Clonakilty International Guitar Festival:

From the 16th – 22nd September 2019 some of the world’s greatest guitarists will descend on a small seaside town in the southwest of Ireland.

Our Festival:

The Clonakilty International Guitar Festival is a celebration of the guitar. It is not starch collared or stuffy nosed. From virtuosos to noodlers, all are welcomed and exalted!

The Festival is run by a small not for profit organisation of music lovers and we are very proud of the rich, relaxed, educational, exciting & artistic environment our festival creates in our beautiful seaside town.

For the duration of our festival our whole town is the stage with performances & events happening in all manner of venue from the local schools & library to the bars & butcher shops!

The majority of events are free throughout our festival with some select ticketed shows.

Oh yeah…..& all the artists get paid…..

Welcome to Guitartown!


Some things we are proud of..

The festival began in 2005

In 2009 we attempted to break the world record for ‘the largest ensemble guitar performance’ – at 10am on a saturday morning 1100 guitarists assembled in the centre of Clonakilty & played ‘o ro se do bheath abhaile’ – we fell short of breaking the record but we believe we made a new record for the most guitar players up in the morning before 12 noon…..

In 2017 the Clonakilty International Guitar Festival was selected to receive the EFFE Label 2017-2018. This award is given by an International Jury following successful evaluation of a Festival.  Clonakilty International Guitar Festival 2017 is now part of the EFFE festival community, facilitated by the European Festivals Association, which consists of festivals that stand for artistic quality and have a significant impact on the local, national and international level. . This made us happy.

In 2017 Clonakilty International Guitar Festival co-hosted the first EVER European edition of Folk Alliance International Conference in our little seaside town. It was very good.

In 2018 the festival became a week long event incorporating Footsbarn Travelling Theatre Circus tent as a performance space where we hosted theatrical performances by footsbarn & musical shows with Glen Hansard. it nearly killed us….but now we are stronger…

In 2019 the Festival was again awarded the EFFE Label 2019-2020

In 2019 we were one of 10 Festivals invited by Folk Music Canada to attend the FAI 2019 conference in Montreal with them referring to us as one of ‘the international leaders and tastemakers on the folk music scene..’- their words….not ours…

The Festival will play out its 15th edition from Mon 16th – Sun 22nd September 2019

Previous artists:

To date we have had many fantastic artists play at our event:

Marc Ribot (US), Valerie June (US), Khyam Allami (IRAQ), Jeffrey Lewis (US), Kawabatta Makoto’s Mainliner (JAPAN), GIRL BAND (IRL), Jon Gomm (UK), Lee Ranaldo (Sonic Youth) (US),  The Lovely Eggs (UK), The Mae Trio (AU), Slim Cessna’s Auto Club (US), Christopher Paul Stelling (US), Charlie Parr (US), Roy Harper (UK), Preston Reed (US), Lucky Oceans (AU), Steve Cooney (AU), Louis Stewart ( IRL), Glen Hansard (IRL), Calum Graham (CAN), Woven Skull (IRL/UR), Mama Kin (AU), Pillow Queens (IRL), Junior Brother (IRL), The Minutes (IRL), Casey Black (US), Mo Kenney (CAN), Rachel Sermanni (SCO), Tommy Madden (IRL), The Octopus Project (US), B Positives (IRL), Cathy Davey (IRL), Farewell J.R. (UK), John Blek & the Rats (IRL), Rebecca Collins (IRL), The Lost Brothers (IRL), Maria Doyle Kennedy (IRL), Wille & the Bandits (UK), Mickey Murphy (IRL), R.M. Hubbert (SCO), The Hackensaw Boys (US), Band of Clouds (IRL), Ganglions (Irl), The Vespertine Quintet (IRL), Joel Plaskett (CAN), Leonard Podolak (CAN), Rusangano Family (IRL/TG/ZIM) iDIOT SONGS (IRL), Sam Clague (IRL), The B Positives (IRL), Stanley Super 800 (IRL), Clive Barnes (IRL), Thomas Leeb (AUS), Bob Log III ( US), Martin Taylor (UK),  Pierre Bensusan (Fr), luthier George Lowden (IRL), Eric Bell (Thin Lizzy), John Smith (UK), Doug Paisley (CANADA), Steve Housden (-the Little River Band-) (AU), Peggy Sue (UK), Sons of Noel & Adrian (UK), Cian Nugent (IRL), Tiny Ruins (NZ), The Redneck Manifesto (IRL), JAPE (IRL), We Cut Corners (IRL), Windings (IRL),  Electric Eel Shock (Japan ), Liu Fang (china), Jeff Martin (CAN) John Spillane (Irl), Bill Shanley (Ray Davies), Richard Gilewitz (US), The West Cork Ukulele Orchestra (IRL), Gavin Glass (IRL), The Ambience Affair (IRL), Dave Acari (SCO), Luka Bloom (IRL), Declan Sinnott (IRL), The Frank & Walters (IRL) POWPIG (IRL), David Keenan (IRL), Interference (IRL/FR) Mama Kin Spender (AU), Morgan O Kane Band (US), Annas Anchor (IRL), Eugene Brosnan & the Innocent Bystanders (IRL/AU) , The Bone Below (IRL), Tony McManus (SCO), Shoutin’ Red (SWE)…