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 16 years at the Festival include Rory Gallagher’s Band members, the legendary Horslips, Ex. Rolling Stone - Mick Taylor & His Band, Woodstock legends - Ten Years After, Eric Bell Band (Thin Lizzy), Bernie Marsden Band (ex. Whitesnake), “The Blockheads”, Jan Akkerman (ex. Focus), the Late Ronnie Drew who performed on two occasions at the Rory Gallagher Festival and favourites Sinnerboy (UK), Pat McManus (ex. Mama’s Boys), Johnny Gallagher & Boxtie Band, Laundromat (Holland) and Seamie O’Dowd Band.
Speaking from his London home, 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. It's an incredible honour to my Late Brother Rory that there is an event of this magnitude in his honour and in the town where he was born 70 years ago this year, it would mean so much to Rory. Ballyshannon have over the past 16 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”.
Chairperson and founder of the Rory Gallagher Festival Committee Barry O’Neill has greeted the announcement with delight saying “we are thrilled for the Festival to win this award for the second time and its great 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 2018 Rory Gallagher Festival, with tickets to date sold in 24 Countries across the World. Among the Headline acts set to perform between 31st May & 3rd June 2018 are Wishbone Ash featuring Andy Powell, “Taste of Rory” featuring John Wilson and Richie McCracken (Rory’s “Taste” Band members), there is some excitement with the return of Wilko Johnson & His Band as well as American Blues Guitar Legend – Walter Trout & His Band and there is massive interest with Thin Lizzy Legend – Brian Downey and the Alive & Dangerous Band not to mention Eric Steckel Band (USA), Pat McManus Band, Sinnerboy (UK), Johnny Gallagher & Boxtie, Laundromat (Holland) and many more to be announced.
Mr. O’Neill had a special word of thanks to “the key funders and 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 thanks everybody who make such an effort to help in any way each year”.
The 17th Rory Gallagher International Tribute Festival takes place in Ballyshannon, Co. Donegal from Thursday 31st May to Sunday 3rd June 2018. The Full Festival line-up and Programme will be announced on the 2nd March 2018 to coincide with what would have been Rory Gallagher’s 70th Birthday.
All Festival details are available at www.rorygallagherfestival.com