Sounds From A Safe Harbour is back after its debut in 2015 and it had already announced its main headline gigs of The National, Lisa Hannigan and Bon Iver (sold out) and those in Coughlan’s , St. Luke’s and Cyprus Avenue but there’s a lot of things happening in Cork city from 14th to 17th September this year in a programme curated by festival director Mary Hickson, Aaron & Bryce Dessner, Cillian Murphy and Enda Walsh. More on that programme below.

Hickson asked me to curate the Heineken Free Music Trail once more and I’ve put together a programme of afternoon, evening and late-night gigs to take place across the River Lee Hotel, Crane Lane, Reardens, The Roundy, Callanan’s, Electric, BDSM, The Poor Relation, The Oval, The Sextant, Henchy’s, and The Hanover. There will also be a lot of unannounced gigs drawn from the main lineup which you won’t want to miss.

Lined up to play across the weekend are:

  • Anna Mieke Bishop
  • Autre Monde
  • Bantum A/V set
  • Ben Lanz
  • Big Red Machine (Justin Vernon & Aaron Dessner)
  • Christof
  • Cinema
  • Crash Ensemble
  • DJ Ian Fiasco
  • DJ Jelly K
  • David Keenan
  • Dowry
  • Dublin Digital Radio (DDR) 
  • Eimear Reidy
  • Fehdah
  • Jay Ronic
  • Lilla Vargen
  • Maria Kelly
  • Mouse on Mars
  • PEOPLE
  • Plugd presents Sounds From a Radio
  • RSAG
  • Rosa Nutty
  • Rosie Carney
  • Rowan
  • SOULÉ
  • Saint Caoilian
  • Secret Gigs!
  • Ships
  • Sylk
  • Sorcha Richardson
  • Super Silly
  • Space for the Liberty Muse
  • Voices for Choice

Times and venues will be announced in a couple of weeks but there’s going to be plenty happening in the city across the weekend including a lot of secret and pop-up music trail gigs.


Here’s just some of the other events happening.

Crash Ensemble will perform works by Linda Buckley, Bryce Dessner, and a world premiere from Emily Hall, with text by Enda Walsh, all under the one roof, at the Everyman Theatre, on Friday 15th. Presented by Bryce Dessner, Crash Ensemble will be joined on stage by Kate Manley, The Cork School of Music Capella Lyrica choir, and special guests. The night will be opened by Cillian Murphy, with a new collaboration between Cillian, Enda Walsh, and Bryce and Aaron Dessner. The following day, Crash Ensemble will present the last installment of their groundbreaking 20th Anniversary music project, CrashLands, premiering two new pieces on Spike Island, Cobh, at midday.

In collaboration with Live at St.Luke’s, SFSH presents Fionn Regan on Friday 15th. Fionn will play music from his new released album, The Meetings of the Waters. On Saturday, the unique vocalist Iarla Ó Lionáird & dynamic guitarist Steve Cooney, take to the stage, joined by special guest Radie Peat (Lankum). And Sunday will see the ‘atmosfolk’ duo Saint Sister with support by the Nordic / Irish traditional sounds of Slow Moving Clouds.

The Coughlan’s Live programme presents the album launch of This is How we Fly – traditional music raising delightful questions as to the place, potency and possibilities of old music in a new environment; Ye Vagabonds – brothers Brían and Diarmuid Mac Gloinn, who are now a staple of the live music and session scene in Ireland; and Mona Lo, a new project by David Kitt and Margie Lewis.

At Cyprus Avenue, join Amiina for their latest adventure, Fantômas, originally composed as a live score to a silent masterpiece from 1913. On Saturday, experience the soulful, passionate and haunting Wyvern Lingo, with the first taste of their upcoming debut album. Sunday sees a new project by Peter Broderick, interpreting the songs of his long time hero Arthur Russell.

Watch performances from world class dancers dotted around the city’s corners, as Jessica Dessner presents Space for the Liberty Muse: 4 colours, 4 dancers, 4 performances and 4 bands. Look out for the different colours appearing on the Heineken Free Music Trail.

In visual art, sit back and savor a screening of a film by Icelandic performance artist Ragnar Kjartansson, Guilt Trip, in collaboration with the Crawford Art Gallery; witness a multichannel sound and video installation by Robert Curgenven at Wandesford Quay Gallery; or hop on the train to Cobh to find What Passes Between Us, work by Padraig Spillane in the Sirius Arts Centre. Illustrator John Rooney will present an exhibition of portraits entitled Unfinished with the festival’s accommodation partners The River Lee.

An exciting line up of free conversation events presented by Creative Ireland are also taking place around the city, this will include Last Night a DJ Saved My Life with Donal Dineen and Kevin Barry, a series of ‘In Conversation’ events with Cillian Murphy, Cork Loves Music, Loose Joints Podcast and more.

And it’s all about being curious for this one… Become part of an event that promises to be like no other: EAR DEN, the secret listening club in 26 Washington Street. 5 hours: 4 floors: 7 experiences. Audiences will be treated to a secret line-up of very exciting artists, topped off with lunch served by a special guest chef. Tickets for EAR DEN are onsale now from Dice.fm.

Tickets are on sale directly from the venues and venue websites. Visit www.soundsfromasafeharbour.com for more.

Subscribe to the Nialler9 Spotify playlists