26 February 2006

Calendar 2017-18

The calendar is frequently updated, and past events are transferred to the separate calendar archive post. All events in the Irish bluegrass festival season for which we have dates can be found below. Some items of country music news, prepared by the Country Music Association of Ireland, can be seen here.

A few important and/or accessible events outside Ireland are also listed. For a fuller listing of events in the UK, see the calendar pages on the BBMA website and FOAOTMAD website. A select list of festivals in Europe is on the EBMA website.

Bands and event/venue organisers: if your session or event is not shown here, contact the editor. Punters: please note that tour schedules often have to be changed, so before you go to a show, please check that the date and place are still the same as when you first noted it down.

Regular fortnightly or monthly events are shown on the main calendar at the appropriate dates. To avoid overloading the calendar, here is a list of gigs and sessions held EVERY WEEK:

Monday: Lee Valley String Band, Corner House, Coburg St., Cork city
Blue Light Smugglers, The Blue Light, Barnacullia Rd, Dublin 18

Tuesday: Dublin Bluegrass circle jam session, Sin E Bar, Ormond Quay, Dublin, 8.00 p.m. to closing time

Wednesday: The McGrane Family & friends, The Old Punch Bowl, Booterstown, Co. Dublin, 9.30 p.m. to closing time
Bluegrass & old-time gig/session (Broken Strings band), Balloo House, Killinchy, Co. Down, 9.00 p.m.; 'phone 028 9754 1210
The Sundown Sessions, The Raven Bar, 100 South Main St, Cork city: Rattlesnake County (broad mix of bluegrass, country, folk, Americana), from 9.30 p.m., open to all

Thursday: Tin Box Company bluegrass gig at Delaney's (Knocklyon Inn), Knocklyon, Dublin, 9.00 p.m. Contact Martin Kavanagh (087-2504505)
Knotty Pine String Band, Sally O’Brien's, John St., Omagh, Co. Tyrone, 10.00 p.m.; all players welcome, adm. free
Sacred Harp singing session, Unitarian Church, Princes St., Cork city, 7.00-9.00 p.m.; all welcome

Friday: Bluegrass session [may contain Irish music!], Cryan's Bar, Bridge St., Carrick-on-Shannon, Co. Leitrim, after 9.00 p.m.
Watery Hill Boys, Carberry's, North Strand, Drogheda, Co. Louth
Sacred Harp singing session, Franciscan Friary, Cook St., Dublin 8 ; 7.00-9.00 p.m.; admission free, all welcome
Ox Mountain Session (old-time), Tricky McGarrigle's, O'Connell St., Sligo, 5.30-8.00 p.m.

Saturday: Old-time music session: Bill Whelan, Ben Keogh, & friends, The Cobblestone, Smithfield, Dublin, 4.30-7.00 p.m. (established for many years!)
'Bluegrass and Beyond' session, Ellie May's, Dunadry, Co. Antrim, 3.00-6.00 p.m.

Sunday: Well Enough Alone, Kilkenny Shop restaurant, Nassau St., Dublin 2, 2.15-4.15 p.m.
Lee Valley String Band, Corner House, Coburg St., Cork city, 7.30/8.00 p.m. onwards


If you first heard about an event from the Bluegrass Ireland Blog, we'll appreciate it if you tell the organisers that.


SEPTEMBER 2017

Fri. 15th-Sun. 17th: 14th Cornish Bluegrass Festival, Hendra Holiday Park, Newquay, Cornwall

Sat. 16th: Two Time Polka, Ronnie's, Dunfanaghy, Co. Donegal. Start 9.00 p.m., adm. free; 074 9136101 (part of Dunfanaghy Jazz & Blues Festival)

Sun. 17th: Two Time Polka, Arnold's Hotel, Dunfanaghy, Co. Donegal. 2.00-4.00 p.m., adm. free; 074 9136208 (part of Dunfanaghy Jazz & Blues Festival

Tues. 19th: Laura Cortese (USA), De Barra's Folk Club, Clonakilty, Co. Cork (part of Clonakilty Guitar Festival)

