Cobh’s Blues ‘n’ Roots Festival is Back

Every year in September, the beautiful tourist town of Cobh in Co Cork hosts a gathering of international, national and local blues musicians for the annual Cobh Blues ‘n’ Roots Festival.

With concerts and performances both outdoor and indoor, including in many of the town’s pubs and hotels, the festival was founded by publican Paul O’Halloran in 2007. Since its inception it has grown in size, going from strength to strength. This year will be no different, with the 13th edition of the event returning over the weekend of September 20 – 22.

The festival was first founded with the goal to bring more business and life into the town at a traditionally quieter time of the year. Yet it’s grown so much in popularity that it is now one of Cobh’s musical highlights, bringing returning groups of visitors and performers each year to experience some top-quality music. Anyone with an interest in blues should not miss out on this great weekend. All are invited to attend the free concerts. Meanwhile, local hotels and B&Bs are delighted to put up festival goers for a night or the full weekend so they can enjoy the music without the hassle of getting home afterwards.

Sponsored by Diageo with the support of Cobh Tourism – as well as local businesses – the event will provide over a hundred hours of free music. More than 20 acts will perform in 11 indoor and outdoor venues around the seaside town.

The festival begins on Friday with gigs taking place across Cobh. Over the course of the weekend the times of these vary from day and night in order to cater for attendees of all age groups. This year sees the return of the very popular midnight blues sessions on Friday and Saturday night in The Bellavista Hotel.

On the Saturday afternoon, there will be a family fun afternoon in the Promenade with Cobh based multi-instrumentalist and Voice of Ireland finalist Jamie Stanton – along with other special guests -providing the music. Stanton’s rock and country style – inflected with choral tribal influences – led him to top the Irish iTunes Charts with his debut record Flying Colours. The waterfront location for his gig is the perfect scenic setting for festival goers to take in some open air electric and acoustic blues.

Other performers over the weekend include The All-Star Blues Band, Dr Dec & The Side Effects, Gerry Quigley & The Muddy Blues Trio, Paul Hannon & Freight Train, Sofisikates, Street Talk and Will Killeen. Meanwhile, the aforementioned local hero Stanton will be making more appearances across the three days too with his band Roadkill Revival. He and his group are sure to draw a large crowd as always.

To see the full line-up, gig times and more information about this year’s Cobh Blues ‘n’ Roots Festival, visit the event’s website over at

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