Rory Gallagher Festival faces major competition in the Pure Music Magazine Awards with others shortlisted in the Best Festival Category including Limerick Jazz Festival and Vantastival and Chairperson of the Ballyshannon Festival Barry O’Neill says “we are pleasantly surprised when we heard the news that Rory Gallagher Festival is shortlisted for the Pure M Magazine Awards and the fact that these awards recognise the independent festivals means alot to us as we are a voluntary organisation that honours one of the greatest rock blues guitarists ever born. To receive recognition and be shortlisted on an impressive list for our committee that’s already an achievement”.
In the past Rory Gallagher International Tribute Festival in Ballyshannon has claimed the Best Festivals in Ireland accolade on 4 occasions for ticketed attendances up to 5,000 people in 2010, 20111, 2012 and 2016 with “Electric Picnic” winning the Best Major Festival Award last year at the same event. 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 16 years at the Festival include Horslips, Ex. Rolling Stone - Mick Taylor & His Band, the legendary Wilko Johnson & His Band, Woodstock legends – “Ten Years After”, 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, Stormbringer and Seamie O’Dowd Band.
The 2017 Tribute Festival that took place on the June Bank Holiday weekend was a major success with music fans travelling from 32 Countries across the World to Ballyshannon with stunning performances from John Wilson’s “Taste”, from “King King” from Scotland from “Ten Years After” with the explosive guitarist Marcus Bonfantti, from Bernie Marsden Band (ex. Whitesnake), also from local favourites Johnny Gallagher & Boxtie and Pat McManus Band.
Recently the Festival also featured on National Radio on Newstalk FM’s “Down to Business” with Presenter Bobby Kerr speaking to Barry O’Neill about the international success of the 4 day festival as well as Rory’s musical heritage. On the Programme - Mr. O’Neill had a special word of thanks for key supports from Failte Ireland and the Wild Atlantic Way, Donegal County Council, Diageo / Guinness Ireland and the Business Community in Ballyshannon and Bundoran.