Cork native Mick Flannery is among the 18 Irish musical acts who will perform virtually at the Philadelphia Folk Festival next month.
For the first time ever, the renowned Philadelphia Folk Festival has dedicated a full day of its programme to performances by Irish musicians.
Scheduled to run for 12 hours on Saturday, August 15, a stage of the 59th Philadelphia Folk Festival will host some of Ireland’s finest music acts with the support of Culture Ireland.
Due to the threat of Covid-19, the Folk Festival, the oldest continually running outdoor festival in North America, will take place digitally.
Speaking ahead of the Festival, Lisa Schwartz, Festival and Programming Director said during these difficult times, music helps to connect people.
"I believe that music is what connects us and we could all use a positive reminder right now that we are all in this storm together.
"So, creating an event that can be enjoyed from anywhere in the world where there is internet, I hope will go a long way to bringing our community closer, especially at a time when we are forced to be apart," she said.
"With so many musicians having to cancel long-planned tours and gigs and having their ability to earn a living completely gutted, it occurred to me that perhaps there was a way that I could help artists from Ireland to increase their visibility and grow their fanbase in North America and elsewhere without having to travel.
"The music and culture of Ireland is so rich and so vibrant, it is meant to be shared," Ms Schwartz continued.
The acts performing at the festival include artists who would normally be headlining US summer festivals such as We Banjo 3, Téada, and Moxie and emerging bands The Ocelots, Corner Boy and Karrie with Jimmy Smyth.
Hugely popular musicians and amazingly skilled soloists include Daoirí Farrell, Mick Flannery, Lisa O’Neill, Liam Ó Maonlaí of Hot House Flowers and virtuoso guitarist Shane Hennessy.
Audiences are promised a wide variety of choice with artists geographically spread around Ireland including The Henry Girls from Donegal, Lisa Canny from Sligo, Susan O’Neill from Clare, uilleann piper Mark Redmond from Wexford and Kila from Dublin.
Others acts have an international flavour with Navá, who explore the music of Ireland and Persia and Slow Moving Clouds fuses elements of the Irish and Nordic folk traditions with more contemporary sounds.
Announcing the line-up, Catherine Martin, TD, Minister for Media, Tourism, Arts, Culture, Sport and the Gaeltacht, said she is delighted that her Department, through Culture Ireland, can help Irish artists to reach a global audience at the Philadelphia Folk Festival.
"The festival’s special online platform allows us to share our musicians worldwide and build on Ireland’s strong reputation for music as well as offering the musicians an important paid opportunity to perform and connect with their audience," she said.