The Cork Folk Festival began in 1979 and few would believe it would span 4 decades. We intend to celebrate the 40th festival with the very best of Cork, Irish and international folk musicians. Everything is set for a wonderful weekend of music in Cork City. Here is a rundown of what’s happening; the main concerts happen at the Opera House, the Triskel Arts Centre, An Spailpín Fánach and the Oliver Plunkett. The Opera House on Sunday night hosts our celebration concert, Folkfest@40. It features a dazzling array of musicians and singers, including Iarla Ó Lionáird & Steve Cooney, Martin & Eliza Carthy, Zoë Conway, Donal Lunny & Mairtín O’ Connor, Nollaig Casey & Arty McGlynn, Matt Cranitch & Jackie Daly and Caoimhe & Eimhear Flannery. This concert will be a salute to everyone who ever played, helped or attended the folk fest and will be recorded by Aniar TV to be broadcasted by TG4 in the New Year. We also feature two great concerts at the Triskel Christchurch, the legendary Andy Irvine on Friday and from Scotland, singer songwriter, Dougie MacLean on Saturday. We have invited fiddle player and educator, Liz Doherty to be our first musician in residence at the folk festival. Liz will be featured at many of the events over the weekend including a UCC FUAIM lecture, workshops, concerts and a special event, Liz Doherty in Conversation at the School of music.
We have also planned a diverse range of concerts to happen on each of the four nights of the festival in smaller venues. We open on Thursday with Greenshine at An Spailpín Fánach, Diviners at the Roundy and the Noel Brazil song competition at the Crane Lane. On Friday we feature a traditional concert with Karan Casey, Niall Vallely, Niamh Dunne, Sean Óg Graham, Conal Ó Gráda and Máire Ní Ghráda at The Oliver Plunkett Bar. Later that evening at the Kino we celebrate the music of Sliabh Luachra with Eoin ‘Stan’ O’Sullivan, Bryan O’ Leary, Niamh Ní Charra, Matt Cranitch, Jackie Daly and guest Liz Doherty. This concert is dedicated to the memory of Timmy (The Brit) McCarthy who died around this time last year. It’s an event Timmy would have loved to attend and at the end of the concert we will be dancing a few sets, as he would have done.
Saturday opens with open-air food and folk events at Emmett Place and then classes at the School of Music and various other venues. That afternoon we have planned both the flute & whistle and concertina concerts and a song session with Jimmy Crowley. We have a special ‘Gals at Play’ concert featuring five women musicians and a new commission from Mary Greene and Edel Sullivan a song entitled, ‘Cork’. Saturday will also feature the hottest gig of the festival (and be sure to book your tickets early!) with Martin & Eliza Carthy, Siobhan Peoples, Blackie O Connell & Cyril O’ Donoghue, Dermot Byrne & Yvonne Casey at An Spailpín Fánach. Sunday morning, we have planned a concert with the Lee Valley String Band and Niall Toner, this concert is a tribute to the late Chris Twomey. The afternoon will feature the fiddle, pipes and box concerts and Cork songs from John Spillane and Jimmy Crowley and then on to the Opera House for the finale.