This year’s Swell Music & Arts Festival on Arranmore island (July 21 to 23) features some fantastic acts and it’s all thanks to friendships being made over the years.

The organisers are thrilled to announce that well-known Irish singer/songwriter Mark Geary will be one of the headline acts at this year’s Swell Festival.

Mark Geary is a songwriter’s favourite and first struck a chord with Swell co-founder John Muldowney when the well-known Letterkenny and saw the singer on RTÉ’s Other Voices.

“He just blew me away singing Volunteer and I promptly bought his album 33 1/3 Grand Street which has been a firm favourite and go-to album of mine since.”

John said he hadn’t heard about Mark in a while, but when he discovered that the singer had a new album coming out, he promptly placed his order.

Through his interaction with the website, John discovered that Mark did a lot of the work behind the scenes himself and the two struck up a conversation and became friendly online.

John said: “He actually sent me two albums and I emailed back thanking him. He befriended me on Facebook and when I sent out the blanket invite to Swell Festival, he sent me a personal message thanking me for the invitation to the festival and we started talking about it.

“I told him that we didn’t have a large budget to work with, while he told me that he had a new album coming out that he was hoping to promote. So between the jigs and the reels I am so delighted that Mark Geary will be performing at this year’s Swell.”

John also paid tribute to the young and emerging talent performing at this year’s festival, attributing many of the acts to the connections made to BIMM Dublin Music College.
“There have been so many musicians from Donegal who have attended BIMM, performed at Swell and then also told all their friends about us who in turn want to play.

“We also have a number of ‘local heroes’ playing who have cut their teeth and regularly event like Disturbance hosted by Nigel Hegarty at No 58 in Letterkenny, acts like Lunch Machine, Aul Boy, The Barbiturates and many more,” he said.

Other headline acts include Moya Brennan & Family, Mundy, Clann Mhic Ruairi, The Emerald Armada, The California Feetwarmers and Orchid Collective.

John and the team are also pleased that Earagail Arts Festival are back on board hosting the Mountain Stage, two days of electronica, contemporary, traditional and folk artists in music and spoken word, hosting local emerging artists, national and international guests from Ireland, Scotland and the USA in The Barn – Ireland’s only nomadic, agricultural outbuilding created by Belfast based artist, inventor and explorer Paddy Bloomer.

To buy tickets for this year’s Swell Music & Arts Festival on Arranmore, July 21 to 23, click here and follow the festival on Facebook: Swell Festival, Instagram: Swell Festival and

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