ‘The Corner House Set’, this concert features Aidan Coffey combined with Frankie Gavin, Alec Finn and Colm Murphy who all feature on the album and have played with De Dannan. This is Frankie’s and Alec first stage appearance since their widely publicised break up in 2003. It promises be a hugely memorable concert that will once again feature the fiddle-accordion-bouzouki combination that became synonymous with the sound of De Dannan.   Also special guest at this concert will be Charlie Piggott who played with De Dannan in those early prolific years.

Aidan Coffey The Corner House Set (1)

The packed festival also includes Warwick Folk Festival, Cork Singers’ & Pipers Clubs, Lee Delta Blues Club, Seamus Creagh Tribute Concert and Stíleanna- Concerts in Fiddle, Pipes, Flute, Accordion/Concerting & Song. This year we will be back in the city hall for a Céilí Mór with the Arundo.
So if you’re a fan of folk music Cork is the place to be this autumn.
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