The Rory Gallagher International Tribute Festival was established in 2002 and since then has firmly become one of the most popular Music Festivals in Ireland, attracting hundreds of overseas visitors and in particular dedicated Rory Gallagher Fans to the North West. Among the leading bands to have appeared over the last 15 years at the Festival include Horslips, Ex. Rolling Stone - Mick Taylor & His Band, the legendary Wilko Johnson & His Band, Eric Bell Band (Thin Lizzy), “The Blockheads”, Rory Gallagher’s Band, Jan Akkerman (ex. Focus), the Late Ronnie Drew who performed on two occasions at the Rory Gallagher Festival and annual favourites Pat McManus (ex. Mama’s Boys), Johnny Gallagher & Boxtie Band and Seamie O’Dowd Band.
Chairperson and founder of the Rory Gallagher Festival Committee Barry O’Neill has greeted the announcement with delight saying “its absolutely fantastic news for the locality to have the Rory Gallagher Festival named Irish Festival of the Year in the Small Festival Category. It’s an honour for the hard working voluntary committee but also we would like to thank the thousands of people who come to Ballyshannon every year to pay tribute to Rory Gallagher. We are looking forward to the 2017 Tribute Festival, with tickets to date sold in 22 Countries across the World. Among the Headline acts set to perform between 1st & 4th June 2017 are Band of Friends featuring Gerry McAvoy and Ted McKenna (Rory Gallagher Band), “Taste of Rory” featuring John Wilson and Richie McCracken (Rory’s “Taste” Band members) as well as Woodstock legends “Ten Years After”, Bernie Marsden Band (ex. Whitesnake) and there is massive interest also in Scottish Rockers “King King” who will be making their Ballyshannon debut.
Speaking from his London, Donal Gallagher, brother and Manager of the Late Rory Gallagher said that “the news of the success for the Rory Gallagher International Tribute Festival at the Irish Festival Awards is well deserved and Rory’s fans will be in particular very pleased by this news. I congratulate all the committee members on a fantastic achievement, it’s a truly amazing result and would mean so much to Rory. Ballyshannon have over the past 15 years ensured that Rory’s music and legacy remains strong and has became a focal point for thousands of Rory’s fans from all over the world to meet on annual basis, we are so proud of this award”.
Mr. O’Neill had a special word of thanks for “our key sponsors Failte Ireland and the Wild Atlantic Way, Donegal County Council, Diageo / Guinness Ireland and the Business Community in Ballyshannon and Bundoran. We appreciate this award greatly and want to thank everybody who make such an effort to help in any way each year”.
The 16th Rory Gallagher International Tribute Festival takes place in Ballyshannon, Co. Donegal from Thursday 1st June to Sunday 4th June 2017. The Full Festival line-up and Programme will be announced on the 2nd March 2017 at a special launch at Arthur’s venue at St. James’ Gate, Dublin to coincide with what would have been Rory Gallagher’s 69th Birthday.