While putting on an event is one thing, creating a new festival that conforms to social-distancing and pandemic protocols is another, said Edel Curtin, of Coughlan’s Live. “The biggest challenge, for us, has been finding a way to organise this festival in a safe way due to Covid, but still make it fun and feel like a festival.
“This is a new venture for us, so it’s a little daunting, but lots of people who we have worked with down through the years have really gotten behind us to help make this festival the best it can be.”
“We have five gigs in a row around the country in September, with Ballinacurra House being one of them, so it’s like a mini tour,” Noonan said.
For Noonan, the whole day will be special, not just the time he’s on stage. “I’ve really missed the rhythm of a show day, where you get on the bus in the morning and catch up with everyone on the two- or three-hour drive,” Noonan said.
As Bell X1 haven’t played in this line-up for nearly two years, they are doing plenty of preparation. “There’s definitely some ‘ecca’ to be done, some homework. We’ve a sort of set-list knocking around in a Whatsapp group and we’re digging up recordings to remember how we did what. We’ve a good live recording from Live At The Marquee, which is where we left it off with the full live band.
“The music we made were sketches that we sent around until we could sit down and work together. Some of those ideas did catch fire and people will get to see them in the live show.”
The Saturday line up at The Great Beyond at Ballinacurra House in Kinsale will feature multiple Choice Music Award nominee Lisa Hannigan and Cork’s own The Frank & Walters as co-headliners.
Another two acts whose live concerts never fail to lift an audience on the bill are Wallis Bird and acoustic rock’n’roll juggernaut that is The Scratch.
The much loved comedy stylings and characters of Bernard Casey will be there to bring some levity to the proceedings.
Also performing will be Rowan, who were recently featured in BBC’s highly influential ‘introducing’ slot following the launch of their new Everybody Talks EP; Les Salamandas, an Irish and French indie-folk duo based in Ballydehob; Robert John Ardiff, best known for his work as part of the Choice Music Prize nominees ‘Come On Live Long’ will be performing solo; Ultan Conlon, whose album There’s a Waltz was chosen by RTÉ Radio 1’s album of the week when it was released last year and bringing some good rhythm and vibes will be the Cork City Samba Band.
Sunday will see Bell X1 take to the stage and a second appearance by Lisa Hannigan.
Comedy will be supplied by Red FM Breakfast show co-host Laura O’Mahony, who recently celebrated hitting the 10K followers mark on Instagram with some hilarious stories.The Céilí All-Stars will be bringing the sounds of Sliabh Luachra to proceedings, and Clonakilty’s IMRO songwriting award winner Míde Houlihan will be playing, as will Paddy Dennehy who released his Little Light album to great acclaim in 2020 and appeared on The Late Late Show. Cry Monster Cry, Marc O”Reilly and Naked Animals complete that day’s line up.
The Great Beyond will be held on Saturday and Sunday, September 11 and 12, and is supported by the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media. Tickets are available in pods of four or six and are on sale from coughlans.ie