The impressive line-up has many debut performances for Ballyshannon with renowned American Guitarist ALBERT CUMMINGS, the Dutch psychedelic Rock band DEWOLFF who are set to make quite the impact on their Irish debut and another Irish debut that we are really excited to have perform the exquisite Slide Guitarist ERJA LYYTINEN & HER BAND.
Its been many years since NINE BELOW ZERO performed at the Rory Gallagher Festival, but the good news is that they are back fronted by Dennis Greaves and Rory's great friend and Harp player MARK FELTHAM. Festival legend and local lads - JOHNNY GALLAGHER & BOXTIE, Mama's Boy's Legend - PAT McMANUS & HIS BAND are also part of the Big Top Headline Programme but will also perform at the iconic Rory Gallagher Festival Outdoor Street stages along with great acts including the Superb Irish Blues Guitarist - GRAINNE DUFFY & HER BAND, Festival Greats - ZAC SCHULZE GANG, the powerful AIDEN PRYOR BAND with a full programme of activity to be announced soon for gigs to take place at the Rory Gallagher Theatre, Street Stages at Rory Gallagher Place, at the Rory Gallagher Statue, The Gables, the Rock Hospital and at 10 Pub venues throughout Ballyshannon between Thursday 30th May and Sunday 2nd June 2024.
Taking a closer look at the Headline acts that we bring to you in 2024 to perform at the Festival Big Top, starting with the Friday evening Big Top Show (Friday 31st May 2024). Uli Jon Roth & His Band return to Ballyshannon for the first time since 2015. ULI JON ROTH is one of the all-time greatest best known for his time with "Scorpions" and for hits "Rock you like a Hurricane" and "Wind of Change". Post his time with "Scorpions" Uli Jon Roth has proven over many decades to be an influential figure in the guitar world. Also on the Friday night line up will be a first time Irish Festival appearance for ALBERT CUMMINGS - hailing from Williamstown, Massachusetts, USA a true blues musician who has played alongside Johnny Winter, Buddy Guy and recording with US Country Star Vince Gill. Cummings has been in the spotlight for many years serving as B.B. King’s opening act, he’s never shied away from incorporating other forms of music into his blues. His energetic show will no doubt be stunning at the forthcoming Rory Gallagher Festival. No Rory Gallagher Festival Big Top line-up would be complete without the firm Festival favourite that is JOHNNY GALLAGHER & BOXTIE - the ever popular Bundoran Band never disappoint at the spot where Johnny learned many a School lesson. Recently Johnny Gallagher and his sibling band members Pauric and James and their Dad, Sean Gallagher were awarded the Lifetime Achievement in Music Award at the Ballyshannon Rhythm & Blues Weekend.
Saturday 1st June 2024 at the Rory Gallagher Festival Big Top will see the return of BAND OF FRIENDS led by Rory Gallagher's bass man of some 25 years - Gerry McAvoy and Rory's drummer Brendan O'Neill and this year, Band of Friends will welcome DAVY KNOWLES on lead guitar for what will be a must-see for Rory fans as Davy Knowles based in the USA has flown the flag for Rory and never shy in expressing his love forr Rory Gallagher's music. Gerry and the Band are firm Festival favourites in Ballyshannon and their explosive energy would have Rory smiling down knowing that the Band of Friends continue to honour his legacy. Also on the Saturday evening at the Festival Big Top, we welcome another debut performer not just at the Festival but in Ireland for the superb slide guitarist ERJA LYYTINEN & HER BAND. This will be a must see performance. Fondly referred to in many quarters as "the Queen of Slide Guitar" it’s fair to say that Erja Lyytinen’s sound has evolved over the years. Beginning with her traditional blues roots, Lyytinen has been simultaneously pushing forward with a hard rock-orientated style of play whilst always keeping that blues sound at the core of everything she does. Erja says "I am excited and honoured to be performing at the Rory Gallagher International Tribute Festival and my first time to play in Ireland will be special but to do it in honour of Rory and in his birthplace is surreal for myself and my band. We will raise the roof in Ballyshannon with our Blues hard-rock element and edge”. Also appearing at the Big Top on Saturday 1st June 2024 will be another Rock legend and Festival stalwart - PAT McMANUS & HIS BAND - Pat a.k.a The Professor needs no introduction here, the Mama's Boy's legend shot to fame in 1982 when the band released the classic "Needle in the Groove" and later entered the American Billboard Top 100 with the album "Power and Passion". This will mark Pat's 21st year playing in Ballyshannon and has headlined all 20 Festivals ... so work that one out, otherwise ask The Professor !!!
