Earagail Arts Festival hosts The Mountain Stage

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Our good friends at Earagail Arts Festival return this year again to host The Mountain Stage, sponsored by Kinnegar Brewing.

This year’s Mountain Stage programme in The Barn – Ireland’s only nomadic, agricultural outbuilding created by Belfast-based artist, inventor and explorer Paddy Bloomer – has been extended to three days, opening on Friday night.

Day 1 – Stendhal Festival Presents (Friday)
We’re delighted to welcome a selection of artists curated by Earagail Arts Festival’s partners at Stendhal Festival, Northern Ireland’s largest independent festival. Artists appearing inlude Rosborough, Waldorf & Cannon, No Oil Painting and Hunkpapa. Check out the line-up for Stendhal including a special EAF curated line-up of Donegal’s finest at over the weekend of 10th & 11th August.

Day 2 – Distorted Perspectives (Saturday)
Featuring three days of electronica, contemporary, traditional and folk artists in music and spoken word, The Mountain Stage will host local emerging artists, national and international guests from Ireland, Scotland and the USA in The Barn. Lineup: Donal Dineen, Slow Place Like Home, The Bonk, Alien She, Strength NIA, Shammen Delly, People That Listen To The Sky, F12, Distorted Perspectives DJS.

Day 3 – The California Feetwarmers (Sunday)
Sunday presents a programme celebrating Gaelic culture, and transatlantic folk & roots. Commencing with an afternoon of Irish and Scottish Gaelic song and spoken word with contributors Anne Martin, Eithne Ní Chatháin Eoghan Mac Giolla Bhríde agus Niall Hackett, a performance by the Gaelic electronic duo Whyte plus a few surprise guests throughout the day, The Mountain Stage will draw to a close with the fun-lovin’ masters of ragtime, Dixieland blues and early swing, The California Feetwarmers!

The 5th annual Swell Music & Arts Festival takes place on Arranmore Island, Co Donegal, from July 27 to 29. Tickets are on sale now! Click here

Limited Islander rate tickets now on sale

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A limited amount of Islander rate tickets for this year’s Swell Festival are now on sale!

We are very grateful for the phenomenal support you have shown this festival on your beautiful home island of Arranmore.

As always, as a ‘thank you’ and a token of our appreciation to the Arranmore community, a limited amount of Islander tickets has been made available.

The Islander tickets, which are being sold on a ‘first come, first serve’ basis for only €40, can be purchased in person at Early’s Bar, by contacting Jerry Early on Mobile 0878054246 or by sending a direct message to the Early’s Bar Facebook page. Don’t forget, there is only a very limited amount of additional Islander tickets, so purchase them quickly!

A member of the Swell team will also be on island this weekend. So feel free to contact us by direct message. Don’t forget, there is only a very limited amount of additional Islander tickets, so purchase them quickly!

If you do miss out on the Islander tickets, we would still love to see many of you at the festival as your support is very important to us. Day passes will still be available on the website.

Please note that day passes are €35, so you are better off getting your Islander rate ticket quickly and having the option to go all weekend.

Anyone purchasing tickets, please understand that we are selling these at a special rate to the island community as a ‘Thank You’ so please treat this with respect. We thank you all for your understanding and support.

We would like to stress to all others still interested in attending this year’s Swell Music & Arts Festival that tickets are selling very, very fast and we are nearing full capacity. So be sure to purchase your tickets as soon as possible!

Thank you all for your continued support, we look forward to seeing you at this year’s fifth annual Swell Music & Arts Festival! It’s going to be an amazing weekend!

We have already announced some of the biggest highlights of this year’s line-up. To find out more, click here!

Ryan McMullan, The Wood Burning Savages & More

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Ryan McMullan and The Wood Burning Savages are just two of the highlights appearing at this year’s Swell Festival.

In less than seven weeks we will be welcoming people to the beautiful island of Arranmore off the coast of Donegal and as we celebrate our fifth anniversary, this is sure to be one of the best line-ups we’ve had to-date.

Portaferry’s Ryan McMullan has been building a great reputation in the music scene on the island of Ireland for years. Since opening for Ed Sheeran on European tour in 2017, his career has reached new heights and we are so thrilled that he will be joining us for the very first time.

What can we say about The Wood Burning Savages. Close friends to the festival, the Derry band has appeared at Swell on a number of occasions. Their debut album Stability has been receiving rave reviews both at home and abroad. If you haven’t seen TWBS live before, you are in for a high octane performance that will have you rocking out!

While they are first-timers to the Swell Festival line-up, Ye Vagabonds are no strangers to Arranmore. In fact, the folk duo has very close family ties to the island and are regular visitors which will make their appearance particularly special.

Over the years we have had many bands return to the festival and we are so thrilled that Accidents In The Workplace are once again appearing. One of the highlights of 2017, the funky Louth band and their charismatic lead singer Lauren Murphy are sure to bring the house down, yet again.

Other acts appearing include For Foresters, Kneecap, Gaze Is Ghost, Without Willow, TPM,Thumper and many more. Keep posted on our social media sites for further updates in the coming weeks.

