Music Programme for St Patrick’s Day Festival 2023 Announced

Performers at the launch of St Patrick’s Day Festival 2023 (Photo: Julien Behal).

Music Programme for St Patrick’s Day Festival 2023 Announced

Festival takes place from Thursday 16 to Sunday 19 March in Dublin with performances from Pillow Queens, Melts, Kíla, Bonny Men, Jiggy, Junior Brother, MayKay, Olesya Zdorovetska, Bobbi Arlo, Celaviedmai, Francesco Turrisi, Cat Dowling and more.

The programme for this year’s St Patrick’s Day Festival has been announced. The annual multi-disciplinary festival takes place from 16 to 19 March and features a series of concerts and music events as well as talks, storytelling, comedy, family events, film, theatre and more. This year, the theme of the festival is ‘One’ – an open invitation to people from all over the world to participate and celebrate as one. 

The music programme includes artists and events across the genres of traditional, folk, rock, pop, electronic, dance and multi-disciplinary, as well as a celebration of queer artists and DJs. 

From 12pm on Friday 17 March, the Festival Quarter at the National Museum of Ireland, Collins Barracks, will be a central point of events. Artists performing include the Shandrum Céili Band, Féile na Gealaí, Japanese Taiko Drummers, and Music Generation Laois Trad Orchestra, in addition to traditional Irish dancers and storytelling from Candlelit Tales and the Fingal Mummers. That evening, traditional and folk acts including Kíla (with a brass band), the Bonny Men, Jiggy, Saltaire, Pólca 4, Cairde Ceoil, Junior Brother and the Latchikos will perform across the Festival Quarter stages. 

Curated by Pillow Queens
Dublin rock band Pillow Queens have curated a series of concerts celebrating new Irish pop and rock, taking place on 18 March at the Festival Quarter. Acts performing on the night include Dublin band Melts, garage punk act Sprints, post-punk band Gurriers, indie-pop band Girlfriend, emerging five-piece Basht, singer songwriter Katie Kim, indie trio Pixie Cut Rhythm Orchestra, singer-songwriters Megan O’Neil and Cat Dowling, and post-punk band Really Good Time. The Homebeat DJs will also perform on the night, as well as this year’s 2FM Rising acts and Pillow Queens. 

The opening night of the festival (16 March) will see the festival collaborate with LGBTQ+ club promoters Mother on the Cultúr Club event – a night of music, dance and storytelling at the Festival Quarter. The event will feature performances by electronic artist Elaine Mai with singers MayKay and Sinéad White, Bobbi Arlo, electronic artist Lewwab, pop singer Pastiche, and singer-songwriter Tim Chadwick. Mother DJs will also present an all-night queer dance party; storytelling group SEANCHOÍCHE will present a series with journalist Una Mullally; and there will be a ‘géilí’ with podcaster and dancer PJ Kirby and drag artist Panti Bliss.

ABAIR and Ukrainian Songs
Across the weekend, the Festival Quarter – with a Spiegeltent Mór and Spiegeltent Beag, a 3,000 capacity outdoor main stage, story yurt, performance spaces, relaxation areas, a mini-funfair including ferris wheel and the Irish food and craft village – will also host a range of events including the annual traditional song and storytelling project ABAIR, which will feature performances and chats with artists such as multi-instrumentalist Francesco Turrisi and Italian musician Anna Cinzia Villiani. There will also be a family storytelling event by Candle Lit Tales; a pop-up traditional singing series inspired by Johnny ‘The Singer Man’ Martin, a street singer from the 1950s; Irish Traveller singer Stephen Dunne; comedian and storyteller Hugh Cooney with Dublin ballad singer Seán Fitzgerald; Mo Cultivation and Friends Alice, Celaviedmai and Code of Behaviour; and ‘Ukraine and Ulster: Songs in Conflict’ featuring Armagh singer Seán Mone and Dublin-based Ukranian performer and composer Olesya Zdorovetska.

Commenting on the festival, Minister for Arts Catherine Martin, TD, said:

It is said that everyone is Irish on St Patrick’s Day and we welcome that inclusion warmly. It is a day to celebrate our heritage and our history and we invite the world to join in the 2023 celebrations. The festival has grown and flourished through the years and is full of the best of Irish culture, creativity and heritage of which we are all very proud. I have approved support of €600,000 from my Department for this great festival and I look forward to the full and eventful line up which has been organised for this year’s festival.

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Published on 31 January 2023

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