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Clonakilty International Guitar Festival announces first acts for September’s 20th celebration

Clonakilty International Guitar Festival announces first acts for September’s 20th celebration

Niamh Regan

The Clonakilty International Guitar Festival has announced its first acts for its 20 years of “picking, strumming and fretting” from the 19th-22nd of September in the West Cork town.

Stringed instruments of all-types are expected to the diverse mix of punk, blues, noise, rock, classical, folk, and trad music for this year’s four-day programme.

Among those announced today are:

  • Jim White and Marissa Anderson
  • Stanley Super 800
  • Preston Reed
  • George Lowden
  • Breen, Rynne, Murray
  •  John Robb
  • Search Results
  •  Niamh Regan
  •  John Spillane
  • Grooveline
  • Cuas
  • Tragedy Ann
  • The Next New Low
  • Moonfruits
  • The Kates
  • Steve ón ‘Dings

More on the acts below.

There is a free Session Trail, off-site shows in places in the community like schools, hospitals, care centres and more under the banner of Reverb, and paid in headline shows too.

Headline Performances – Tickets on Sale Now

·       Friday 20th Sep, 6pm  – Jim White & Marisa Anderson – <<This is a free event as part of Culture Night however you must register for tickets due to limited capacity >> REGISTER

·       Friday 20th Sep, 7:15pm – Acoustic Forum hosted by George Lowden w/ Preston Reed, Niamh Regan, Steve ón ‘dings TICKETS

·       Sat 21st Sep, 8pm – Breen, Rynne, Murray TICKETS

·       Sun 22nd Sep, 4pm – An Afternoon w/ John Robb TICKETS


Jim White and Marissa Anderson 

Acclaimed Australian drummer Jim White, who is surfing the crest of critical praise, not only for his debut solo record All Hits: Memories but also the first Dirty Three studio record in 12 years, Love Changes Everything. Jim will be performing an improvised music set with acclaimed American guitarist Marissa Anderson which will be inspired by Swallowtail, their lauded latest release on Thrill Jockey records. Both artists have performed at CIGF in the past but this will mark their first collaborative performance together in Ireland.

Stanley Super 800 

We are overjoyed to announce Stanley Super 800, who played the very first ever CIGF, have come out of retirement to join us at this year’s party. The members of SS800 have probably played at every single CIGF in various guises over the years so we can’t think of a better band to illuminate our session trail.

Preston Reed 

Since his first record in 1979, Reed has revolutionised acoustic guitar playing and hosting him in 2007 was a crucial moment in establishing CIGF as a must-attend festival among guitar aficionados. It is much more than just fate that Preston returns for the first time since 2017 to mark our 20th edition.

George Lowden

 Long time friend of the festival luthier George Lowden returns to host our Acoustic Forum, an in-the-round style showcase of varied artists performing at the festival. The Acoustic Forum is an eclectic event unlike anything else you’ve ever witnessed, with artists from the festival playing in an intimate and informal concert, with each artist staying onstage for the duration. Guided by the guest host George Lowden, each performer gives an insight into their craft and performs a short selection to whet the appetite for the weekend ahead. It’s off the cuff, it’s friendly and it provides the listener with a varied and spontaneous night that never fails to surprise.

Breen, Rynne, Murray 

Tara Breen, Pádraig Rynne and Jim Murray are a trio composed of musicians at the forefront of our tradition. Expect a performance from the gentle to the rhythmical and everything in-between. Embark on an odyssey of wonder, joyfulness and upbeat music as three incredibly talented and creative folk musicians shape melodies from past and present into something dynamic and irresistible.

John Robb

 After headlining CIGF16 with his legendary post-punk band The Membranes, we are delighted to welcome back best-selling author, musician, journalist, presenter, pundit, music website boss, publisher, festival boss, spoken word artist and frontman John Robb to this year’s festival. This is a brand new spoken word show—Do You Believe In The Power Of Rock & Roll—where Robb talks about a life in music, his best-selling book The Art Of Darkness/The History Of Goth, being the first person to interview Nirvana, coining the term Britpop, his adventures on the post-punk frontline, and so much more. He will be joined by a mystery guest for the event.

Search Results 

Dublin trio Search Results bring their incendiary take on post punk/alt rock to this year’s festival to make their West Cork debut.

Niamh Regan 

Niamh’s sophomore record Come As You Are was released in May 2024 and has earned amazing reviews and an even broader fan base for this very special, critically-acclaimed Galway songwriter tipped for the very top.

John Spillane

 and the band of Wrens John Spillane has been a long-time friend of the festival, playing at almost every event bar two, as well as spearheading our attempts to break the World Record for the largest ensemble guitar performance in 2009 where 981 guitarists played ‘Óró sé do bheatha abhaile in unison. “It was like a scene from a Disney movie,” — John Spillane

See Also


One of Ireland’s most dynamic and exciting up-and-coming bands, Grooveline are a 6-piece, style-bending band rooted in funk blend (high energy funk, disco, hip-hop, rock, jazz, and trad) to make a completely refreshing sound that is unlike anything on the Irish music scene.


Méabh Ní Bheaglaoich (accordion,vocals), Nicole Ní Dhubhshláine (concertina, flute), Niamh Varian-Barry (fiddle, viola, vocals), and Kyle Macaulay (guitar, bouzouki), came together in early 2023 to form Cuas, a collective that performs and celebrates the wild and diverse musical traditions of West Kerry. Inspired by the emotive songs and the vibrant dance traditions of the area, the group puts the intrinsic link between listener and performer at the heart of the performance.

Tragedy Ann 

Award winning Canadian folk duo Tragedy Ann emanate romance, harmony and joy with charm and dynamic interplay.

The Next New Low

Brian Mooney’s The Next New Low began with life changing news. “It started in a hospital, getting news no-one should ever hear, I was frozen to the spot. I was frozen for another few years.” The songs mainly deal with the fragility of existence but are not without humour. Frontman with the now legendary Dublin band The Idiots in the 1990s, Brian Mooney has played live and recorded with David Kitt, Wallis Bird, Little Green Cars, Conor O’Brien, Faye O’Rourke, Glen Hansard and a host of others over the years.


Fronted by partners Alex Millaire and Kaitlin Milroy, Ottawa-based Moonfruits are makers of art-folk bilingual music. In a forest of banjo, guitar, kalimba and glockenspiel, their voices burrow and soar. Here is a reverie, tender and powerful, beckoning listeners to elevate the stuff of everyday life.

The Kates 

“Oh my gosh, you are all so rad, you sound great,” That is how American singer-songwriter Sharon Van Etten described The Kates. Formed with a mission to highlight the need for more women in music, exciting five-piece The Kates, from West Cork, are due to release their upcoming debut EP Pictures Here Of Dreams at CIGF this September.

Steve ón ‘Dings:

Steve Ryan is a songwriter, guitar player and educator.  A founding member of Giveamanakick and currently of Windings, Steve has also collaborated with the Rusangano Family, Denise Chaila and Naive Ted among many others. Steve is currently Course Director of the MA Songwriting in the Irish World Academy of Music and Dance, University of Limerick.

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