Sea Church in Ballycotton is one of the main hosts of the inaugural FAT Fest.

Folking great music planned

It’s all about folk and trad next week as a new festival descends on East Cork.

FAT Fest will run from Thursday 27 April to Monday 1 May and is a 5 day celebration of Irish folk and alternative trad music which will see high profile acts such as Ron Sexsmith, Stockton's Wing, The High Kings and the Dublin City Ramblers perform at Sea Church and various other locations around the stunning seaside village of Ballycotton.

Performers at the festival will comprise a mix of established and up-and-coming artists, all with a passion for traditional Irish music and a desire to push the boundaries of the genre.

Audiences can expect everything from lively jigs and reels to more contemporary styles of music. In addition, the village will play host to talks and workshops with plenty of opportunities to meet performers.

Speaking about the new festival, General Manager of Sea Church John Kidney said it’s another great reason to visit Ballycotton: “As the main hosting venue for the Ballycotton FAT Fest we are thrilled at the prospect of so many fantastic acts coming to perform here over the May Bank Holiday weekend.

“Folk and alternative trad have grown massively in popularity in recent years, and we’re expecting audiences of all ages to want to visit Ballycotton for the few days of the festival. The Ballycotton FAT Fest promises to be a really unique experience and a chance to see some of the best Irish music around.”

Organisers are very excited to welcome acclaimed singer songwriter Ron Sexsmith to Ballycotton.

The multi-award winning artist has a career that spans decades, and has recorded 17 albums, as well as collaborating with the likes of Coldplay’s Chris Martin. His songs have been covered by a host of stars including Rod Stewart and Emmylou Harris.

Ballycotton FAT Fest will also welcome renowned musical collective Stockton’s Wing. Hosted by founding members Mike Hanrahan and Paul Roche, they were joined in recent years by by fiddler extraordinaire Tara Breen, banjo and mandolin player Karol Lynch and guitarist Paul McSherry. More recently, Stephen Byrne on percussion has been added to the lineup. Stockton’s Wing are highly respected for their innovation, musicianship, and creativity.

Another huge favourite on the folk scene, The Dublin City Ramblers, will perform at The Blackbird in Ballycotton.

Irish folk/ jazz singer and guitarist Síomha will return to Sea Church for the festival; fresh from appearing on Season 2 of RTE’s ‘The Ballycotton Sessions’, which was filmed at Sea Church in September and aired on RTÉ recently.

Artists such as Strange Boy, Molly O’Mahoney and Irish Folk Album of the Year winner Myles Gaffney are also confirmed for what’s expected to be a jam-packed few days of entertainment. For more information on the Ballycotton FAT Fest, visit