This weekend in the rebel county is absolutely jam-packed thanks to Sounds from a Safe Harbour taking over the city for the duration. The biennial event is brought together by the great minds of actor Cillian Murphy, Bryce and Aaron Dessner of the National, playright Enda Walsh and label director Mary Hickson.

Friday – Ticketed Events


Today St Luke’s will welcome German duo GRANDBROTHERS to its stage. This genre-spanning group draws on members Erol Sarp and Lukas Vogel’s eclectic musical training to produce a novel sound comparable to the likes of Kiasmos. Erol’s background as a jazz pianist brings the analogue element to the group, while Vogel’s day job constructing synthesizers for Access Music allows him to forge the electronic aspect of their sound.

Doors: 7:30pm Tickets: €25 available here


For those who are looking for a sonic adventure, this live musical rendition of an adaption of Homer’s Odyssey will delight and surprise. The project was born from a collaboration between musicians Todd Dahlhoff, Leslie Feist, and Shahzad Ismaily as part of their residency with organiser Mary Hickson’s 37d03d label in Berlin. Part literary adventure, part eclectic musical improvisation featuring a greek chorus-like choir, this event is sure to astound as the group brings the show to Cork’s Kino.

Doors: 7:00pm Tickets: from €27 available here

Friday – Free events

For those of us who will have to check the couch cushions to scrape together a fiver for a 4-pack of cans, there is a rake of free events going on around the city as part of the festival. Here’s a selection of our Friday must-sees:


This Corkonian has been making his mark on the Irish music scene thanks to his amazing electronic production. Having been nominated for the Choice Music Prize in 2017 and collaborated with amazing Irish singers like Loah and Farah Elle, his set at the Roundy is not to miss

Jack O’Rourke

This Cork-based singer has featured on the lineup of Dingle’s Other Voices and it’s no surprise. His captivating songwriting and soaring vocals have brought national acclaim to the artist, with his song ‘Silence’ even becoming somewhat of an anthem during the Irish Marriage Equality referendum

Molly Sarlé

As one-third of the American group Mountain Man, Molly took her first foray into solo work with the release of her single “Human”. With a slight Americana-twang mixed with the effervescent pop akin to one of her tourmates Feist, this show will be stunning

Check out the music trail details here:

sounds from a safe harbour cork music festical

Saturday – Ticketed Events

Caoimhín Ó Raghallaigh & Thomas Bartlett

If you haven’t heard of these two contemporary trad stalwarts, you should definitely check this concert out. Both musicians are part of The Gloaming, a five-piece Irish/American group that have been making waves since their inception in 2011. The fiddle player and pianist (respectively) have breathed new life into the oft-pigeonholed genre of traditional Irish music both as members of the group and as musicians in their own right, as well as collaborating with the likes of Sufjan Stevens and St Vincent. The pair play St Luke’s as part of the festival on Saturday.

Doors: 7:30pm Tickets: €30 available here

Fish Go Deep

It wouldn’t be an Irish festival without the grooving sounds of one of Ireland’s most revered house DJ duos. Greg and Shane will be bringing their set to Cypress Avenue for anyone looking to dance until they drop on Saturday night.

Doors: 11pm Tickets: from €11 available here

Saturday – Free Events

Kicking off the free festival highlights for Saturday is..

Junior Brother

Kerry-based singer songwriter Junior Brother features as part of the free music trail on Saturday. His songwriting is, in turn, heartbreaking and humorous and his guitar-skills are impeccable, whipping crowds into a fury with his tambourine. He plays Winthrop Avenue at 3pm.

Sally Cinnamon

Dublin-based DJ Sally Cinnamon has been on the Irish music scene for years, bringing her stellar selection skills to virtually every festival in the country. On Saturday she plays Tom Barrys from 9pm and is sure to bring the house down.

Here’s the full Saturday music trail lineup:

Sunday – Ticketed events

sir Was

sir Was is the moniker of Swedish multi-instrumentalist Joel Wastberg. His breakout hit “In the Midst” from his 2017 album Digging a Tunnel exemplifies his low-key yet lush melodic pop. He has recently released a single in collaboration with the funky electronic outfit Little Dragon (also fellow Swedes) and another two signal that there may be another album well on the way. Do not miss him live at the Kino Sunday afternooon.

Doors: 4:00pm Tickets: €16:50 available here

Sunday – Free events

Ah here, a drag brunch and some lully folk to ease the head after the madness of Saturday? Count us in..

Drag Brunch with Gaff E

Our highlight for Sunday’s free events includes Brisbane-based artist Gaff E. Part style-icon, part DJ, in homage to icons such as Grace Jones and Bowie, the Austration artist will be playing a set as part of the drag brunch at Crawford & Co, Angelsea Street.

Event runs from 12-3pm


Folk duo Lemoncello come to Callanan’s this Sunday as part of the music trail. Combining heartachingly beautiful harmonies with cello and guitar, Laura Quirke and Claire Kinsella are a force to be reckoned with. The gig starts at 3pm and will be a wonderful performance to enjoy mid-afternoon.

Full music trail lineup here (including a currach launch!):