• Danny Joyce

Sligo LIVE Festival is Back!

SLIGO LIVE FESTIVAL is delighted to be back for its 16th year, with a series of concerts from 22nd - 30th October 2021. 

This year’s line-up includes LUKA BLOOM, GLEN HANSARD, THE CORONAS, MICK FLANNERY and SON (aka SUSAN O’NEILL), KING KONG COMPANY, DAOIRI FARRELL, THE RAINES, ROISIN O, DANI LARKIN… making SLIGO LIVE the must attend Festival this October Bank Holiday.


The line-up for this year is a cracking one so far..

On Friday, 22nd October 2021 much-loved singer-songwriter, LUKA BLOOM plays the first Sligo Live 2021 concert @ The Hawk’s Well Theatre.  


He will be joined by Special Guests THE RAINES. “In a career spanning 45 years, ‘Out of the Blue’ is Luka Bloom’s first instrumental album. ‘Out Of The Blue’ may be his most articulate yet. It is his third album release in a year, after his Live at De Roma (in Antwerp) and Bittersweet Crimson, a delicate collection that effortlessly straddles intimacy and universality. This wasn’t part of any grand plan, unsurprisingly.


Out of the Blue is that rare thing: an organic collection that emerged unbidden, and lured Bloom on an unexpected path.” - The Irish Times.

Exciting folk band The Raines stormed the charts with their debut single in November 2020. One look at the background of the women of The Raines and it’s hard not to be impressed. Yvonne Tiernan (vocals/banjulele & wife of comedian Tommy) also sings and has toured with The Chieftains, Ruth Dillon (vocals, guitar, ukulele) toured and recorded with the legendary Dolores Keane, is a former member of The Molly Hicks, and has three solo albums of her own, and Juliana Erkkonen also a former member of The Molly Hicks (fiddle and vocals) has been at the fore front of the Americana music scene in Ireland, where her fiddle playing has won over many a fan.

On Saturday, 23rd October 2021 KING KONG COMPANY perform at Knocknarea Arena IT Sligo. King Kong Company have become Festival legends in recent years following a series of mind melting performances at Irish & UK festivals including 13,000 revellers screaming their hearts and lungs out at King Kong Company’s Electric Picnic performance, not to mention appearances at Glastonbury, Boomtown and Amsterdam Dance Event. 


They have “21st century swagger…”, “An energy inducing pick me up, with so much devil may care swagger” (Irish Times), they have picked up Best Live Act at the 2016 and 2018 Pure M Awards. King Kong Company are an exciting addition to SLIGO LIVE, and will make it a real party this Bank Holiday Saturday, 23rd October. The Waterford ensemble emerged in 2011 and played their first gig in 2012 and by now, their live shows are the stuff of legend. The band was conceived when Alan Aylward and Mark White began experimenting with dance music using effect laden guitars and drum machines. They recruited college friends and expanded into a five piece in 2011 and produced and released one new music video every month, all this before they had ever played a real live gig. One of these, the video for Acetate won the Viewers Choice Award at the Irish Music TV Awards that same year. The popularity of the videos resulted in the band playing a one-off sold-out gig at The Forum in Waterford in 2012 which lead to subsequent festival offers including Body & Soul and Electric Picnic.  


They released their debut self-titled album in June 2016. The album reached the top 10 in the Irish Album Charts. In September 2016 they were nominated for two awards at the Pure M Awards: Best Live Act and Best Music Video.   They walked away with the Best Live Act award and again in 2018.   They played their Glastonbury Festival debut and followed this with gigs at Boomtown, Beautiful Days Festival and Electric Picnic. King Kong Company are the ultimate Irish party band right now.

Also on Saturday, 23rd October 2021 DAOIRí FARRELL performs a very special intimate show at The Hawk’s Well Theatre. 


Dublin-born traditional singer and bouzouki player Daoirí (pronounced ‘Derry’) Farrell has been described by some of the biggest names in Irish folk music as one of the most important singers to come out of Ireland in recent years. Christy Moore said, “I’ve been listening to Daoirí’s sounds since first hearing him in Dublin when he was a young lad….always a treat to hear him sing.”’   


He released his debut album, ‘The First Turn’, in 2009.   Daoirí studied traditional music and performance in Dundalk IT and UL and began performing with the who’s who of folk music including Christy Moore, Dónal Lunny, Martin Hayes, Arty McGlynn, Dennis Cahill, Alan Doherty, Danú, Dervish, Julie Fowlis, Arty McGlynn, The John Carty Big Band, Kíla, Sean Keane, Gerry O’Connor (Banjo), Gerry O’Connor (Fiddle) and more. Daoirí finally stepped into the limelight and became a folk sensation, launching his solo live career at Celtic Connections. Following a live session on the BBC Radio 2 Folk Show with Mark Radcliffe just a week before his first UK tour, his name was suddenly everywhere and bookings started to stream in. His follow-up album ‘, ‘True Born Irishman’ was released and he won two BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards – Best Traditional Track and Best Newcomer.   In 2019 he released his album ‘A Lifetime of Happiness’ with Donal Lunny in the Producer’s chair. A highly entertaining and consummate performer, his superb voice, bouzouki playing and witty stage presence has endeared him to fans and admirers worldwide, and he is one of the most in-demand musicians on the festival and folk circuit. Sligo Live audiences are in for a treat.

On Sunday, 24th October 2021 GLEN HANSARD plays the Knocknarea Arena IT Sligo. He will be joined by Special Guest DANI LARKIN.   


