Now in its fifth year, the Banjo & Bovril Festival at The Harbour Bar in Bray returns this coming Wednesday January 23rd to Sunday January 27th.
This year’s festival has one of the biggest line-ups to date with Cathy Davey, Seamus Fogarty, I Have A Tribe, Yankari afrobeat collective, Mutefish, Niwel Tsumbu, alongside hotly tipped Irish artists for 2019, Junior Brother, Lemoncello, Leila Jane And The Healers and more.
Acclaimed Irish poets Stephen James Smith and Erin Fornoff headline the new Poetry, Spoken Word, and Storytelling room in The Loft.
In addition, there are family friendly shows on Saturday and Sunday afternoon from Candlelit Tales with faeries, folk tales, and at least one banjo for the weekend that’s in it.
All festival events are free and there will be mugs of Bovril on the house for all during the 5 days.
The Harbour Bar was established in 1872 and was voted “The Best Bar in the World” by Lonely Planet in 2010.
The Origins of Banjo & Bovril
The Banjo & Bovril origins are a worthy hat-tip to days long gone, when fishermen would come ashore in Bray from time spent on the Irish Sea. First stop, The Harbour Bar.
Here they’d have a cup of Bovril to warm themselves up – before settling into a night drinking porter, singing and playing banjos, guitars, bodhráns, and mandolins.
Paul O’Toole Snr. continued the tradition in later years when short winter days were ended in the bar with a bit of banjo playing, some steaming cups of hot Bovril and a plateful of cheese and crackers.
And so the tradition continues with music, a bit of craic and a mug of the black stuff at the Banjo & Bovril Festival.
This year the festival has a music line-up that’s as anticipated as the first mouthful savoured by the fishermen themselves…
Full line-up and stage times follow below.
BANJO & BOVRIL FESTIVAL 2019
This Wednesday January 23rd to Sunday January 27th
The Harbour Bar, Bray, Co. Wicklow.
5 days of music.
All shows are FREE.
Trad sessions daily in the bar.
The Harbour Bar is also home to the annual Toastie Festival and there will be toasties on the go all day and evening.
And of course, mugs of Bovril for all!
– FULL STAGE-TIMES:
Wednesday January 23rd
Seamus Fogarty – 9.00pm – 10.30pm
Thursday January 24th
I Have A Tribe – 10.30pm – 11.30pm
Friday, January 25th
Alfi – 9.00pm – 10.30pm
Yankari afrobeat collective – 11.30pm – 12.30am
Saturday January 26th
Candlelit Tales – 2.30pm – 3.30pm
Erin Fornoff – 4.00pm – 5.00pm
The Live Lounge
Brand New Switcharoo – 5.30pm – 7.00pm
Junior Brother – 7.30pm – 8.30pm
Markus Carcus & The Trail Gang – 9.00 – 10.30pm
Mutefish – 11.00pm – 12.30am
Sunday January 27th
Candlelit Tales – 1.00pm – 2.00pm
Stephen James Smith – 2.30pm – 3.30pm
The Live Lounge
Lemoncello – 3.30pm – 5.00pm
Niwel Tsumbu – 5.30pm – 7.00pm
Cathy Davey – 7.30pm – 9.00pm
Leila Jane & The Healers – 9.30 – 11.00pm