Liverpool loves Ireland

Affectionately known as ‘the real capital of Ireland’, Liverpool will celebrate its rich Irish culture and heritage with an evening of live music and dance, as part of the new Liverpool Loves festival this summer.

Liverpool Loves Ireland will celebrate the links between the city and the Emerald Isle on Friday 7 August with a line-up of traditional Irish entertainment.

Liverpool Loves Ireland will be staged at Pier Head Liverpool in a bespoke Big Top venue, situated on the city’s UNESCO World Heritage Waterfront especially for the three-day festival.

The evening of entertainment will run between 7pm and 11pm, headlined by Cream of the Barley, arguably Liverpool’s finest ever Irish band. They will be joined by a stellar line-up of artistes, musicians and dancers to make it a real evening of Irish variety.

Liverpool Loves is the brainchild of Liverpool-based Orb CIC, who have a strong proven track record in staging major city events and festivals.

The inaugural Liverpool Loves festival takes place at Pier Head Liverpool from Thursday to Saturday (6 to 8 August). The Thursday will have a business focus with the spotlight on new start-ups, business advice, networking and entrepreneurs. On Saturday the attention turns to a programme of culture, the arts, health, food and drink, and entertainment.

The programme for Liverpool Loves Ireland is being curated by Martin O’Shea from Liverpool’s Bold Management who, in recent years, delivered the first ever full concert at the Liverpool Echo Arena in 2008 with The Number One Project and last year’s inaugural World Merit Day headlined by Nobel winner Malala Yousafzi.  Martin is also curating the line-up for Liverpool Loves Music, which will form part of the festival’s cultural programme on the Saturday.

With an estimated three quarters of Liverpool’s population having Irish roots, Liverpool Loves Ireland will bring a real traditional Irish party atmosphere to the city’s waterfront.

Headliners Cream of the Barley feature three of the original line-up – John Walsh vocals/guitar, PJ McCarthyvocals/bodhran and Eddie Hughes banjo/mandolin –  plus some special invited new guest members for a special one-off appearance at Liverpool Loves Ireland. This is the band’s first Liverpool show in 10 years and they promise a set filled with the most popular Irish songs of all time, as well as a few surprise special guests who will join them during their set.

Widely known for their long-term residency at Flanagan’s on Mathew Street, Cream of the Barley played to an audience of over one million people across more than 1,000 shows spanning 20 years.

Martin O’Shea from Bold Management commented:

 “It is a huge coup for Liverpool Loves Ireland that Cream of the Barley are reforming especially to perform at this inaugural festival. The band are very excited that after 10 years, they will again perform in Liverpool where they entertained so many people during their 20-year residency.

“We are very much looking forward to welcoming the band back to the city as part of a fantastic line-up of traditional entertainment of Irish music and dance. It’s going to be a memorable night.”

The line-up also includes acclaimed singers and musicians to showcase new Irish talent with traditional entertainment.

One of Ireland’s most accomplished contemporary singer/songwriters, Eleanor McEvoy, will perform songs from her extensive catalogue including Only A Woman’s Heart, the best-selling Irish album in Irish history by a home-grown artiste.

Popular Liverpool folk artist Jack Owen has toured Europe and the USA, and represented Britain in the Eastern European Rostock Music Festival, televised to more than 100 million people. Jack’s songs have been covered by bands including The Spinners, he has supported Chris de Burgh and has performed with the Berliner Philharmonic Orchestra. His songs include Mist Over the Mersey.

Audiences can look forward to a fantastic set from Liverpool born accomplished accordionist and singer Michael Coyne. With his family hailing from Louisburgh, County Mayo, Michael has Irish music running through his veins and will fill the stage with his style of Irish country music – which is guaranteed to have everyone up on their feet.

Completing the musical line-up is the all-female band The Jesse Janes. Hailing from County Tyrone in Ireland, the group now reside in Liverpool. With influences from the likes of Alison Krauss, Dolly Parton, Stevie Nicks, Fleetwood Mac and The Eurythmics, their beautiful guitar and mandolin picking encapsulates a modern bluegrass tone with hints and splashes of folk, country, rock and pop.

The evening’s exciting entertainment will also include a full Ceili. Traditional Irish dancing will feature spectacular Riverdance and ribbon dance performances from one of the finest traditional dance groups The Bolger Cunningham Irish Dancers, which is sure to have people tapping their feet to show off their own dance moves.

Michael Coyle will officially open the evening’s entertainment and set the scene for an evening of engaging and exciting Irish themed acts. He will then return to the stage to close Liverpool Loves Ireland.

Festival Director Josh Boyd from Orb CIC added:

“Liverpool’s Irish community and heritage is extremely strong and a big part of the city culture, so this is something we really wanted to highlight. The line-up Martin has brought together is an eclectic mix of traditional and modern Irish artistes and performers, and really will showcase and celebrate the links between Liverpool and Ireland through music and dance.”

Traditional Irish food and drink will be available to purchase throughout the evening.

Tickets are priced at £22.50 and go on sale at 9am on Thursday 30 April. They are available online from or by telephoning 0844 8000 410 (online and telephone ticket sales are subject to a booking fee per ticket and a handling fee per transaction). Tickets can also be bought in person at the TicketQuarter at Queen’s Square (no booking fee on cash sales).

Liverpool Loves takes place 6 – 8 August 2015 at the city’s iconic Pier Head.

The new Liverpool Loves website is now live featuring regular updates

Follow us on Facebook/Liverpool Loves and Twitter @LiverpoolLoves

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