Thurs. 21st: I Draw Slow, St Kevin's Church of Ireland, Hollywood, Co. Wicklow, 8.00 p.m., €20.00 (part of Music under the Mountains 2017)

Fri. 22nd: Rackhouse Pilfer launch new album Solar/Lunar, Sixth on Teeling, Sligo town; doors open 9.00 p.m., €11

Sat. 23rd: The Henry Girls, Theatre Royal, Waterford city< Two Time Polka, O'Mara's Bar, Kilkee, Co. Clare; 10.30 p.m., adm. free; 065 9056286 (part of Che do Bheatha Festival)

Fri. 22nd-Sun. 24th: 9th Moniaive Michaelmas Bluegrass Festival, Moniaive, Scotland: Ballinger Family Band with Matt Flinner (USA), The Horsenecks (USA/ England), Dapper McDans (Scotland), The Reckless Abandoners (England), Hot Rock Pilgrims (England), François Vola Trio (France), Legs Levens Appalachian Clog Dancers (Cumbria), Wayward Jane (Scotland)

Sun. 24th: The Henry Girls, Ballymaloe Grainstore, Co. Cork

Tues. 26th-Sat. 30th: IBMA World of Bluegrass, Raleigh, NC

Wed. 27th: 90th anniversary of the birth of Burkett Howard 'Buck'/'Josh' Graves

Thurs. 28th: The Cabin Sessions, Uncle Tom's Cabin, Dundrum, Dublin 14: the Cabin Crew with special guests Kate Dineen, Joyce Murphy, and Ruth Egan (contemporary folk), 9.30 p.m.; adm. free

Thurs. 28th: Mala & Fyrmoon (CH), Sunflower Folk Club, Belfast

Fri. 29th: Two Time Polka, The Empire Bar, 42 Botanic Ave., Belfast, Co. Antrim; 10.30 p.m., adm. free
Old Hannah, Hard Working Class Heroes Festival, Tara Building, Tara St, Dublin 2
Mala & Fyrmoon (CH), The Cobblestone, Dublin, with CUA

Sat. 30th: Fifth Italian Bluegrass Meeting, Acoustic Guitar Village, Cremona, Italy
Pilgrim St, Droichead Arts Centre, Drogheda, Co. Louth, 8.00 p.m.,€15
Two Time Polka, upstairs in Oliver Plunkett Bar, Cork city; 11.30 p.m., adm. free; 021 4222779 (part of Cork Folk Festival)
Mala & Fyrmoon (CH), Tech Amergin, Waterville, Co. Kerry


OCTOBER 2017

Mon. 2nd: Mala & Fyrmoon (CH), Crane Lane, Cork city

Tues. 3rd: Belfast Bluegrass monthly session, upstairs at Errigle Inn, 312-320 Ormeau Rd, Belfast, from 9.00 p.m.; all welcome

Wed. 4th: Pine Marten, Kaleidoscope Night, Bello Bar, Dublin
Mala & Fyrmoon (CH), St John's Theatre, Listowel, Co. Kerry

Thurs. 5th-Sat. 7th: The Whileaways (northern tour with Moving on Music; details TBA)

Fri. 6th: Mala & Fyrmoon (CH), Moy River Folk Club, Cloonacool, Co. Sligo

Fri. 6th-Sun. 8th: Tennessee Fall Homecoming, Museum of Appalachia, Clinton, TN

Sat. 7th: Bluegrass session led by Mel Corry and Sean McKerr, Corner House, Lurgan, Co. Armagh, 2.00-6.00 p.m.
Pilgrim St, Headfort Arms Hotel, Kells, Co. Meath, details TBA

Sun. 8th: Clew Bay Critters, An Bhunn Abhain, Bridge St., Clooncarrabaun, Louisburgh, Co. Mayo
Pine Marten, Harbour Bar, Bray, Co. Wicklow

Thurs. 12th: Marty Stuart and his Fabulous Superlatives, Olympia Theatre, Dublin 2

Fri. 13th: Red Hat Acoustic Music Club, Harbour Hotel, Naas, Co. Kildare, from 8.30 p.m.
Knotty Pine String Band with the Drunken Lullabies, Strule Arts Centre, Omagh, Co. Tyrone; 8.00 p.m., £15.00
'Bill Monroe, the Father of Bluegrass Music: his life and music' - presentation by John Nyhan to the monthly Country Music Circle, City Library, Grand Parade, Cork, 11.00 a.m.

