Ireland's summer festivals unveil 2023 acts 

With many of the main acts announced already, and more announcements to come, it looks like being a promising festival year ahead, says Stevie G in his Downtown column
Ireland's summer festivals unveil 2023 acts 

Steve Lacy: One of the tastier acts on offer at Electric Picnic 2023.

The big summer festivals of 2023 have been busy announcing their line-ups in the last few weeks. In reality, it’s just some of the main acts who have been announced, with many more to come.

With lots of the best festivals, such as All Together Now and Electric Picnic, the best music often takes place away from the main stages, but it’s still worth looking at who has been announced so far.

Electric Picnic tickets are going on sale tomorrow morning and it’s sure to sell out. In keeping with the more poppier feel of the last few years the line-up includes such acts as Niall Horan, Lewis Capaldi and the returning Billie Eilish, who played the main stage in 2019 too. I saw her that night and she was excellent.

Of even more interest to many of my readers will probably be Steve Lacy, whose second album, Gemini Rights, has been a huge success this year after the viral success of ‘Bad Habit’.

The Internet guitarist has brought us one of the albums of the year and he is a great addition to a bill which also features another big 2022 success story Fred Again. Like Lacy, Fred Again has been around for ages, but this was his breakout pop year. Also announced for EP 2023 are Jamie XX, Rick Astley, Amyl & the Sniffers, Tom Odell and Idles.

Closer to home, the August weekend has brought two huge festivals in the last few years. In Waterford, many Cork music fans have headed to All Together Now, in the beautiful surroundings of the Curragmore Estate. This is one of my favourite festivals and it reminds me of the early days of the Electric Picnic, which was also spearheaded originally by the late great John Reynolds and Pod Productions. This year Iggy Pop is among the headliners, which again includes Jamie XX. Caribou, Loyle Carner, Villagers, Jessie Ware, Sugababes, Lankum, Overmono and Talos, are also among the early acts announced, but there will be loads more by next August.

Similarly, Indiependence in Mitchelstown is another huge festival not too far away. A massive success story for Cork, Indie always draws big crowds and some big music names too. Anne Marie, Inhaler, Raye, Paul Woolford, Jax Jones, Belters Only, Annie Mac, King Kong Company, Nathan Dawe, Two Door Cinema Club and Cork’s very own Cian Ducrot are among the early acts announced, and it’s sure to be another sell out.

Body and Soul up in Meath is one of my own favourite festivals, and it’s always been a great place to see upcoming acts. This year they have announced a few already, including Moderat, Giles Peterson, Shanti Celeste, Sorcha Richardson, Aoife Nessa Francis and more. It’s a long trek from Cork but one which many of us make most years, and it’s usually worth it. I’m looking forward to going back up.

At the same time Live at the Marquee and Musgrave Park are both welcoming some big names to Cork City so it shall be interesting to see who we get in 2023. Already announced at the Marquee we have UK rapper Aitch, Mimi Webb, Olly Murs, and The Frames, while Musgrave Park has The Prodigy, who are another legendary act sure to get Cork music fans excited. Regular visitors here for over 30 years now, The Prodigy have always had a special relationship with Ireland, and I’m sure many old ravers will be dusting off their baggy jeans and bucket hats for this one!

Florence and the Machine is another huge act coming to the Turner’s Cross venue, while George Ezra, Paulo Nutini and Kodaline also visit. The last few Chemical Brothers visits here fell victim to Covid so hopefully it’s third or fourth time lucky for a show that was originally announced for before the pandemic. They are another huge dance act with a massive following from all musical backgrounds so this will be big.

This is just a taste of some of the musical offerings on offer for the big festivals in 2023, but there are many other festivals and one off shows coming too. For example, Kraftwerk pay Limerick while the Weeknd plays Marlay Park, who also host Longitude next July. As 2022 turns into 2023 we will be expecting much more announcements so there’s lots to look forward to in the new year!

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