Diversity and quality reign in Ballinasloe Strings Festival

Local man John Feeley has gained an international reputation as a classical guitarist.
Local man John Feeley has gained an international reputation as a classical guitarist.

Headline performers at the second annual Ballinasloe Strings Festival, which takes place this Friday and Saturday, July 13 and 14, include internationally-renowned guitarist John Feeley and young German guitarist Daniel Marx.

The vibrant three-strong roots outfit, The Lifebuoys, will also be taking part as will ConTempo while harpist and singer Floriane Blancke will be joined by bouzouki player Brendan O’Regan.

The Ballinasloe Strings Festival, which celebrates the magic of stringed instruments, music and musicians, is hosted and curated by Ballinasloe Library. The line-up features an eclectic range of performers celebrating a variety of musical genres and instruments. What they have in common is that they all play stringed instruments. From classical to jazz, trad to choral singing, it’s an opportunity for music lovers of all ages to enjoy live performances across a range of musical styles.

All events are free, and the Festival will kick off at 2pm this Friday with the final event being at 9pm on Saturday. Several less formal elements have been introduced this year, with drop-in fireside jazz and trad sessions. The Festival will also host its inaugural children’s event, with a musically themed workshop by Anna and Donal from the inspirational Galway band My Fellow Sponges.

“For such a young festival, it’s a superb line-up with a wonderful mix of classic and modern with a twist” said Galway County Council Arts Officer, Sharon O’Grady. “Ballinasloe Library is a welcoming and unique space and the team, led by Una Kelly are encouraging everyone to come and enjoy this dynamic celebration of strings and more.”

For more, read this week’s Galway City Tribune.