Sat. 14th: The Whileaways, Dingle Folk Festival, Co. Kerry

Sat. 14th-Sun. 15th: Irish Steel Guitar Festival, Green Isle Hotel, Naas Road, Dublin

Thurs. 19th: Slocan Ramblers (CAN), Crusoe’s, Castlerock, Co. Londonderry

Fri. 20th: Slocan Ramblers (CAN), Seamus Ennis Arts Centre, Naul, Co. Dublin
Munich String Band (D), The Village Pump, Rathangan, Co. Kildare

Fri. 20th-Sun. 22nd: Bunratty Bluegrass Festival, Bunratty, Co. Clare: Slocan Ramblers (CAN; Sat.), Malina Brothers (CZ), Munich String Band (D). Propane Brothers (UK), Roger Green (USA), Brennen Leigh and Noel McKay (USA), Kevin & Neil Garratt (UK), John Nyhan, Leo Hayes, Bill Forster;
Fri., Sat. and Sun. concerts €15 each; combined tickets (all three nights) €30, book at 0868464509

Sat. 21st: Slocan Ramblers (CAN), Bunratty, Co. Clare
Tom Chapin (USA), Unitarian Church, St Stephen’s Green, Dublin 2: family show 3.00 p.m., grown-up show 8.00 p.m.; tickets

Sun. 22nd: Slocan Ramblers (CAN), Duncairn Centre for Culture & Arts, Belfast; doors 7.30 p.m., £13/£10

Mon. 23rd: Brennen Leigh and Noel McKay (USA), The Stormy Teacup, Limerick city: doors open 8.00 p.m., support act 8.20, Brennen & Noel on stage 9.00 p.m., €7

Tues. 24th: Slocan Ramblers (CAN), Red Room, Cookstown, Co. Tyrone
Munich String Band (D), Crane Lane Theatre, Cork city (midnight gig, free admission)
Brennen Leigh and Noel McKay (USA), Finn's Pub, Borrisoleigh, Co. Tipperary, 9.00 p.m.
Funeral of Tom Paley at Golders Green crematorium, north London, 3.00 p.m., followed by session at Cecil Sharp House (5.00-8.00 p.m.)

Wed. 25th: Slocan Ramblers (CAN), Balor Arts Centre, Ballybofey, Co. Donegal
Munich String Band (D), Old Schoolhouse, Clashmore, Co. Waterford
Brennen Leigh and Noel McKay (USA), Thomas Connolly Bar, Sligo town, 9.30 p.m.

Thurs. 26th: Slocan Ramblers (CAN), Raheen House Hotel, Clonmel, Co. Tipperary (Clonmel World Music)
Munich String Band (D), Kilmacthomas, Co. Waterford, details TBA
The Cabin Sessions, Uncle Tom's Cabin, Dundrum, Dublin 14: the Cabin Crew with special guests George Kaye and Gerry Madigan, 9.30 p.m.; adm. free
Brennen Leigh and Noel McKay (USA), Bridge St., Castlebar, Co. Mayo, 7.00 p.m.

