Townlands Carnival adds Kelly-Anne Byrne, RíRá, General Levy, Katie Kim & more

It’s been a busy few weeks for Townlands Carnival, after a succession of announcements a few weeks back, including the newly-added Rising Sons stage and new music initiative. Ahead of the announcement of the festival’s fifth and final stage line-up for the electronic-heavy Hive stage, now’s as good a time as any to round up recent additions to the billing.

This past week saw the Main Stage announce additions to the billing alongside topliners Sister Sledge (pictured), Leftfield’s Neil Barnes, King Kong Company and Kíla. Front and centre among the announcements for the main arena is Scary Éire co-founder and Irish hip-hop trailblazer RíRá, a pioneer of the genre in the country currently receiving some much-deserved kudos as one of the current golden age’s progenitors. Meanwhile, straight off the airwaves of TodayFM comes Kelly-Anne Byrne, joining The Eskies, Bazza Ranks, Galway Street Club, Pontious Pilate & the Naildrivers and more.

UK ragga veteran General Levy headlines the Riddim Shack stage, amid a career renaissance, collaborating with the likes of Dizzee Rascal and M-Beat, and the newest set of announcements for the stage is rounded off with Mungo’s Hi-Fi, featuring vocalist Eva Lazarus, and dub chanter Solo Banton. Worries Outernational, Rub-a-Dub, Flipside Selekta & Fake Rolex, Community HiFi, Bilbo Bongo, JusMe, Big Daddy Can, Gwada Mike, JMc, Executive Steve and Subweight round up a hefty proposition for bass aficionados.

The Sibín stage has been the festival’s hidden gem, and this year sees an eclectic line-up head out to the woods of Rusheen Farm. The Latchikos meld violin, spoken-word and trad-inflected beats, while Bristolian showpeople Carny Villains trade in a mix of swing, ska and Balkan-style folk. Katie Kim makes an appearance after last visiting Cork in support of The Altered Hours at St. Luke’s for the Jazz festival, while Torcán and Cula Bula round up the festival’s trad-nua offering. Appearances are also due from the Cork City Samba Band, the No Showband and One Horse Pony.

In addition to the previously-announced line-up of Irish talent at the festival’s new Rising Sons stage, the festival’s new music initiative has seen them run gigs in towns all over Co. Cork, as well as Limerick City. The cream of the crop takes to the stage at Cork’s Crane Lane Theatre on June 9th in a free gig, with judges selecting a winner to take their place alongside Bantum, Orchid Collective, Stevie G., Bailer and more this July. Among those competing: Cork punks Audible Joes, Limerick DIY outfit Static Vision, Skibbereen funkers The Big Lovin’, Mallow classic-rockers Stay, Macroom winners Cider Wasps, and Britpop-loving Fermoy winners Columbia.

Townlands Carnival happens on Friday July 20th to Sunday 22nd at Rusheen Farm, outside the rural Cork town of Macroom. Tickets are on sale now at townlandscarnival.com.

Mike McGrath-Bryan :