Clare Island launches new music festival

Going Out

OFFSHORE FOLK A musician on Clare Island Pier, from the Clare Island Folk Festival poster.

John Spillane and Pauline Scanlon among headline acts

Locals and visitors alike are looking forward to enjoying the first edition of the Clare Island Folk Festival on September 9 to 11.
The festival will see gigs and events across a variety of unique locations on Clare Island, where the offshore community has a long tradition of creativity in traditional and contemporary music, singing and spoken-word art forms. Accordingly, it will bring together indigenous island creators and tradition bearers along with an impressive array of leading Irish folk and traditional musicians.
Festival chairman and local singer-songwriter Niall McCabe said: “Musicians typically love coming to islands because they receive such a warm and appreciative welcome. The Saw Doctors famously wrote their classic song ‘Clare Island’ after many visits here.
“We are hoping the festival’s exciting mix of local and visiting talent will inspire some great creativity and collaboration.
“We will announce the full line-up in the coming weeks, but I can already say that some of Ireland’s best-known folk and traditional musicians will take part.”
“Acts we have announced already include John Spillane, Pauline Scanlon, Niamh Regan and an exciting trio of Tara Breen, Josephine Marsh and Laoise Kelly. More events and music will be announced in the coming weeks.”
“This really is an exciting opportunity for us here on Clare Island to establish an annual folk festival which could import the best of folk music and culture into our small community for years to come. It will also give us a chance to celebrate and showcase the island’s rich musical heritage.”

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