Well what can we say about the 3 acts selected for the Sunday evening (2nd June 2024) at the Rory Gallagher Festival Big Top ... Blues meets Boogie meets Blues Rock meet Psychedelic Rock .... the legendary CANNED HEAT, the return of NINE BELOW ZERO and introducing the explosive Dutch rockers DEWOLFF ... we are excited
CANNED HEAT - the American Band that defined a generation post their Headlining slot at the Woodstock Festival of 1969 with their worldwide
rock anthems “On The Road Again,” “Going Up The Country” and “Let’s Work Together” having gained international attention and securing their niche in the pages of Rock 'n Roll history with their performance at the 1967 Monterey Pop Festival along with Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin and The Who. Now, more than 50 years later and with 40 albums to their credit, "Canned Heat" is still going strong. The current "Canned Heat" line-up features the band's founder, leader and original drummer Adolfo “Fito” de la Parra. On Harmonica, guitar and lead vocals is New Orleans’ legend - Dale Spalding. The inventive bassist is Rick Reed (ex. John Mayall Band and "Chicago Blues Reunion"). The newest addition on lead guitar and vocals is the incredible Jimmy Vivino, best known for his 28 year association as guitarist, arranger and music director for Late Night with Conan O’Brien on the NBC TV in the USA. When CANNED HEAT take to the stage at the Rory Gallagher Festival Big Top on Sunday 2nd June 2024, it will mark a very special moment in the 20 year history of the Festival and another tilting of the hat by a group of legendary musicians to Rory Gallagher.
NINE BELOW ZERO - what can we say other than when Rory's Harmonica player MARK FELTHAM made contact with Festival Chairperson Barry O'Neill recently to say that NBZ were available for 2024, the reply was instant and immediate YES. It's many years since NINE BELOW ZERO performed in Ballyshannon at the Rory Gallagher Theatre, so its long overdue that NBZ band leaders Dennis Greaves and Mark Feltham return with this fantastic 6 Piece band to perform on Sunday 2nd June 2024. Live, this combination is lethal, hammering and nailing the big
R'N B sound to the floor of many a famous stage. Also performing with NBZ will be female vocalist Charlie Austen, on drums Sonny Greaves, guitar and keys Tom Monks and on bass Anthony Harty. Over the years we have always been delighted to have Rory's former band members perform so this year having Mark Feltham, Brendan O'Neill and Gerry McAvoy perform over the 2 nights means a lot to us.
The honour of closing the Headline Stage at the Rory Gallagher International Tribute Festival in 2024 is with Dutch 7 Piece Band DEWOLFF. Again a first time performance at the Rory Gallagher Festival and in Ireland, if you haven't experienced DEWOLFF yet, then be prepared as this band are in our opinion the rising stars in Europe for their unique take on Rock, Blues Rock and self described as Psychedelic Rock !!! When you see or hear this band once, you want more. DEWOLFF's powerful live performances are selling out shows / festivals all across Europe whipping crowds into a frenzy with powerful performances. Many of our Dutch Festival followers will know DEWOLFF and to have this band perform for the first time at any Festival in Ireland or Great Britain ... this will be music experience that will prove memorable.
We look forward to welcoming Rory's fans and music lovers from over 20 Countries worldwide to the 20th Rory Gallagher International Tribute Festival in Ballyshannon, Co. Donegal from Thursday 30th May to Sunday 2nd June 2024 on Ireland's Wild Atlantic Way - Thank you
Book your 3 Night Early Bird Tickets for our Big Top Concerts Now by clicking on the button below and please remember that more acts will be announced to perform at our Outdoor Street Gigs, at the Rory Gallagher Statue, at the Fair Green (Town Park), at Rory Gallagher Place, at The Gables and at Rory's birthplace at the Rock Hospital in Ballyshannon - Thank you