Clonakilty International Guitar Festival:

From the 14th – 24th of September 2023, some of the world’s greatest guitarists will descend on a small seaside town in the southwest of Ireland…

Our Festival:

Since its inception in 2005 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 CIGF we eschew the greenfield model for a festival instead our town is our stage as we reclaim and reimagine our public spaces and schedule performances & events in all manner of venues from the local schools & library to the bars & butcher shops transforming these places from an ordinary place of daily business, to an evolving stage, where encounters with music and magic are frequent and ubiquitous.

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

All the musicians get paid.

Welcome to Guitartown!

Some things we are proud of:

In 2019 the CIGF was for the second time in two years awarded the the European Festivals Association (EFFE) Label 2019-2020. It topped off a big year for us. We were one of 10 Festivals invited by Folk Music Canada to attend the FAI 2019 conference in Montreal, with them referring to us (and this made us blush) as one of “the international leaders and tastemakers on the folk music scene.”

In 2018 the festival became a week long event incorporating Footsbarn Travelling Theatre Circus tent as a performance space. There we hosted theatrical performances by Footsbarn and musical shows with Glen Hansard. It nearly killed us, but it turns out hammering pylons into the dry summer’s ground to erect a massive tent only makes you stronger.

In 2017 the 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. CIGF is now part of the EFFE festival community, which consists of festivals that stand for artistic quality and have a significant impact on the local, national and international level. This made us very happy.

Also in 2017 the Clonakilty International Guitar Festival co-hosted the first ever European edition of Folk Alliance International Conference. It was an excellent event.

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 and 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…

The Festival will play out its 19th edition from 14th –24th September 2023

Previous artists:

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

Marc Ribot (US), Valerie June (US), Khyam Allami (IRAQ), Any Irvine (IRL), Jeffrey Lewis (US), Kawabatta Makoto’s Mainliner (JAPAN), GIRL BAND (IRL), Jon Gomm (UK), Lee Ranaldo (Sonic Youth) (US), Xylouris White (GR/AU),  Kris Drever (SCO), The Lovely Eggs (UK), The Mae Trio (AU), Slim Cessna’s Auto Club (US), TEKE::TEKE (JPN/CAN) 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), Post Punk Podge (IRL), Woven Skull (IRL/UR), Mama Kin (AU), Pillow Queens (IRL), Junior Brother (IRL), The Deadlians (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), Molly Buchan (IRL), Gerron (IRL), 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), The Bones Below (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)…