The 5th annual Swell Music & Arts Festival takes place at Rannagh Strand, the home of Arranmore United FC, from July 27 to 29, and tickets are on sale now! Click here!

Get your special rate tickets, we’re moving!

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Swell Music & Arts Festival is delighted to announce that we are going west!

Our milestone fifth festival will be hosted on the west side of the island at Rannagh Strand, Aphort thanks to the generosity of Arranmore United Football Club.

To celebrate the announcement of our new location, we have just posted a limited run of 25 special rate tickets priced at only €50pp + €5.81 booking fee.

Organiser, John Muldowney said he is grateful to the club’s committee for offering their site to host what he hopes will be the biggest and most successful year to-date.

He said: “As we are a not-for-profit festival, we rely on a lot of support from not only individuals, but also larger organisations to host this annual event, which we are pleased to say attracts a lot of tourism to the island and county!

“The committee of Arranmore United recognises the value of Swell Festival as something that brings new faces to the island have gone out of their way to make things happen for us.”

“The people who have come year on year and supported the festival are going to be very excited about our new location, overlooking Rannagh Strand and the beautiful Atlantic ocean.

“We have been working hard to build on the success of 2017, which was our best year to-date. For 2018 we want to continue to showcase new Irish talent, as well as some top musical acts.

“Thanks to the support of the Irish language community, we also hope to build on the promotion of our native tongue as part of this festival hosted in Donegal’s Gaeltacht.”

The Swell Music & Arts Festival will take place at Arranmore United Football Club, Rannagh Strand, Aphort, Arranmore from Friday, July 27 to Sunday, July 29.

And don’t forget the limited run of 25 special rate tickets are now on sale! Once they’re gone, they’re gone!

Follow us on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook: @SwellFestival

Emerald X20 Opus Draw in aid of Swell 2018

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Would you like to be in with a chance to win a beautiful Irish-made electro acoustic guitar?

In our continued effort to raise funds for our annual not-for-profit festival on Arranmore, we are delighted to be announcing our draw for an X20 Opus, thanks to the support of Emerald Guitars.

This is a fantastic opportunity to win a beautiful carbon fibre guitar made right here in Donegal, complete with LR Baggs Element Active System pickup and custom-padded gig bag which retails at €1,670.

The draw is strictly limited to 200 and they are €25 per ticket. All proceeds will go towards programming Swell Festival 2018 which will mark its fifth anniversary.

The draw will take place on Christmas Eve, 24th December 2017, and the winner will be announced on our social media sites, meaning one lucky punter will have a very Happy Christmas!

Are you still missing a Christmas present for someone who happens to be a guitar lover? Then enter them into this draw while tickets last! Click here to purchase your ticket!

Send us your Swell Memories

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We want to keep the buzz from this year’s Swell weekend going all the way into next year and for that, we would love your help!

It was such a beautiful weekend on Arranmore and with all the fun-filled festivities no doubt many of you took some amazing pictures at this year’s Swell Music & Arts Festival and we would love to see them.

Send us your favourite photos from this year’s Swell and, with your permission, we would love to share them over the coming year.

No doubt, you also have some great stories from the weekend to tell us. Who was your favourite act? What was your favourite moment? Did you go exploring the island and caught the sunrise by lighthouse? We would love to hear your stories!

Send an email with the Subject: Swell Memories to info@swellfestival.com and send your favourite Swell 20017 photos and stories.

We look forward to hearing from you and thank you all for continuing to support Swell Music & Arts Festival. Go raibh mile maith agaibh!

Parking restrictions in Burtonport this weekend

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This weekend’s Swell Music & Arts Festival on Arranmore coincides with the beginning of the 41st annual Burtonport Festival.

Parking will therefore be limited in the pier area and car park and some areas will be closed due to ongoing festival proceedings.

We recommend that patrons attending our festival try to arrive in Burtonport as early as possible to find suitable and safe parking for your motor vehicle.

Please respect the Burtonport community and do not leave your vehicle in a location that may cause an obstruction to local traffic.

We would like to take this opportunity to wish the organisers of the Burtonport Festival (July 21 to 29) all the very best for their annual week-long festivities.

For anyone interested in attending this year’s Swell Music & Arts Festival that full weekend and day passes are selling very, very fast and we are nearing full capacity. So be sure to purchase your tickets as soon as possible!

There are also important details you need to know about the ferries here. Thank you all for your continued support, we look forward to seeing you at this year’s Swell Music & Arts Festival! It’s going to be an amazing weekend!

More Islander tickets allocated as a ‘Thank You’

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We are thrilled to announced that have just sold out all the special rate tickets that were allocated for Islanders.

We thank you all so much for the phenomenal support you have shown this festival on your beautiful home island of Arranmore.

As a ‘thank you’ and a token of our appreciation to the Arranmore community, a very limited amount of additional Islander tickets will be made available on the basis first come, first served.

You can purchase your Islander tickets at Early’s Bar, by contacting Jerry Early on Mobile 0878054246 or by sending a direct message to the Early’s Bar Facebook page. Don’t forget, there is only a very limited amount of additional Islander tickets, so purchase them quickly!