Fri. 27th: Slocan Ramblers (CAN), Sligo Live (Hawk's Well Theatre), Sligo town
Brennen Leigh and Noel McKay (USA), Leafy Greens Cafe, James St., Westport, Co. Mayo, 8.30 p.m. (ticketed event with very small capacity; more info at the venue)
Two Time Polka, Hamlets Bar, Blue Haven, Pearse St., Kinsale, Co. Cork, 6.00 p.m. Adm. free. Tel. 021 4772209

Fri. 27th-Mon. 30th: Balla Bluegrass Festival, Mannion's and The Olde Woods, Balla, Co. Mayo: Munich String Band (D), Brennen Leigh & Noel McKay (USA), Woodbine, Colonel Bullshot Rides Again, more TBA

Sat. 28th: Slocan Ramblers (CAN), High Tide Club, Castletownbere, Co. Cork
George Kaye and Gerry Madigan, Seamus Ennis Arts Centre, Naul, Co. Dublin; doors 8.00 p.m., sh0w 8.30; €16/€13 (in advance), €18/€15 (at door)
Wookalily, Tap Room, The Donard, Newcastle, Co. Down
Two Time Polka, Blue Haven, Pearse St., Kinsale, Co. Cork, 4.00 p.m. Adm. free. Tel. 021 4772209

Sun. 29th: Slocan Ramblers (CAN), The Sky and the Ground, Wexford town
The Henry Girls, Achill Harp Festival, Co. Mayo
Brennen Leigh and Noel McKay (USA), Campbell's Tavern, Headford, Co. Galway, 4.30 p.m.
Two Time Polka, Blue Haven, Pearse St., Kinsale, Co. Cork, 4.30 p.m. Adm. free. Tel. 021 4772209; Briar Rose Bar, Douglas Rd, Cork, 10 p.m. Adm. free. Tel. 021 4291686.

Mon. 30th: Two Time Polka, Briar Rose Bar, Douglas Rd, Cork, 6.00 p.m. Adm. free. Tel. 021 429168


NOVEMBER 2017

Sat. 4th: Bluegrass session led by Mel Corry and Sean McKerr, Corner House, Lurgan, Co. Armagh, 2.00-6.00 p.m.
George Kaye and Gerry Madigan, Rockies GAA Club, Blackrock, Cork
Michael Miles (USA), concert, Paddy Burke's, Clarinbridge, Co. Galway; doors open 8.15 p.m., support by Brian McGrath (tenor banjo)

Sun. 5th: George Kaye and Gerry Madigan, DC Music Club, 20 Camden Row, Dublin 2

Mon. 6th: George Kaye and Gerry Madigan, Village Arts Centre, Kilworth, Co. Cork
Michael Miles (USA), concert, details TBA

Tues. 7th: Belfast Bluegrass monthly session, upstairs at Errigle Inn, 312-320 Ormeau Rd, Belfast, from 9.00 p.m.; all welcome

Wed. 8th: Michael Miles (USA), 'From Senegal to Seeger', Athy Community Arts Centre, Co. Kildare

Fri. 10th: Red Hat Acoustic Music Club, Harbour Hotel, Naas, Co. Kildare, from 8.30 p.m.

Sat. 11th: The Henry Girls, Allingham Arts Festival, Ballyshannon, Co. Donegal
Michael Miles (USA), Al Ras Bluegrass & Old-Time Festival, Barcelona

Sun. 12th: Clew Bay Critters, An Bhunn Abhain, Bridge St., Clooncarrabaun, Louisburgh, Co. Mayo

Mon. 13th: The Paperboys (CAN), Black Box, 18-22 Hill St., Belfast; (028) 90 24 44 00

Tues. 14th: The Paperboys (CAN), Bronte Music Club, Rathfriland, Co. Down

Wed. 15th: The Paperboys (CAN), Raheen House Hotel, 10 Raheen Rd, Clonmel, Co. Tipperary (Clonmel World Music); 052 6122140

Tues. 21st-Sat. 16th Dec.: 9th Bluegrass Jamboree: festival of bluegrass & Americana music, 24 venues in Germany and Austria (Facebook)

Sat. 25th: Rhiannon Giddens (USA), Vicar Street, 59 Thomas St., Dublin
Molsky's Mountain Drifters (USA), Leap Castle, Co. Offaly (near Roscrea, Co. Tipperary), 9.00 p.m.

