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The Sing Along Social is a zero-commitment choir hosted by Aoife McElwain, designed for people who can’t really sing. It’s for the singers who were told to mime in other choirs or kicked out of karaoke bars for being off key. You don’t need to practice. You don’t even need to know the words. It’s about caterwauling along to your favourite songs in the company of friends and strangers. Good singers are welcome, too.

Following last years huge success Aoife brings another specially curated Sing Along Social to CIGF19 full of Cheesy face melting Guitar riffs & sing along Choruses



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Míde Houlihan is a Clonakilty bred singer songwriter, who has captured the hearts of many an Irish audience over the last number of years. With some high profile support slots including the likes of FRED and Canadian folk singer Doug Paisley, as well as international cult star, Jenn Grant, Míde has made a name for herself as one of Irelands brightest prospects.

Míde’s brand new EP, ‘Shifting Gears’, has just been released on Cork City record label, Unemployable Records, The EP, recorded by Christian Best (Mick Flannery), and features some great musicians such as Alan Comerford (O Emperor), Dylan Howe (Rowan,Clare Sands), and moreHer debut Album ‘Coloured In’ was released in 2015, with the lead single, ‘Nuts and Bolts’ winning the IMRO Christie Hennessy Songwriting Award. The Album went on the receive an incredibly warm reception In the media as well as the general public, with most critics citing Míde’s honest, sometimes humorous, sometimes heart wrenching songwriting as a diamond in what can sometimes be a crowded scene..




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Eugene Brosnan & the Innocent Bystanders were formed in Clonakilty in late 2015, initially, to pay tribute to the late, great American songwriter and composer, WARREN ZEVON, but in recent times the band has incorporated some of its own material into the set, along with a selection of covers, from artists such as, Bob Dylan, Dave Sharp, John Lennon and Prince…

Bassist, Martin Kingston and Eugene have shared a deep appreciation and love of the music of Warren Zevon, for many years and when Eugene approached Stephen Housden to join, it seemed almost predestined and serendipitous, when Stephen informed the lads that he had actually played in Zevons live band!

Since forming, the band has played to full houses around West Cork, where the band is currently based and they have also appeared at the 2016 and 2017, Clonakilty International Guitar Festivals…


EUGENE BROSNAN: (Guitar & Vocal) has performed over 2500 shows in Ireland, the UK, Europe, Scandinavia and the USA. He has released 3 albums, mainly of his own material, to critical acclaim and has appeared as a guest vocalist on various other productions. His music has been influenced by both Americana and Irish songs, the lyrical poets and of course, Warren Zevon.

STEPHEN HOUSDEN: (Guitar & Vocals) is regarded as one of the finest guitarists in the world. Well known as guitarist with Little River Band for more than two decades, he has also played and recorded with such music legends as Warren Zevon, Glenn Frey, Dr. John, Christopher Cross, John Entwistle , P.F Sloan, Albert Lee, Steve Cropper,  Noel Redding and many others.

JERRY FEHILY: (Drums) came to prominence as the drummer with Hothouse Flowers, touring the world with them and drumming on their Top 10 hits and a No.1 album. Apart from the Flowers, he has also played live or recorded with: Tim Finn, Michelle Shocked, Luka Bloom, Midnight Oil,  Ronnie Wood, Joe Elliot, Sinead O’ Connor, Ray Lynam, Interference and Celine Carroll.

MARTIN KINGSTON: (Bass & Vocals) ran the now legendary, Kilty Stone, pub and live music venue in Clonakilty’s, Pearse Street for many years… In the 90s, it was home to many great music sessions and musicians, (Noel Redding, Eric Bell, Mitch Mitchell,The Blues Band, Bill Shanley, Nick Harper, Hothouse Flowers) which included the proprietor, as bass player for the house band and many of the guest artistes that appeared there during his tenure.

ED KADYSEWSKI: (Piano & Keys) Originally from Philadelphia, USA, but residing in Clonakilty,Ed recently joined the Innocent Bystanders and also, like the others, has a long standing admiration for the music of Warren Zevon and in fact has been playing a multitude of his compositions for many  years.  Ed is also a film and documentary maker of note and now lectures on the subject at St. John’s College, Cork.




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Growing up in Clonakilty you are surrounded by music.

Eoin grew up with people who were genuinely passionate about music and that has always stayed with him. His older brother, uncles, and aunts would show him a variety of music from all different genres and eras, allowing him to appreciate music holistically.

He says that this holistic approach to music has been one of the major influences on his song writing. Another major influence was the discovery of his favourite band, The Doors, and other 1960s psychedelic bands like Jefferson Airplane and Love. Jim Morrison’s song writing showed him, more than anyone else had before, that lyrics can be a form of poetry. This idea blossomed with his growing interest with rap albums, especially concept albums that had particular themes. He was blown away by certain rappers ability to speak of situations in life completely alien to his own, yet was, because of their words, able to understand and empathise with them.

After 4 years of wishing, Eoin is finally set to release his debut EP ‘Songs from my Windowsill’. He has described it as a series of introspections, documenting a 3 year period of change both musically and mentally in his life.

The EP seeks to combine two genres, which heavily influence Eoin’s music, folk and the psychedelic sounds of the 60s. He says that this era of music gave him a lot of confidence in writing his lyrics as he felt like he didn’t have to hold back on the subject matter or his opinions.



