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Cork Folk Festival - 3-7 October

The Cork Folk Festival is an annual music event that takes place in Ireland’s southern capital, 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.

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 packed international line up features musicians from all over Europe and Ireland. Headlining this year festival will be the wonderful singer from Yorkshire, Kate Rusby. The five day festival will also include a performance by Dave Flynn’s 20 piece Irish Memory Orchestra with special guest accordion player Máirtín O’Connor. Another concert at this year’s 5 day festival will be three of Ireland’s most famous musicians, Paddy Keenan, Frankie Gavin and Dermot Byrne. This year the festival has commissioned west Cork harpist, Máire Ní Chathasaigh to write a piece of new music to commemorate the founding of the folk festival in 1979. The new music will be performed by Nollaig Casey, her sister Mairéad and a host of Cork Musicians at St Finn Barre’s Cathedral. For the first during the folk festival we will feature Fada music from Portugal, travelling from Lisbon to sing in Cork will be Claudia Aurora and her band.

The festival line up is huge this year and it include Cork’s own John Spillane , Jimmy Crowley & Pete Coe, Seamus Begley, The Whileaways, Ye Vagabonds, Desi Wilkinson & Patrick Moulard from Brittany, Máire Ní Cheileachair, Two Time Polka, Striolán Céilí Band, Blind Poets, Rowan Piggott, Cork Singers Club and Cork Pipers Club.

For more info see: Cork Folk Festival website