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A three day celebration of music to rival any other at the 4th Annual Ballincollig Winter Music Festival at The White Horse

The 4th Annual Ballincollig Winter Music Festival returns this January, with arguably it’s strongest lineup to date, welcoming Grammy and Mercury Award nominated aritsts to the town for headline concerts Upstairs at The White Horse. This three day celebration of music will rival any festival in the country and will see people travel from near and far to see the talented artists performing from Friday 25th to Sunday 27th January.

A wonderful celebration of Americana will kick start the annual festival on the Friday night, featuring world renowned musicians Dirk Powell, Riley Baugus and Aoife O’Donovan.

Dirk Powell has expanded on the deeply rooted sounds of his Appalachian heritage to become one of the preeminent traditional American musicians of his generation. He has recorded and performed with artists such as Loretta Lynn, Sting, Jack White, Levon Helm, Jewel, T-Bone Burnett, Ralph Stanley, and Linda Ronstadt, amongst others.

Riley Baugus is an American old-time guitarist, banjo player, fiddler, singer and instrument builder from North Carolina. He tours regularly with Dirk Powell and Tim O’Brien. He sang on the soundtrack to the 2003 film Cold Mountain, and has recorded with Robert Plant, Alison Krauss, Willie Nelson, and Martha Scanlan.

Bostonian, Aoife O’Donovan is the lead singer for the progressive bluegrass/ string band, Crooked Still; and a member of the female folk-noir trio, Sometymes Why. Dubbed ‘the newest darling of the Americana set’ by USA Today, her natural talent for songwriting came to the attention of Alison Krauss, who recorded Aoife’s song Lay My Burden Down, which is included on Alison’s album Paper Airplane.

On Saturday 26th January, two of Ireland’s finest contemporary performers unite for a unique double bill. Choice Music Prize nominee, a Mercury Prize nominee and a Shortlist Music Prize nominee Fionn Regan will be joined by Mercury award nominee and Best Irish Female Meteor award winner Gemma Hayes. Fionn has been described as ‘his generation’s Bob Dylan’ by none other than Lucinda Williams, while Gemma Hayes has always cut a determined and unique path, from her stunning alt-rock debut ‘Night On My Side’ to her latest release, the exquisitely introspective ‘Let It Break’.

Two time Grammy nominee Iarla Ó’Lionáird joins forces with guitar virtuoso Steve Cooney to bring the festival to a close on Sunday 27th. Iarla earned his Grammy nominations with the multi million selling Afro Celt Sound System and has received worldwide critical praise as a masterful exponent of Sean Nós singing. Virtuoso guitarist Steve Cooney has played with Chuck Berry, Mark Knopfler, David Gilmour, Sinéad O’Connor and Martin Hayes; and through a distinguishing career, has established himself as a genre bending and utterly unique performer.

Iarla and Steve will be joined by special guests Dermot Byrne and Floriane Blancke. Byrne is a driving force in the internationally acclaimed Altan and has graced the recordings of Stephane Grappelli, Frankie Gavin, Sharon Shannon and Tim O’Brien amongst others. His own eponymous solo recording with greatly lauded critically, but it’s with French harpist Floriane Blancke that he makes an eagerly awaited return to The White Horse.

All headline concerts will take place at the intimate music venue, Upstairs at The White Horse and tickets are available from the bar and online at

While the headline concerts will certainly grab attention of music lovers, the Ballincollig Winter Music Festival also offers a program full to the brim with free music sessions featuring  some of the country’s finest musicians; as well as a late night festival club, music workshops and Community Music Projects.

So banish the winter blues, let the Ballincollig Winter Music Festival lift your spirits and herald the onset of Spring! Download the full festival program and buy tickets online from

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Permalink - Posted: January 17, 2013 at 3:44 pm