Press Release 2014
What sustains the Cork Folk Festival for 35 years?
William Hammond is organiser of the Cork Folk Festival writes about how the folk festival has continued for 35 years and announces some of this year’s line up.
The Cork Folk Festival is 35 years old this year. When you consider the thousands of musicians who have played at the festival over the decades it’s a hard task to find a suitable line up to celebrate its birthday. The first edition took place in 1979 when traditional music enthusiast Timmy McCarthy and a group of like minded followers, put the event together. Back then there were only a handful of folk/traditional music festivals in Ireland like Ballysadare, Ballyshannon, Lisdoonvarna and Dublin. However the festival scene has hugely expanded in Ireland and there is a music festival in every town. Through all those years the Cork Folk Festival has stood strong and kept to its original ideas. The first festival wanted to run an annual event to focus on the strong folk music culture of Cork and introduce a wide and diverse range of folk and traditional to Cork audiences. The event has always been run with one foot firmly planted in the past keeping traditions alive while the other foot is in the future helping to develop a new and emerging folk music culture.
And so to this year our 35th anniversary. Our ideas are to honour some of the most popular and influential musicians who are no longer with us, people like Seamus Creagh, Johnny Leary, Sylvester Ryan, Noel Brazil, Chris Twomey, Deglán Tallon, Nioclás Tóibín and Julia Clifford. Their spirits still go on and their musical inheritance will be represented in various ways at this year’s fest. We also felt the festival line up should continue to be an exciting event for our audience and supporters. We have decided to bring new acts to Cork to play alongside musicians who have been part of the festival for years.
Headlining the festival this year will be Mozaik. It’s the band’s first visit to the folk fest and is spearheaded by Andy Irvine and Donal Lunny, who are no strangers to the city and have played at numerous Cork Folk Festivals. Mozaik is the ultimate global stringband; a truly international ensemble who can not only perform music from a wide array of cultures, but interweave their myriad influences into an entirely new sound. Also included in the band is American old-tyme fiddler/vocalist Bruce Molsky, Dutch guitarist Rens Van Der Zalm, and Hungarian multi-instrumentalist Nicola Parov. The opening act for this concert will be Cork’s famous Lee Valley String Band.
Another new idea this year will be A Stór Mo Chroí, a concert with a line up that features some of the most influential folk and traditional groups in Ireland. A Stór Mo Chroí features Karan Casey, Éilís Kennedy, Pauline Scanlon, Muireann Nic Amhlaoibh, John Spillane, Donogh Hennessy, Dónal O’Connor and John McSherry.
The line up continues with Ace accordionist Alan Kelly and band with Trashcan Sinatra’s guitarist, John Douglas and Scotland’s internationally acclaimed and mesmerising songstress, Eddi Reader. We Banjo 3 featuring virtuosos Enda and Fergal Scahill with Martin and David Howley; Frankie Gavin and his new line up of De Dannan; New Road with Conor Byrne, Rick Epping, Leonard Barry, Andy Morrow and Seamie O’Dowd. Dick Gaughan from Scotland, Buille from Cork and Armagh; international singer songwriters Sturgill Simpson & Thea Gilmore from the UK; Greeneshine from West Cork; The Bard Jimmy Crowley from Cork, Bryan O’Leary from Sliabh Luachra, John Dwyer from Beara, Cara from Germany, Moxie from Sligo & Limerick; Barry Tierney from Kinsale, Rue Du Canal from France; The Folly Brothers from the Warwick Folk Festival, Cork Singers’, Pipers’ and Blues’ Clubs and many many more….