The Cork Folk Festival

The Cork Folk Festival returns once again, with an exciting programme of concerts, acoustic sessions, workshops, children’s events and more coming to Cork city from Thursday 28 September to Sunday 1 October.

The first Cork Folk Festival was held 38 years ago over the weekend of 13th-16th September in 1979. The festival was modelled on the Lisdoonvarna and Ballyshannon Folk Festivals, which included the best of Irish traditional musicians playing alongside musicians who play bluegrass, old timey and singer-songwriters. The festival’s aim was to celebrate the musicians and music of Cork and to bring some of Ireland’s finest musicians to the city. It’s a tradition that continues to this very day, with a stellar line-up set to grace the festival this year, with 36 programme events taking place over the four days of the festival and happening right across the city, in concert halls, on the street and in more intimate venues – with many of the shows being offered for free.

The festival kicks off with a very special show on Thursday 28 September at Triskel Christchurch when the legendary Andy Irvine performs accompanied by vocalists Tríona and Maighread Ní Dhomhnaill. Andy has travelled the world as a solo artist and as a member of Irish groups such as Planxty and Patrick Street and more recently Mozaik. Sisters Maighread and Tríona belong to a renowned singing family from the Donegal Gaeltacht. The sound of their solo and combined voices is indescribable and unforgettable.

Another legend performing at the festival is Cork resident and 1960s icon Donovan. He will play at Everyman Palace on Friday 29 September. Audiences can expect to hear a string of international hits, such as “Catch the Wind”, “Colours”, “Universal Soldier”, “Mellow Yellow” “Hurdy Gurdy Man” and “Atlantis”.

On Saturday 30 September at CIT Cork School of Music, a host of musicians will perform for a very special tribute concert in honour of the fiddle player Seamus Creagh. Na Mooneys, Mairéad and Anna Ní Mhaonaigh, Gearóid and Ciarán Ó Maonaigh, Nia Byrne and Manus Lunny, Matt Cranitch and Jackie Daly and many more will pay tribute to the iconic musician.

Electric violin player Joe O’Donnell’s Shkayla comes to Cyprus Avenue on Sunday 1 October. Alongside Joe will be the outstanding instrumentalists Si Hayden (guitar, vocals), Martin Barter (keyboards, vocals), Adrian Litvinoff (bass) and Karen Milne (drums).

The Cork Folk Festival is not just four days of immersion in the finest of traditional Irish music; on Saturday 30 September at CIT Cork School of Music, students of traditional music can avail of the opportunity to take part in Masterclasses given by the best in the field, including Steve Cooney (Guitar), Mary MacNamara (concertina), and Sliabh Luachra Polka & Slide Workshop with Matt Cranitch and Jackie Daly.

Visitors can sample everything from the very best fiddle, accordion, pipes and flute players in Ireland and then come out on the streets of Cork City to enjoy the now popular Food N’ Folk Market with folk trio, Granny’s Attic.

If you love traditional music or don’t know much about it, there’s something for all at the Cork Folk Festival, where fans can rekindle their love for the music and novices will become fans for life.

Tickets: / or through Pro Musica, Oliver Plunkett St., Cork.  

Weekend Ticket €85 now available from

More details  email [email protected]


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