Cobh Guinness Blues ‘n’ Roots Festival

Every year in September, the beautiful tourist town of Cobh in County Cork hosts a gathering of International, National and Local Blues musicians for the annual Guinness Cobh Blues ‘n’ Roots Festival to bring Blues alive in Cobh for the weekend. With concerts and performances both outdoor and indoor, including many of the town’s venues, pubs and hotels, Cobh Guinness Blues Festival was founded by publican Paul O’Halloran in September 2007. Now in its 11th year, Cobh Blues Festival has this year broadened the musical genre to include the all-encompassing “Roots” and takes place on the 22nd, 23rd and 24th of September. Each year it has grown from strength to strength and this year will be no different.

The festival is 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 with over 20 acts performing in 11 indoor and outdoor venues around the seaside town. Venues include local pubs, clubs and hotels as well as the bandstand in the Promenade situated on the waterfront making for the perfect setting for some open air electric and acoustic blues. On Saturday the 23rd September at 2:30pm there will be a family fun afternoon in the Promenade with the Cobh Blues Club providing the music along with some invited guests.

The festival was originally designed to bring some life into the town at a traditionally quieter time of the year but has grown in popularity so much that it is now one of the town’s musical highlights and brings in returning groups of visitors and performers each year to experience some top quality music. Anyone with an interest in blues music should not miss out on this great weekend of fun. All are invited to attend the free concerts and local Hotels and B&B’s would be delighted to put you up for a night or the full weekend so you can enjoy the music without the hassle of getting home afterwards.

The Festival begins on Friday with gigs taking place right across the town. Over the course of the weekend the times of these vary from day and night to cater for all age groups and this year sees the return of the very popular midnight blues sessions on Friday and Saturday night in The Bellavista Hotel where the Saturday night performance begins at 11:30pm and there is also a great gig lined up for the Friday night.

Other performances over the weekend include Street Talk, Gerry Quigley & Shinkickers, Sugar Mountain and from the Perth Blues Club Gerard Maunick and Tina Simone. Local hero and “The Voice of Ireland” finalist, Jamie Stanton with his band Road Kill Revival will be making appearances across the weekend too and is sure to draw a large crowd as always.

The Cobh Blues Club will be the backbone of the festival with several performances from festival regulars Dr. Dec & The Side Effects, Karl & Sean Long and Paul Hannon and Freight Train to name but a few.

For more information on the Cobh Blues festival check out and like the festival on Facebook ( for updated information on all gigs across the weekend and watch out for announcements of new acts being added to the festival line up.


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