The Bands

The BAND Festival Lineup

All These Great Bands, And More To Come!


We are very proud to present this amazing, ever growing lineup at the first ever Bluegrass And Nashville Dunfanaghy Festival

We are assembling a top line-up of Bluegrass musicians, as well as multi-talented Nashville inspired bands.

The Unholy Gospel Band

Established & led by The Answer frontman Cormac Neeson, The Unholy Gospel Band combines the incredible skills of 5 well established musicians. Their uplifting music explores multiple genres from folk, soul & country while adding their own Unholy Gospel twist! “We Ain't Holy but the Music is Gospel!”

Two Time Polka

Hailing from County Cork the Two Time Polka are an Irish Cajun band and a highlight of any festival they play! With a distinctive sound that has its roots in Cajun, Zydeco, and Bluegrass music they produce a spectacularly vibrant show!

The Dirty Beggars

After being greatly missed The Dirty Beggars are making a much-anticipated return to the stage in 2017. Hailing from Scotland the Celtic-infused Americana 5-piece have played many memorable shows including live on the streets of Nashville. The BAND Festival is delighted to be a part of their explosion back on the Bluegrass Scene!

Gerry Creen

Gerry Creen has been a stalwart of the Belfast folk scene long before his first album 'A Rose By Any Other Name' graced the Irish airwaves in 1986. Since then he's shared the stage with the likes of Nanci Griffith, Mick Hanley & Dougie Maclean. Now, over 30 years later, his voice and song-writing has not diminished but rather like a good barrel of Antrim whiskey has enhanced with age!

Brian Willoughby & Cathryn Craig

Virginia-born Cathryn Craig has built a strong reputation as performer and songwriter singing with musicians such as Chet Atkins & The Righteous Brothers. Brian Willoughby is best known for his virtuoso performances with folk/rock band Strawbs and also with Mary Hopkin. Their first ever performance in Donegal will display Nashville music at its finest! Ticketed Event

The Niall Toner Band

The Niall Toner Band have recorded and released six all-original CDs, and signed a US record deal with Pinecastle Records in 2012. They have toured the USA, Germany, Holland and the UK, appearing at many prestigous Festivals, including Merlefest in North Carolina!

Ticketed Event

The Hot Tamales

A local favourite, The Hot Tamales are known for cooking up a wicked stew of Americana, Old Time Blues and Country with a sprinkling of Raucous Rock n' Roll! A well-established act on the vibrant music scene in the village it wouldn’t be a Dunfanaghy Festival without the incredible Hot Tamales!

Alec Somerville

Originally from Canada, Banjo Legend Alec Somerville, now finds home in Co.Donegal. Alec plays his music in the 'Clawhammer' style on the 5 string banjo. He has a large repertoire of music and songs, many of which were taken overseas by the early Scots and Irish settlers; and a real knowledge of the music which eventually gave birth to Country Music and later to Bluegrass!

Ian Smith

Originally from Kilmarnock, Scotland, Ian Smith has become a much-loved part of the musical landscape of Donegal since moving there many years ago. With influence from the likes of James Taylor, Joni Mitchell, and Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, Ian is a powerful multi-talented singer-songwriter & favourite throughout his adopted home county & much further afield.

Jody Gallagher

One of Donegal’s finest song writers and musicians Jody has spent many years playing in bands all over Ireland. Firmly rooted in country blues, his finely crafted songs are thought provoking and guaranteed to have you toe tapping. Don't miss this opportunity to hear Jody play a unique acoustic set of his Nashville influenced songs!

Declan McClafferty

In Donegal, and much wider afield, Declan needs no introduction. He is a founding member of the superb “In Their Thousands”, and on Sunday night he will bring the sound of Americana and Bob Dylan to life, accompanied by his superb guitar skills. He will be closing the festival this year, and you just never know who else may join him.

Geordie McAdam & Friends

A legend on the bluegrass scene throughout Ireland and the founding member of the extremely popular Broken String Band, Geordie’s fiddle playing is nothing short of extraordinary. Along with a close group of incredibly skilled musicians Geordie & Friends will be leading brilliantly vibrant sessions throughout the festival.

The Hillbilly Rednecks

An incredible 7-piece from Co. Donegal the Hillybilly Rednecks are infamous on the Irish Bluegrass music scene. Filling dance floors all over the County the Hillybilllys will be bringing the heart & soul of Bluegrass music to Dunfanaghy & helping to launch the first BAND Festival!

The Daylight Wobblies

A high octane, mostly ‘unplugged’ jam session from some of the North West’s top musicians, featuring guitar, bass, drums, piano, organ, harmonica and mandolin from former and current members of the Mudskippers, Graffiti Limbo, Men N Black , New Moon, Stray and others. These guys don’t take themselves too seriously and who knows what could happen or who might turn up to play !

Erdini

Donegal musicians Erdini are influenced by both their locality and the extensive culture of Ireland and incorporate elements of bluegrass, country, blues, jazz and traditional Irish music. They are well-known for their often raucous performances, blistering solos and scintillating vocal harmonies!

The Hideaways

The Hideaways are an Americana–influenced 3 piece band of singer–songwriters. Their trademark sound features Janine's warm vocals, perfectly matched by Clarke and Roy's harmonies and their understated acoustic and slide guitar accompaniment. They unveiled their new collection of songs at this year's Belfast Nashville Festival & will be sharing more at the first BAND Festival!

Mules 'n' Men

Mules 'n' Men is the new name for the old New Breadwinners! A confusing situation, I know, but hidden within the confusion are some of the finest young musicians from Ireland's Bluegrass scene. Come along and hear them for yourself.

Eilidh Patterson

Eilidh Patterson is a singer songwriter from Derry who has performed in the UK, US and Ireland, captivating audiences with her voice and songs. A regular visitor to Nashville, she has already released two albums When The Time Comes & This Is Now. The Festival are delighted to be able to include Eilidh in the line-up.

Jackson Rox

2 still young, still travelling hippies. Playin music all over Ireland and beyond, when the opportunity arises.
Paul on accoustic guitar, harmonica. Martina on electric double bass/fretless bass. Covers of a very wide variety of songs by John Prine, Bob Dylan, Neill Young, Johnny Cash, Crosby, Stills and Nash, C.C.R., Willie Nelson, Steve Earl, to name but a few

Rev Neil Down

After a meeting with Albert Collins in 1969, Neil Downs knew that he wanted to devote his lifetime to music. Nicknaming himself "Reverend" Neil Downs, he began to perform blues and rock guitar around the Seattle area. Playing blues-based rock for almost 30 years he has collaborated with artists like Henry McCullough (Paul McCartney, Joe Cocker) and Jerry Scheff (Elvis Presley, Elvis Costello)

Many more to be announced....

Major Sponsor - The Shandon Hotel

We are extremely grateful to The Shandon Hotel for stepping in as our major sponsor. The recently refurbished and reopened Shandon makes a massive active contribution within the community, as well as the massive employment that it provides, and the spin-offs for all the local shops.

The hotel’s new proprietors have invested heavily in its refurbishment in order to bring the Shandon Hotel & Spa to a new level of luxury. The accommodation, food and amenities at the Shandon Hotel are all top class, and the friendliness of the staff is exceptional.

The Shandon Hotel continues to flourish as one of the most desired location for weddings in the North West of Ireland.