Friday party in the park
Time: Lunchtime ‘til Late
Enjoy our toe-tappin, knee-clappin, finger-pickin’ mini music-marathons on Friday and Saturday. From 2.00pm on Friday you can relax in the Festival Village as mandolins, banjos and fiddles keep the Main Stage alight all afternoon.
Opening the Festival with their high quality and fresh sounding traditional bluegrass standards will be the very talented Allen Family Reunion from London, Ontario who can trace their roots back to Omagh, Co. Tyrone.
They’ll be followed by another talented Family unit The Henrys who are at the forefront of the bluegrass and roots music scene across the island of Ireland featuring in particular the stellar voice of Janet Henry and the Dobro flourishes of husband Colin, long time partners of the Festival. It’s then over to Mike Compton & Joe Newberry, masters of old-time mandolin and banjo and guitar who dig deep into early country music and blues. Mike Compton is a Grammy award winner and IBMA Mandolin Player of the Year nominee and was a sideman for the great John Hartford for several years. Known far and wide for his banjo playing, Joe Newberry is also a prizewinning guitarist, songwriter and singer.
Next on the bill will be Fellow Pynins who will have your spine tingling with their spellbinding harmonies and musicianship. Wielding clawhammer banjo, bouzouki, mandolin and guitar their whimsically woven folk tales and songs tell stories of old, dreams of death and entering the chasm of the human experience.
Our own Geordie McAdam will then take to the Main Stage to mark his 27th year on the bill with some fantastic old time fiddle music, wit, charm and humour sure to bring a smile to your face and get you dancing along.
As dusk falls on Friday the Demolition String Band will be pickin’ and singing old-school around a single microphone, juggling banjo, mandolin and guitars while weaving rustic, taut harmony vocals with tall tales and truth, joy and heartbreak, despair and redemption.
Up next will be Old Salt Collective who pull their influences from the streets of New Orleans up through Appalachia to the folk revival of the North Eastern States and jumps the pond to the many sounds from old Europe where the band currently resides in Ghent, Belgium.
Friday night will finish off with English super group Old Baby Mackerel playing bluegrass music that makes you “yee-haw” harder than a nine pound hammer. Good, old-fashioned songs about whisky, murder and railroads played at 500 bpm. Expect furiously fast, knee-slapping bluegrass, mixing skilful musicianship, five-part harmonies and raucous, over-the-top hillbilly antics. That’s all on the first day and night!