Missed an earlier news item? Visit the news archive.

Festival visitors spend over €800,000 in Bantry

With preparations now well under way for this summer’s festivals in Bantry, it has been revealed that last year the three festivals had a direct economic impact on Bantry and the local area of more than €890,000.

Approximately three thousand visitors descended on Bantry for the West Cork Chamber Music Festival, West Cork Literary Festival and Masters of Tradition last summer. Despite the recession, ticket sales for the three events have risen year on year. More than 10,600 tickets were sold in 2010 and ticket sales for the West Cork Chamber Music Festival increased by 7%.

Sara O’Donovan, Marketing Manager with West Cork Music which organises the three festivals, said ” For those weeks, Bantry becomes one of the major Festival destination towns in Ireland. The town offers back to back festivals featuring world-class chamber music and some of the most celebrated names in literature before festival fever starts all over again in August with the Masters of Tradition.”

Festival visitors descended on Bantry from as far afield as the Middle East and Australia last year and spent more than €800,000 in the town. 26% of the West Cork Chamber Music Festival’s audience come from overseas while 27% travel from outside County Cork.

More than one hundred musicians as well as nearly eighty writers stay in the town while appearing at the festivals and they spend a further €34,000 locally.

For those who can’t make the trip to Bantry, extensive RTÉ lyric broadcasts of concerts from the West Cork Chamber Music Festival mean that 6 million listeners from throughout Europe can tune in.  Music lovers from sixteen European countries including Spain, Poland, Estonia and Sweden listen to these broadcasts which are brought to them through the European Broadcasting Union. A further 330,000 BBC Radio 3 listeners also tune in to get a flavour of what they are missing.

Although still four months away, the West Cork Music office is already busy with preparations for this summer’s trio of festivals. The West Cork Chamber Music Festival takes place from Friday 24 June to Saturday 2 July and the brochure will be available in the coming weeks with general booking opening at the end of April. Amongst the highlights of the 16th festival will be the Bantry debut of the Irish Chamber Orchestra, the return of star violinist Nicola Benedetti, the Norwegian ensemble Barokksolistene with its message that baroque music is just old pop music and leading Irish tenor Robin Tritschler’s performance alongside the celebrated pianist Graham Johnson. More details can be found on

The West Cork Literary Festival follows on immediately from Sunday 3 to Friday 8 July and the programme will be announced in the coming weeks. The programme of workshops is almost finalised and is on the website
Amongst those workshops that are confirmed are Fiction with novelist John Boyne who wrote the acclaimed Boy in the Striped Pyjamas, Memoir with Hugo Hamilton and Crime Writing with Eoin McNamee. Hazel Orme who proved to be such a hit at last year’s editing panel discussion returns to take the Publishing workshop.

For more information, please contact West Cork Music on 027 52788

For Further information:

Sara O’Donovan
PR and Marketing Manager
West Cork Music
027 52788

Permalink - Posted: February 2, 2011 at 5:34 pm