Sun. 26th: Molsky's Mountain Drifters (USA), Coughlan's, 7 Douglas St., Cork city, 9.00 p.m.

Mon. 27th: Molsky's Mountain Drifters (USA), St John's Theatre, Listowel, Co. Kerry, 8.00 p.m.

Thurs. 30th: The Cabin Sessions, Uncle Tom's Cabin, Dundrum, Dublin 14: the Cabin Crew with special guests, 9.30 p.m.; adm. free
I Draw Slow, the Cinema, Main St., Naas, Co. Kildare (in aid of Naas Food Bank)

DECEMBER 2017

Sat. 2nd: Bluegrass session led by Mel Corry and Sean McKerr, Corner House, Lurgan, Co. Armagh, 2.00-6.00 p.m.
Niall Toner presents a new series of 'Roots Freeway' on RTE 1, 11.00 p.m.

Tues. 5th: Belfast Bluegrass monthly session, upstairs at Errigle Inn, 312-320 Ormeau Rd, Belfast, from 9.00 p.m.; all welcome

Fri. 8th: Red Hat Acoustic Music Club, Harbour Hotel, Naas, Co. Kildare, from 8.30 p.m. (CANCELLED because of weather conditions)

Sun. 10th: Clew Bay Critters, An Bhunn Abhain, Bridge St., Clooncarrabaun, Louisburgh, Co. Mayo
Wookalily, Tap Room, The Donard, Newcastle, Co. Down


JANUARY 2018

Thurs. 18th-Mon. 22nd: 19th Shannonside Winter Music Festival, details TBA (Facebook)

Thurs. 18th-Sun. 4th Feb.: Celtic Connections, Glasgow, Scotland

Sun. 21st: Greg Blake Bluegrass Band (USA), Ó Gliasáin's Concert Room (new venue), Sixmilebridge, 3.00 p.m.

Mon. 22nd: Greg Blake Bluegrass Band (USA), Village Arts Centre, Kilworth, Co. Cork, 8.15 p.m.
Tues. 23rd: Greg Blake Bluegrass Band (USA), Village Arts Centre, Kilworth, Co. Cork, 8.15 p.m.; tel. 087 792 1771

Thurs. 25th: Greg Blake Bluegrass Band (USA), Rossmore Theatre, Rossmore, Clonakilty, Co. Cork, 8.00 p.m.; tel. 086 448 1086

Fri. 26th: Greg Blake Bluegrass Band (USA), Glen Theatre, Banteer, Co. Cork, 8.30 p.m.; tel. 029 56239

Sat. 27th: Greg Blake Bluegrass Band (USA), St Matthias Church, Church Rd, Ballydehob, Co. Cork, 8.00 p.m.: part of a celebration, 'Heart & Home: a celebration of Old Times, Good Times & Bluegrass', 26-28 Jan. Also performing: Propane Brothers, Hubert Murray Bluegrass Band. Tel. 086 837 0518; e-mail

Sun. 28th: Greg Blake Bluegrass Band (USA), Old Schoolhouse, Clashmore, Co. Waterford, 8.00 p.m.; tel. 087 414 8651

Tues. 30th: Greg Blake Bluegrass Band (USA), Clonmel Folk Club, Town Hall, Parnell St., Clonmel, Co. Tipperary, 8.00 p.m.; tel. 085 850 2289

Wed. 31st: Greg Blake Bluegrass Band (USA), St John's Theatre, Listowel, Co. Kerry, 8.00 p.m.; tel. 068 22566


FEBRUARY 2018

Thurs. 1st: Greg Blake Bluegrass Band (USA), Mannion's Pub, Balla, Co. Mayo, 9.00 p.m.; tel. 087 229 6018

Fri. 2nd: Greg Blake Bluegrass Band (USA), Red Room, Cookstown, Co. Tyrone, 8.30 p.m.; tel. 0044 7736 837779

Sat. 3rd: Greg Blake Bluegrass Band (USA), Nesbitt Arms, Ardara, Co. Donegal, 8.30 p.m.; tel. 087 690 0714

