'All roads lead to Cork': Jazz Festival set to return this October

“It is probably the biggest weekend of the year for Cork”.
'All roads lead to Cork': Jazz Festival set to return this October

Moises Dos Santos, Ivan Conti, Denise Cahila and Kiko Continentino from Ezymuth at the launch of the Guinness Cork Jazz Festival at the new Wavelength venue in Cyprus Avenue. Photo Darragh Kane

ALL roads will lead to Cork this October Bank Holiday weekend as publicans and hoteliers welcome the return of a full programme for the Guinness Cork Jazz Festival.

Tonight organisers launched the programme for this year’s festival which is set to take place from October 27 to 30.

Speaking to The Echo, Cork city and county chairperson of the Vintners’ Federation of Ireland (VFI) and owner of The Castle Inn Michael O’Donovan said that the festival puts Cork on the map with an estimated 40,000 people set to descend on Leeside.

“It’s the only festival really in Ireland where all roads lead to Cork. Whether you’re in Galway, Dublin, Belfast, or Donegal, all roads lead to Cork on the October Bank Holiday weekend.

“It is probably the biggest weekend of the year for Cork”.

“This year it will be the first time since 2019 that we’ll be doing Jazz without restrictions. We had it last year but it was limited. This year it’s really exciting.

Kevin Herlihy, Fiona Collins, Chair Cork Guinness Jazz Festival, Lord Mayor Cllr Deirdre Forde, Mark Murphy, Festival Director, Cllr Deirdre O’Brien, Deputy Mayor of Cork County and Rob Horgan, Deputy President of Cork Chamber at the launch of the Guinness Cork Jazz Festival at the new Wavelength venue in Cyprus Avenue. Photo: Darragh Kane
Kevin Herlihy, Fiona Collins, Chair Cork Guinness Jazz Festival, Lord Mayor Cllr Deirdre Forde, Mark Murphy, Festival Director, Cllr Deirdre O’Brien, Deputy Mayor of Cork County and Rob Horgan, Deputy President of Cork Chamber at the launch of the Guinness Cork Jazz Festival at the new Wavelength venue in Cyprus Avenue. Photo: Darragh Kane

“That weekend is really for us the start into Christmas because once you hit the Jazz weekend then you’re looking straight into Christmas so it’s a really busy time of the year and we can always gauge how we’re going to go from there to Christmas.

“If we have a good Jazz weekend then it holds good for the Christmas festivities so the publicans always look forward to it.

“We’ve been lucky in Cork we’ve had big concerts in Páirc Uí Chaoimh and Musgrave Park but the one thing about the Jazz is it’s the whole city so whether you’re in Bishopstown or Blarney, even down into Kinsale, the whole area gets a go out of the Jazz.” Owner of The Shelbourne Bar on MacCurtain Street Philip Gillivan said that this will be his 27th Jazz Festival in Cork’s Victorian Quarter.

“During the pandemic, we made it work but it just wasn’t the same not having people standing at the bar last year so I think this year is going to be exceptional.

“It has never ever failed. Even last year with restrictions it worked but we had to be so selective about the number of people we could let in so this year looks like it’s going to be a party atmosphere and the whole city will benefit from it from the hairdressers to the taxis, the restaurants, the bars, and hotels, it’s going to be fantastic.”

 Mr Gillivan said that he believes not only will the whole of Cork get behind the festival this year, but the whole of Ireland, as “everybody has been starved of the party atmosphere”.

Paul Scanlon, Cork City and Thais Muniz, Dublin at the launch of the Guinness Cork Jazz Festival at the new Wavelength venue in Cyprus Avenue. Photo: Darragh Kane
Paul Scanlon, Cork City and Thais Muniz, Dublin at the launch of the Guinness Cork Jazz Festival at the new Wavelength venue in Cyprus Avenue. Photo: Darragh Kane

Managing Director of Trigon Hotels Aaron Mansworth said he is “delighted” to see the return of the festival with a full programme again following the pandemic.

“We’re delighted to have it back in full swing this year and we hope to welcome many national and international guests to Cork,” he said.

Organisers have said that this year’s festival promises to bring the magic with new locations, pop-up events, late-night parties, secret gigs, boat trips, collaborations and on-street activities planned.

Some of this year’s acts include New Power Generation who return to Cork to celebrate their mentor Prince, Brazilian living legend Hermeto Pascoal, Denise Chaila, Azymuth, GOGO Penguin, Seun Kuti & Fela’s Egypt 80, Jazzanova, and fresh musical talent including LYRA, Toshín, Fehdah, Bricknasty and the return of Mas Exodus.

Rob and Vivienne McCarthy at the launch of the Guinness Cork Jazz Festival at the new Wavelength venue in Cyprus Avenue. Photo: Darragh Kane
Rob and Vivienne McCarthy at the launch of the Guinness Cork Jazz Festival at the new Wavelength venue in Cyprus Avenue. Photo: Darragh Kane

Head of Partnerships at Diageo Ireland, Rory Sheridan, said: “We are thrilled to return as sponsor of the Guinness Cork Jazz Festival. This year will see us welcome a world-class line-up of both music and art to Cork, that represents, not just established artists, but also provides us with the opportunity to champion Irish and emerging talent on a global stage.” 

Tickets will go on sale this Friday at 10am.

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