Shannonside Winter Fest 2015

The 16th Shannonside Winter Music Festival from the 15th -19th Jan. will attract over 5,000 visitors to the villages of Sixmilebridge and Bunratty.

Why not, park your car and avail of the shuttle bus between all venues. With over 70 varied musical events in 15 diverse venues from intimate cosy pubs to the world famous Bunratty Castle itself, you can be assured there’s something for everyone.

Once again, Brendan Walsh, the Festival Director draws on the trad. influences of Sixmilebridge folk club, the Bluegrass expertise of John Nyhan and his own ability to recognise class acts to create what has become a Mecca for music lovers both young and old.

This year’s festival features a strong bluegrass line up with, Special Consensus (USA), Niall Toner Band, Down & Outs and newcomers Jig Jam. Niall Toner Band and Jog Jam will feature as part of the daylong activities on Saturday which features a music trail of 22 concerts in Bunratty Folk Park. Sunday will feature the Bluegrass Concert at 3.00pm in the Bunratty Castle Hotel with Special Consensus and the Down and Outs. Stay overnight on Sunday and jam away with these bands under the direction of John Nyhan at his acoustic roots session at 10.00pm

New to the festival are The Cintron Brothers US playing Flamenco, Blues from Kris Dollimore, Classical with the Athenry Youth Orchestra, Country/Blues band Cool Hand Dukes, strong vocals with The Acafellas, The London Dixieland Jazz Band along with UK artistes Cross Harbour Band and piper Simon Doyle. Definitely a combination to keep this gem of a festival as exciting as ever. The Boat Band (Cajun) and Golden Star Morris Dancers alsomake a welcome return. 

The Saturday Festival concert in the Mill Bar Sixmilebridge features the Blues Train with Horslips Johnny Fean along with support and the acoustic concert in Bunratty Castle Hotel features Donal Murphy of Three Men & A Dog fame. Johnny Reidy belts out the rhythm for sets on Sunday afternoon, while Song and Poetry lovers will be spoiled for choice with acts from near and far. On Sunday Sixmilebridge is the heart of the festival with its “Fleadh” style events and free admission to all venues. Local Singer/songwriter Lou McMahon plays with her full band at 6.00pm at the grand finale concert in the Mill. Over 100 musicians from all over the world will converge on Sixmilebridge and Bunratty making this a truly international event. Checkout the facebook page or

Banjo Festival A Success

The Banjo Festival was a roaring success here in Bunratty recently and it was enjoyed by many. With various banjo gigs on throughout the weekend, festival goers hadn't far to walk before hearing top class music. A fantastic atmosphere was created across the village with huge anticipation of the coming Winter fest already generated. All of fantastic musicians enjoyed the weekend immensely and a huge thanks is owed to them too. Most notably, a lot of 'newbies' to bluegrass and the banjo left Bunratty very impressed with what they had saw and heard. One festival go had plenty to say on what a great weekend it was;

"We were treated to some hard driven Bluegrass from Jig Jam, a young trio from Tullamore in the style of the Punch Brothers, through to the bluegrass and folk ballads of Banjaxed Bluegrass Band and also the dulcet tones of the Bog Standard String Band's oldtimey music sessions. We also had some excellent tight bluegrass music and harmonies from the father and son team from Cork Pat and Ricky Kelleher.
"And that was just the Irish bands. We also had two performances from the Moron Brothers from Kentucky, two excellent musicians who between very amusing anecdotes and sharp one liners gave us their interpretation of some Bill Munroe and Doc Watson classics as well as a lot more.
"There was also some very enjoyable Bluegrass & Roots jamming sessions every evening led by John Nyhan and his friends from Cork with Liam Wright of Woodbine fame joining in on the Saturday and Sunday evening sessions"

See below a sample of the festival through photos. The countdown to next years festival is already on!


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