Press Release 2020 Cork Folk Festival
RE-IMAGINED PROGRAMME FOR 41st CORK FOLK FESTIVAL LAUNCHED
The 41st Cork Folk Festival runs from 30 September – 4 October with key anchor events taking place behind closed doors. As part of a re-imagined festival, over 20 concerts, launches, walks and workshops are planned, including free live streaming of two concerts from the Cork Opera House featuring top folk musicians. One of Ireland’s most exciting traditional music groups, The Bonny Men and Cork’s own distinguished songwriter, John Spillane performing with Dingle songstress Pauline Scanlon, are among the artists invited to take part in the one-off virtual concerts — held without audiences — on 2 and 3 October. Produced by Aniar TV, these concerts will be streamed live on TG4’s social platforms and broadcast on TG4 television at a later date. Further details are available at corkfolkfestival.com.
Festival Organiser, William Hammond said: “In our four decades of running the festival, there has never been a year quite like this. Similar to so many cultural events across the country, we needed a solution — that kept both audiences and musicians safe but still celebrated the beauty of folk music. The programme for our 41st edition of the Festival, which we are calling Festival Behind Closed Doors, is about bringing people together — virtually and in small numbers — to celebrate the extraordinary work of musicians who have provided solace and joy in recent months.”
Along with the live streaming from the Cork Opera House stage — which will also include performances from The Lee Valley String Band; Karen Casey with Niamh Dunne and Sean Óg Graham; Mairéad Ní Mhaonaigh, Nia Byrne and Manus Lunny; and Strung with Maria Ryan, Lucia Mac Partlin, Maria O’Connor and Aonghus McCarthy — across the two nights, smaller concerts will also take place. The line-up includes a mix of up-and-coming talent and more seasoned stalwarts.
The Cork Folk Festival, funded by Cork City Council, will see singer/songwriter Leah Sohotra and multi-instrumentalist Martin Leahy perform at the Kino on 1 October. There will two concerts — 6.30pm and 8.30pm — on 2 October — from family trio Greenshine with Martin Leahy at the Triskel Arts Centre. Singer songwriter Anna Mieke will also perform at the Kino that day.
A fundraiser — Performing A Night for Ron — takes place on 4 October for Fermoy musician Ron Kavana. Singer Katie Theasby joins Dave Saunders and Alan Wallace at the Kino, with limited tickets available. Donations can be made at www.gofundme.com/f/ron-kavana.
This event is one of four intimate concerts taking place in the Kino on 4 October, with a fiddle concert featuring Mairéad Ní Mhaonaigh, Nia Byrne, Seamus Sands and Garry Cronin also planned. There will be a box and concertina showcase from Cliona Halley, Paul Clesham and Hughie Kennedy and a concert featuring folk music singer, Aoife Scott, following the release of her album Homebird.
A Celebration of Sliabh Luachra, starring Eoin ‘Stan’ O’Sullivan, Lisa O’Sullivan, Bryan O’Leary, Emma O’Leary and Maura O’Connor, takes place on 3 October at the Kino, with singer Maija Sofia also performing that day. Four Star Trio, with Con Ó Drisceoil, Johnny McCarthy and Pat Herring Ahern, play the same venue later that evening.
On 4 October, TG4 kicks-off its six-part series Cork Folk Festival @ 40 presented by Doireann Ní Ghlacáin. Running Sunday nights at 9.30pm until 8 November, the six episodes will showcase specially recorded concerts from last year’s 40th Cork Folk Festival. They include performances from musicians Iarla Ó Lionáird, Steve Cooney, Arty McGlynn and Eliza Carthy.
Chair of Cork Folk Festival, Jim Walsh added: “Unlike previous years, where almost 20,000 folk music enthusiasts would attend the festival, this year’s event has pivoted to be a more intimate affair. We invite both young and old alike, folk aficionados and novices, to be part of something special this October and celebrate our exceptional folk heritage and tradition with the Cork Folk Festival.”
Launching over the weekend is John Murphy’s album The Burning of Cork- The City in Flames and the book, Becoming an Irish Traditional Musician by Jessica Cawley. A Cork city song tour, which will be streamed live on Cork Folk Festival’s Facebook page, is planned for 4 October. Zoom workshops with accomplished sean-nós singer Maire Ni Chéilleachair, flute player Karl Nesbitt and fiddler Matt Cranitch are also planned during the Festival.