The never-predictable and exciting October Nights music festival returns this October bank holiday week-end (28th & 29th) to the Ballina Arts Centre with an intoxicating mix of folk, alternative pop, hip-hop, traditional, post-punk and more.
Born in 2022, it’s a festival with a rare and unique formula where contrasting genres and styles are back-to-back.
Adventurous audiences really embrace the ‘sense of surprise’ in hearing diverse styles across one stage rather than separate stages.
While October Nights ‘22 had a distinctly Mayo flavour, this year the festival, funded by Ballina 2023, has looked far & wide to invite some of Irelands’ brightest musical lights to Ballina.
Saturday/ October 28th
The opening night sees US born multi-instrumentalist Peter Broderick headline. Broderick was a member of both Tim Burgess’ band (The Charlatans) and Danish band Efterklang in the past. He’s also an acclaimed performer in his own right. His most recent work is a tribute to the legendary composer, singer and cellist, Arthur Russell. Broderick’s most well-known piece is ‘Eyes Closed and Travelling’ has over 28 million plays on Spotify.
Such was the reaction to Swinford harpist Alannah Thornburgh at October Nights in 2022, she returns to perform on the Saturday also.
Siobhan Long from the Irish Times has waxed lyrical about Alannah and her version of The Front, written by the sadly deceased Mayo composer Conor Walsh. Thornburgh’s soon-to-be released debut solo album, entitled ‘Away with the Fairies’, features all original compositions inspired by stories of fairy folklore and mythology in Mayo. The album, recorded in Foxford, will feature a guest appearance by Laura Quirke from Lemoncello.
Alternative pop crooner Laurie Shaw completes the line-up on the Saturday night. He’ll exclusively perform songs from his new Ballina-inspired album ‘Neck of the Woods’. The eight track album was written by Shaw during a week-long residency in Ballina during the Salmon Festival in July. The album was funded by a Ballina 2023 Community Event fund grant and a number of individual donors.
Sunday/ October 28th
Sunday sees Irish female rapper Celaviedmai top the bill. She’s had an incredible twelve months including performances at Longitude, Body & Soul, Electric Picnic and support from GAYTIMES. She has just released her new single ‘Cool Ya Temper’.
Siomha, a singer and guitarist from Co Clare, will charm fans with her sumptuous voice and a guitar style inspired by world travels. She’s fresh from performing at the Croi stage at the Electric Picnic and the world famous Cambridge Folk Festival.
If you’re getting too comfortable in those plush red arts centre seats, there’s always Ballina’s own hardcore heroes YOP to dish out the life-affirming angst. Fronted by Conor Hickey and Peter ‘Sid’ Murphy, YOP have drawn comparisons to Joy Division and Nine Inch Nails among others. They’ve also recently performed at Electric Picnic.
Info & ticket links