Glen Hansard is the lead singer and a founding member of The Frames. He is one half of folk duo The Swell Season, along with Czech pianist and vocalist Markéta Irglová. Together, they share an Academy Award for Best Original Song for “Falling Slowly” from the film Once, in which they both starred. More recently in his career, he has released four solo albums, including the GRAMMY-nominated Didn’t He Ramble (2015), as well as a number of EPs and a live recording. Glen is currently working on material for his next solo record and has been waiting patiently - like every other musician - to get back in front of live audiences across the world.

Dani Larkin is a Singer-songwriter and folk musician from the Armagh-Monaghan border. She uses music as the baseline for her peacebuilding work.  In 2019 she was artist-in-residence at Belfast’s Cathedral Quarter Arts Festival.  


Also in 2019 DANI supported Rufus Wainwright, Lisa O’Neill, Joshua Burnside and performed at Other Voices alongside Lemoncello and Alfi. A graduate in history and sociology, with a Master’s degree in international conflict and cooperation, she has worked as a peacebuilding and conflict transformation facilitator in Palestine, Israel, Romania, Indonesia and Colombia. For three years she was a #youth4peace ambassador for Beyond Skin, the Belfast-based organisation which empowers activists and peace workers from around the world, using the arts in the development of a more peaceful, equal and intercultural society.

On Thursday, 28th October 2021 MICK FLANNERY and SON (aka SUSAN O’NEILL) perform a very special intimate show from The Hawk’s Well Theatre.  


Mick Flannery and SON (aka Susan O’Neil) are currently riding high in the Irish album charts, this duo have made an amazingly beautiful album which has justly gathered acclaim from all sides.   Festival co-producer, Rory O’Connor said “Neither Mick nor Susan are strangers to Sligo.Many Festivalgoers will remember SON’s prolonged standing ovation following a spine-tingling performance including her charmingly spontaneous encounter with a stray cat on-stage a couple of years ago! She was also backing singer/dancer with King Kong Company in the Sligo Live festival club another year which highlights her musical diversity”.   


While this will be Mick Flannery’s first Sligo Live appearance, his intimate and heartfelt performances have enthralled Hawk’s Well audiences over the years. Award-winning, double-platinum selling Irish artist, Mick Flannery’s self-titled album debuted at No. 1 in July 2019. He was shortlisted for the RTE Choice Music Prize for Irish Album of the Year 2019, and premiered his musical “Evening Train” (based on his album of the same title) in June 2019 at Everyman Theatre, Cork. Critically acclaimed performer, SON (aka Susan O’Neill) – is one of Ireland’s brightest talents. Her first album ‘Found Myself Lost’ was one of Hot Press magazine’s ‘Albums of the Year’ and garnered her a number of opportunities, including joining Sharon Shannon on her sold-out tour of Australia and New Zealand.

On Saturday, 30th October 2021 THE CORONAS play the Knocknarea Arena IT Sligo. They will be joined by Special Guest ROISIN O.  


The Coronas’ journey as a band has definitely been unique. Initially an indie success story, the band built up a huge student following with anthems like ‘San Diego Song’ and ‘Heroes or Ghosts’. Over the next 12 years they would continue to develop musically and grow their audience to become one of Ireland’s biggest bands, selling out arenas, theatres and headlining festivals in the process.  


When the pandemic hit in March 2020, it left the Dublin 3-piece with an unfortunate band name issue. Not to be perturbed, their album True Love Waits secured the number 1 spot in the album charts, becoming the fastest selling Irish album of 2020. With numerous multi-platinum albums under their belt and a reputation for being one of the most consistent and impressive live acts in the country for over a decade. True Love Waited, and it’s time for the Coronas to take centre stage again.

Róisín O has shared the stage with a host of internationally renowned artists, including Lionel Richie, Bryan Ferry, Brad Paisley, Hozier and Colin Hay as well as headlining her own tours in Ireland, Germany, The US and Australia. In 2016 Róisín was invited to perform at JJ Abram’s Oscar Wilde Awards in LA where she shared the bill with Snow Patrol to play for Stephen Spielberg, James Corden, and many more. Following on from her Debut album ‘The Secret Life Of Blue’ O has gone on to release a number of hugely successful singles including hits ‘Give It Up’ and ‘Warn Me Of Silence’, as well as her version of Sia’s ‘Chandelier,’ which received over a million views online.


Róisín has also co-written ‘Find The Water’ and ‘Real Feel’ on The Coronas No.1 album ‘Trust The Wire’. She has three co-writes on their latest album ‘True Love Waits’ which went straight to No.1 in 2020 and as well as a co-write write with Gavin James with her band Thanks Brother. After three years working and writing with band Thanks Brother, 2020 lockdown brought O back to her roots, using the timeout from the constant touring and recording to reset. After receiving a huge response to her cover of Selena Gomez’ ‘Lose You To Love Me’, as well as her involvement in the No.1 single ‘Dreams’ with Irish Women in Harmony, Róisín’s resolve to return to her solo career was cemented and she released ‘Heart + Bones’ in January 2021.  


Róisín O is special guest to The Coronas and of course her brother is none other than Danny from The Coronas. Róisín O hails from one of Ireland’s most enduring musical dynasties. Her mum, of course, is Mary Black, and dad Joe has been involved in various guises in the industry for decades. Then there’s aunt Frances and cousin Aoife Scott.

Sligo Live has been bringing great music and comedy to Sligo since 2005 and it’s great to be back. They look forward to having the opportunity to enjoy great times with as many of their festival friends as possible and experience the incomparable feeling of being part of a dynamic audience appreciating live music in a great venue. Tickets are on sale from Sligolive.ie or from Hawk’s Well Theatre by phone (071) 9161518 or in person. For festival details and regular announcements, check out www.sligolive.ie


Slán go fóill,

Danny