The late great Rory Gallagher
Thousands of Blues Rock music fans are set to descend on Ballyshannon, Co. Donegal this week, for what will be one of the biggest International music Festivals in Ireland this Bank Holiday weekend.
After the Covid break, the South Donegal Town will welcome visitors from all over the world, all to celebrate one genius musician, the Late, Great Rory Gallagher. It’s 74 years since the Blues Legend was born at the appropriately named Rock Hospital in Ballyshannon, with this the 18th staging of the 4 day event. The Rory Gallagher International Tribute Festival attracts visitors from around the globe with organisers confirming this week that tickets for the Festival Big Top Concerts have sold in some 24 countries.
The Festival boasts 30 acts on 15 stages over 4 days, commencing this Thursday 2nd June and continuing to the late hours of Sunday night 5th June.
The stellar line-up of 30 Blues Rock Acts includes Rory Gallagher’s band members with “Band of Friends” featuring Gerry McAvoy and Brendan O’Neill, Top American Blues performer Eric Gales & His Band, the legendary Bernie Marsden from “Whitesnake”, the great American Blues Rock Guitarist – Walter Trout & His Band, the Belfast female Rocking duo “Dea Matrona”, the Mama’s Boy’s legend - Pat McManus & His Band, Festival favourites “Johnny Gallagher & the Boxtie Band”, Cork Blues outfit “Crow Black Chicken”and Sligo virtuoso Seamie O’Dowd & His Band. In all there are 30 Acts on 15 Stages over 4 days, with the Wild Atlantic sessions at the fabulous Rory Gallagher Statue, pub sessions, outdoor street gigs, busking, Festival Camping and the nightly Big Top Concerts.
Donal Gallagher, brother of the Late Rory Gallagher said: “it’s a fantastic tribute to Rory, he would be so proud with this wonderful gathering of not alone his followers that witnessed him perform many times, but there is a generation of new fans, young artists, young performers that are keeping Rory’s legacy alive. It’s over 70 years since Rory entered the world at the Rock Hospital in Ballyshannon, he would be very shocked but honoured to witness this Festival in his honour”.
Organisers are expecting over 7,000 Blues Rock fans to converge on Ballyshannon for the event with an impressive packed programme, there is even a gig in the grounds of the Rock Hospital where Rory was born back in 1948.
Ciara Sugrue, Head of Festivals at Fáilte Ireland said: “Fáilte Ireland is pleased to support this year’s The Rory Gallagher Festival as it returns to Ballyshannon, Co. Donegal. Music Festivals such as this are a brilliant opportunity for visitors to experience what Ireland’s arts, heritage and culture have to offer as well as the best of Donegal and The Wild Atlantic Way. Festivals and Events are a key component of Ireland’s tourism offering and they provide unique and compelling reasons for a visitor to choose a destination. They also have the ability to drive footfall for local businesses, supporting jobs and revenue generation. Festivals such as The Rory Gallagher Festival plays an important role in the recovery of the tourism sector for Ballyshannon and its surrounding areas.”
This is an event that needs to be experienced - the continuous gigs from morning til late, the winding streets and the relaxed atmosphere coupled with a fantastic line-up of Blues Rock, Rock and Classic Rock, Blues and Acoustic Guitar performers, gives the Festival follower everything they would expect and more.
Blues Legend Walter Trout speaking ahead of the Festival said: “I am thrilled and honoured to be performing at Rory’s Festival in Ballyshannon. We are really excited. Rory was one of the all-time greats and he inspired many to follow, we are so excited to be returning to Ireland”.
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