Sun. 4th: Greg Blake Bluegrass Band (USA), Finn's Ale House, Borrisoleigh, Co. Tipperary, 8.00 p.m.; tel. 087 977 8347

Thurs. 8th-Sun. 11th: FOAOTMAD old-time music festival, Gainsborough, Lincolnshire, England (tickets only available to FOAOTMAD members till 1 Jan. 2018)

Fri. 16th-Sun. 18th: First Annual Irish Old Time Appalachian Music Gathering, Roadside Tavern, Lisdoonvarna, Co. Clare (Facebook)

Wed. 28th: Chris Jones & the Night Drivers (USA), Cookstown, Co. Tyrone

MARCH 2018

Thurs. 1st: Chris Jones & the Night Drivers (USA), Westport, Co. Mayo

Fri. 2nd: Chris Jones & the Night Drivers (USA), Armagh city

Sat. 3rd: Chris Jones & the Night Drivers (USA), Naul, Co. Dublin

Sun. 4th: Chris Jones & the Night Drivers (USA), Banteer, Co. Cork

Mon. 5th: Chris Jones & the Night Drivers (USA), Kilworth, Co. Cork

Tues. 6th: Chris Jones & the Night Drivers (USA), Sixmilebridge, Co. Clare

Wed. 7th: Chris Jones & the Night Drivers (USA), Belfast

Thurs. 8th: Chris Jones & the Night Drivers (USA), Dun Laoghaire, Co. Dublin

Fri. 9th: Chris Jones & the Night Drivers (USA), Carrig-on-Bannow, Co. Wexford

Sat. 10th: Chris Jones & the Night Drivers (USA), Roscrea, Co. Tipperary

Wed. 28th-Sun. 1 Apr.: The Lowest Pair (USA) available for bookings in Ireland


APRIL 2018

Thurs. 26th-Sun. 29th: 31st MerleFest, Wilkesboro, NC


MAY 2018

Thurs. 10th-Sat. 12th: 'Son of EWOB' - a continuation of the European World of Bluegrass Festival tradition at Voorthuizen, NL

Fri. 11th-Sat. 12th: 16th International Bühl Bluegrass Festival, Bühl/Baden, Germany

Tues. 15th: Woody Blues (USA), the Red Room, Cookstown, Co. Tyrone

Wed. 16th: Woody Blues (USA), Crusoe’s, Castlerock, Co. Londonderry

Thurs. 17th: Woody Blues (USA), Raheen House Hotel, Clonmel, Co. Tipperary (Clonmel World Music)

Fri. 18th: Woody Blues (USA), Courthouse Arts Centre, Tinahely, Co. Wicklow

Fri. 18th-Sun. 20th: 'Albion to Appalachia' residential weekend commemorating Cecil Sharp & Maud Karpeles song-collecting in Appalachia, 1918; Halsway Manor, Somerset, England

Sat. 19th: Woody Blues (USA), Seamus Ennis Arts Centre, Naul, Co. Dublin

Sat. 19th-Sat. 26th: Old Time Music Week, La Fuente, Andalusia, southern Spain


JUNE 2018

Fri. 8th-Sun. 10th: Westport Folk and Bluegrass Festival, Westport, Co. Mayo; details TBA


JULY 2018

Fri. 13th-Sat. 14th: Woodbine Bluegrass Jamboree, Athy, Co. Kildare; details TBA

Fri. 27th-Sat. 28th: International Beer & Bluegrass Festival, Poole, Dorset, England


AUGUST 2018

Thurs. 23rd-Sun. 26th: 24th Dunmore East Bluegrass Festival, Dunmore East, Co. Waterford: Amanda Anne Platt & the Honeycutters (USA), other acts TBA


SEPTEMBER 2018

Fri. 7th-Sun. 9th: Sweet Sunny South Old Time American Music Festival, Music at the Buildings, Ashington, West Sussex, England

Tues. 25th-Sat. 29th: IBMA World of Bluegrass, Raleigh, NC

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