October Nights are coming to Ballina Arts Centre… see who’s performing!
The adventurous October Nights music festival returns this October bank holiday week-end (28th & 29th) to the Ballina Arts Centre, with an intoxicating mix of folk, alternative pop, hip-hop, traditional, post-punk and more.
While October Nights ‘22 had a distinctly Mayo flavour, this year the festival, supported by Ballina 2023 has looked far and wide to bring the most adventurous line-up to Mayo since Other Voices.
Curator, Ronan Quinn explains the ethos behind the festival: “Audiences really loved the contrasting styles and genres at October Nights 2022. In selecting the acts this year, I really wanted to capture that unique festival experience, where you see something totally different, as you go from stage-to-stage. We just put the focus on introducing audiences to some of the best and most interesting artists in Ireland, regardless of genre. Similar to Body & Soul, All Together Now or Other Voices. Some names will be unfamiliar to people but the October Nights website has lots of info to inform people.”
The opening night sees US born multi-instrumentalist Peter Broderick headline. Broderick was a member of both Tim Burgess’ touring band (The Charlatans) and Danish band Efterklang in the past. He’s also an acclaimed performer in his own right. His most recent work is a tribute to the legendary composer, singer and cellist, Arthur Russell. Broderick’s most well-known piece is ‘Eyes Closed and Travelling’ has over 28 million plays on Spotify.
Quinn says: “Such was the reaction to the performance of Swinford harpist Alannah Thornburgh at October Nights in 2022, it was a no-brainer to ask her back this year to also perform on the Saturday”.
Siobhan Long from the Irish Times has waxed lyrical about Alannah and her version of The Front, written by the sadly deceased Mayo composer Conor Walsh. Thornburgh’s soon-to-be released debut solo album, entitled ‘Away with the Fairies’, features all original compositions inspired by stories of fairy folklore and mythology in Mayo. The album, recorded in Foxford, will feature a guest appearance by Laura Quirke from Lemoncello.
Alternative pop crooner Laurie Shaw completes the line-up on the Saturday night. He’ll exclusively perform songs from his new Ballina-inspired album ‘Neck of the Woods’. The eight track album was written by Shaw during a week-long residency in Ballina during Ballina Salmon Festival in July. The album was part-funded by a Ballina 2023 Community Event fund grant and a number of individual donors.
Following the amazing performance of Sweetlemondae on Culture Night in Ballina, Sunday night sees another Irish female rapper top the bill. Celaviedmai, performing for the first time in Mayo, has had an incredible twelve months including performances at Longitude, Body & Soul, Electric Picnic and support from GAYTIMES. She has just released her new single ‘Cool Ya Temper’.
Síomha, a singer and guitarist from Co Clare, will charm fans with her sumptuous voice and a guitar style inspired by world travels. She’s fresh from performing at the Croi stage at the Electric Picnic and the world famous Cambridge Folk Festival.
If you’re getting too comfortable in those plush red arts centre seats, there’s always Ballina’s own hardcore heroes YOP to dish out the life-affirming angst. Fronted by Conor Hickey and Peter ‘Sid’ Murphy, YOP have drawn comparisons to Joy Division and Nine Inch Nails among others. They’ve also recently performed at Electric Picnic.
Quinn says: “We’ve cherry-picked from Irelands’ best festival stages and brought all them under one roof, on one stage, over two nights. We hope it all adds up to a unique festival experience where audiences embrace the ‘sense of surprise’ and the thrill of hearing new music and artists. It’s a bank holiday weekend festival with great rewards for adventurous, Other Voices-type audiences“.
For info & ticket links, visit www.octobernights.ie.