If you do miss out on the Islander tickets, we would still love to see many of you at the festival as your support is very important to us. Day passes will still be available on the website. We thank you all for your understanding and support.

We would like to stress to all others still interested in attending this year’s Swell Music & Arts Festival that tickets are selling very, very fast and we are nearing full capacity. So be sure to purchase your tickets as soon as possible!

Thank you all for your continued support, we look forward to seeing you at this year’s Swell Music & Arts Festival! It’s going to be an amazing weekend!

Make sure to book your ferries!

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We very fortunate that there are two great ferry services providing transport to and from Arranmore island where Swell Music & Arts Festival takes place this weekend.

Here is some very important information regarding the ferry services which we ask that you read thoroughly to ensure that you trip runs smoothly with either Arranmore Ferry (Red Ferry) or Arranmore Fast Ferry (Blue Ferry) to Arranmore and back to Burtonport

Late Ferries on Sunday night/Monday morning
Foot passengers generally do not need to book a place with either company. However, both companies have kindly put on additional ferries to accommodate those who wish to leave the island on Sunday night/Monday morning.

If you want to leave the island at 11pm on Sunday, you need to book with Arranmore Fast Ferry (Blue Ferry). If you want to leave at 2am on Monday morning you must book with Arranmore Ferry (Red Ferry). We stress again that this also applies to foot passengers wanting to leave the island.

Bringing your motor vehicle
Should you wish to bring your motor vehicle, you must book your crossing with one of the ferry companies, to AND from Arranmore to guarantee your place, otherwise you may be delayed.

Parking is at your own risk. There is no parking available on site and any vehicles causing obstruction will be moved as we must respect the needs of islanders, as well as ensuring that emergency vehicles have access, if required.

We are very grateful to both ferry companies for their assistance every year with Swell Music & Arts Festival. We look forward to seeing you all on Arranmore this weekend. Tickets can still be purchased here.

Mark Geary digs deep to make magic

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As he prepares to release his eagerly-anticipated fifth studio album, popular Irish singer/songwriter Mark Geary is set to perform at Ireland’s best kept festival secret, Swell Music & Arts Festival on Arranmore Island off the coast of County Donegal.

The songwriter has just returned from a ten-day tour on the west coast of North America, starting the promotion of his new album The Fool, which is due for release in October.

Mark is no stranger to playing intimate venues around the States having lived in New York for several years in the 1990s from where he honed his craft as both a performer and songwriter.

“I was in Vancouver, Seattle and Portland for about ten days, slowly starting to bang on the drum to promote the new album and it was a real boost in the arm to play these new songs.

“It’s a lovely feeling, having a new body of work looking forward to an audience hearing them for the first time,” said Mark.

Mark loves having the luxury of being able to play new material while on tour. “Something happens with them on the road and when you go back into the studio you can recreate what they felt like when you faced the audience and committed to the song.

“I was very fortunate that I got to tour the States with my music very early in my life and always had myself pegged as a travelling musician turning up in a small town with the purpose of singing for the people, and I have continued to do that.

“A lot of bands and artists live in a van for years and just continue their extensive touring. What that does for you as a musician is, you really get your armor, it becomes so much more than trying to find an audience, it does something to you.

“You get so much better, even thought you haven’t slept properly, the muscle memory starts to happen on stage and it becomes very uncomplicated and you’re on a very different mind set.”

Irish music fans first took note of Mark when he returned to Ireland to perform his song Volunteer on a then new television series that had been developed for RTÉ Television, called Other Voices.

He said: “I had left Ireland on a one-way ticket and was living in New York when Glen (Hansard) asked me to come back and do this show.

“I’ll be honest, I had never even been to Dingle. It is only because of music that I got to go there and later would get to tour all of Ireland with my first album 33 ⅓ Grand Street.”

Having now toured all over Ireland for many years, this will not be the first time Mark performs on an Irish island, either, as he gets set to play at the not-for-profit festival on Arranmore.

“I played Inishboffin in the Arran Islands before. There’s something very potent about islanders, in general; We are islanders ourselves, and truly unique in that regard.

I remember coming back to Ireland and found myself in places like Dingle, West Cork or Letterkenny and being struck by the fact that the town’s night’s entertainment was you! The whole village would be out to see you for an evening of song and chat and I remember thinking I would really have to up my game from the sets I had to do in New York.

“I knew I would have to dig deep to make it magic. And maybe the challenge here in Ireland is the fact that there’s so much talent. You’re performing in a small room and suddenly a woman in the audience, who normally just works in an office, is singing the most beautiful harmony.”

“I’m sure that’s all multiplied on a little island off the coast of Donegal. There are people and personalities there, and they are just as important as you.”

Mark Geary and his band play Swell Music & Arts Festival which takes place on on Arranmore Island, Co Donegal from July 21 to 23. For all the latest news on Mark Geary go to www.markgeary.com; Tickets for Swell Festival are available at www.swellfestival.com