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Clonakilty International Guitar Festival is proud to present a programme of workshops, masterclasses and seminars from some of the world’s best performers and experts, giving us a glimpse of the methods and techniques which make them so successful. This year’s educational programme will take place in the Schools of Clonakilty (Closed) throughout the festival as well as open workshops right in the heart of town on Saturday & Sunday facilitated by Music Generation Limerick in upstairs in ‘The Twig Refill Shop- in Spillers Lane


9pm – Clonakilty Park Cinema – Workshop on Guerrilla Film Making with Myles O Riley

After the screening Director Myles O’Reilly will give a short workshop on live performance ‘Guerilla’ film making, followed by a Q&A. Topics will include:

* Positive reasons for choosing to be genre specific.
* Deciding on locations and visual narratives.
* Choice and use of equipment.
* The creative editing ethos.
* Social media promotion for music content.
* Building and maintaining regular client base.



12pm – Asna Square -Ukulele Le Cheile FREE

1pm – 5pm Upstairs at the Twig, Spillers Lane – Songwriting work shop Facilitated by Music Generation Limerick – these classes take place on the hour every hour and booking is in advance is suggested

5pm – DIALOGUE: PIERRE BENSUSAN & GEORGE LOWDEN IN CONVERSATION @THE VENUE, O’DONOVAN’S HOTEL. SAT// 5PM €5 – It’s 1978 and one of the world’s best young guitarists meets an Irish artisan on his way to becoming one the most respected luthiers on the planet. What happened next? George and Pierre look back on 40 years of friendship and creative collaboration, detailing Pierre’s “mad” design requests and co-evolution of George’s craft in dialogue with Pierre’s music. With some musical interludes and a Q&A, this is a must for fans of acoustic guitars and the characters who keep driving innovation in this ancient craft.


1pm JOHN SPILLANE SONGWRITING WORKSHOP @ UPSTAIRS AT TWIG REFILL SUN // 1pm // €5 – One of the most accomplished songwriters in the country today, award winning trad/folk poet John Spillane continues to redefine musical boundaries with his own unique style of playing and songwriting which he likes to call ’Sean Nós Blues’. BOOKING RECOMMENDED:

2:30pm TPM – HIP HOP & CREATIVITY WORKSHOP FOR TEENAGERS @ UPSTAIRS AT TWIG REFILL SUN // 2:30pm -Fresh from performing at Glastonbury & all the major Irish festivals, the hip-hop duo T.P.M. will lead a workshop in rap aimed at unlocking your creative flow.



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A very special show for smallies & their parents – NB Children must be supervised at all times-

Clonakilty International Guitar Festival is proud to present a special concert for very young children featuring Fiona Kelleher

Early Bird Music is a project with a passion for music and creativity, founded by Fiona Kelleher, singer, composer and mother of three . Creating music for little ones and nurturing the creative talent in everyone is our mission. We are delighted to give you a glimpse into the world of  I am a little Boat . . This is the album with beautifully illustrated songbook, loved and cherished by children and parents everywhere . It features happily in classrooms and Early Years settings worldwide.

Fiona Kelleher is a singer, composer and performer who works on many collaborative projects with other musicians, theatre artists and visual artists. Her album “My Love Lies” has received much critical acclaim internationally. She continues to write and record and collaborate while also working as an early years artist on many projects.



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George Lowden is one of the world’s most celebrated luthiers, and his guitars are played by the finest players on the planet. The list of Lowden devotees includes Eric Clapton, Pierre Bensusan, Paul Brady, Ed Sheeran, Damien Rice, Alex DeGrassi, Richard Thompson, Mike Oldfield, Nick Harper, Jon Gomm, Bill Shanley and Thomas Leeb. George is an old friend of the festival, having given numerous seminars and workshops over the previous 14 years. As we celebrate our fifteenth year, George is celebrating his forty fifth in the business!


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KINGS OF KUDOS (AU/IRL/UK) Australian Guitar legend Steve Housden (The Little River Band) fronts this pscyhadelic rock juggernaut with Les Samson (Noel Redding Band) on drums and Mike Geaney (Eric Bell Band) on Bass.

West Cork trio Kings Of Kudos bring a powerful blend of progressive rock, jazz-fusion and psychedelic blues to their own genre-defying sound.
Stephen Housden’s guitar style is an eclectic mix of influences that range from instrumental surf music through to complex Jazz riffs with deep bluesy overtones.
Les Sampson’s powerhouse drumming and Mike Geaney’s solid bass lines provide a driving groove underneath the guitar’s sonic flights of fantasy.  
Stephen Housden, guitar, vocals and principal writer, toured the world for many years as a member of Little River Band. He has also has played along side many music greats including; Dr. John, Warren Zevon, John Entwistle (The Who), Glen Frey and Albert Lee. 
After moving to West Cork from Australia, Stephen regularly played with with Noel Redding (Jimi Hendrix Experience) and his band which included Sampson on drums. Les and Stephen played so well together they eventually decided to form a band to play original music. In 2012 with the addition of Geaney on bass the Kings Of Kudos had arrived. 
Kings Of Kudos’ new EP, Third Mode From The Sun, (featuring a guest appearance by Margaret Kennedy on flute) will be released and showcased on September 20th. at this year’s Clonakilty International Guitar Festival.  



The Church

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The Church, led by electric guitar high priest Matt Churchill is an instrumental, brain exploding, wig out machine that comprises some of the finest session musicians in the country, every lick, chop and lead that Churchill unleashes causes synaptic explosions in the central nervous system!

Their shows are a rare event making their annual Clonakilty International Guitar Festival not only one of the highlights of the festival but a highlight of the YEAR!



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Ukulele-le-chéile is part community group, part artistic movement which exists to get people of all ages and levels of musical ability playing the world’s easiest instrument: the ukulele! Established by The West Cork Ukulele Orchestra and run with infectious enthusiasm by Christine Deady & Isobel Towse, the songs and the tuition you need to get up and strumming are provided, picking popular but simple tunes to work on. In this welcoming and light-hearted environment you’ll be surprised at just how quickly you pick up all the skills you need, just bring a uke and join in!