The calendar is frequently updated, and past events are transferred to the separate calendar archive post. All events in the Irish bluegrass festival season for which we have dates can be found below. Some items of country music news, prepared by the Country Music Association of Ireland, can be seen here.
A few important and/or accessible events outside Ireland are also listed. For a fuller listing of events in the UK, see the calendar page on UKBluegrass.com, which has a special festival directory with a map. A select list of over sixty festivals in Europe is on the EBMA website.
Bands and event/venue organisers: if your session or event is not shown here, contact the editor. Punters: please note that tour schedules often have to be changed, so before you go to a show, please check that the date and place are still the same as when you first noted it down.
Regular fortnightly or monthly events are shown at the appropriate dates. To avoid overloading the calendar, here is a list of gigs and sessions held EVERY WEEK:
Monday: Lee Valley String Band, Corner House, Coburg St., Cork city
The Critters, LV bar, MacCurtain St., Cork city
Bluegrass session for beginners, McLynn’s pub, Old Market St., Sligo, 9.30 p.m.
Tuesday: The Mountaineers (acoustic country/roots), International Bar, Wicklow Street, Dublin 2, 9.30 p.m.
Southern Welfare and Hugh Taggart (gtr), Nicky's Bar, Mayor's Walk, Waterford city, from 9.00 p.m.; all bluegrass musicians/singers welcome
Dublin Bluegrass circle jam session: [temporarily suspended]
Wednesday: The McGrane Family & Friends, the Old Punch Bowl, Booterstown, Co. Dublin, 9.00 p.m.
Bluegrass & old-time gig/session (Broken Strings band), Balloo House, Killinchy, Co. Down, 9.00 p.m.; 'phone 028 9754 1210
The Sundown Sessions, The Raven Bar, 100 South Main St, Cork city: Rattlesnake County (broad mix of bluegrass, country, folk, Americana), from 9.30 p.m., open to all (see YouTube clip of 'Caleb Meyer')
Thursday: Tin Box Company bluegrass gig at Delaney's (Knocklyon Inn), Knocklyon, Dublin, 9.00 p.m. Contact Martin Kavanagh (087-2504505)
Knotty Pine String Band, Sally O’Brien's, John St., Omagh, Co. Tyrone, 10.00 p.m.; all players welcome, adm. free
Sacred Harp shape-note singing sessions, Camden Palace, Camden Quay, Cork city, 7.00-9.00 p.m.; all welcome
Banjaxed Bluegrass Band, Curragower bar and restaurant, Clancy Strand, Limerick city
Breffni Bluegrass with Tom Hanway in JP's, Cavan town
Friday: Bluegrass session [may contain Irish music!], Cryan's Bar, Bridge St., Carrick-on-Shannon, Co. Leitrim, after 9.00 p.m.
Watery Hill Boys, Carberry's, North Strand, Drogheda, Co. Louth
'Lush Friday Roots Roustabout session': Noriana Kennedy, Mark McConville (guitar, vocals), Paul O'Driscoll (double bass)/Tom Portman (Dobro) or Liz Coleman (fiddle), McGinns, Dock Rd, Galway; 10.00 p.m. (check in case of conflicting gig)
Sacred Harp singing session, House 5, Trinity College, Dublin 2; 7.00-9.00 p.m.; admission free, all welcome
Saturday: Old-time music session [now established for 13 years and still going!]: Bill Whelan, Ben Keogh, & friends, the Cobblestone, Smithfield, Dublin, 4.30-7.00 p.m.
Dunadry Bluegrass Militia, Ellie May's, Dunadry, Co. Antrim, 3.00 p.m. (weekly from 1 Dec. 2012)
Sunday: Well Enough Alone, the Kilkenny Shop restaurant, Nassau St., Dublin 2, 2.15-4.15 p.m.
Lee Valley String Band, Corner House, Coburg St., Cork city, 7.30/8.00 p.m. onwards
Americana session, Brady's, Barrack St., Cork city
'Roots, Blues, Honkytonk Sunday Session': Noriana Kennedy, Noelie McDonnell (guitar, vocals), Kelvin Busher (double bass), Salthouse, Ravens Terrace, Galway; 7.00-9.00 p.m.
Slim Pickins, Sin E, 14-15 Upper Ormond Quay, Dublin 7, 9.00-11.00 p.m.
If you first heard about an event from the Bluegrass Ireland Blog, we'll appreciate it if you tell the organisers that.
Tues. 3rd: Belfast Bluegrass Session, begins 8.30 p.m., Errigle Inn, 312-320 Ormeau Road, Belfast BT7 2GE; 028 9064 1410; e-mail
Sat. 7th: Sacred Harp Singers of Dublin All-Day Singing (10.00 a.m.-4.00 p.m.), Franciscan Friary, Merchant's Quay, Dublin 8; all welcome
New series of Niall Toner's RTÉ Radio 1 show 'Roots Freeway' begins
Thurs. 12th: Bluegrass Music Appreciation Day
Fri. 13th: Red Hat Acoustic Music Club, Harbour Hotel, Naas, Co. Kildare; 8.30 p.m.; all welcome
Sat. 21st: Rackhouse Pilfer, the Rockies Club, Church Rd, Cork city, 9.00 p.m.; refreshments, no cover charge
Patrick Simpson and Luke Coffey, Biddy's Bar, Manorhamilton, Co. Leitrim
Fri. 27th: Dr Tim Sharp's 'Come Away to the Skies: A High Lonesome Bluegrass Mass', Christ Church cathedral, Dublin 8
Sat. 28th: Dr Tim Sharp's 'Come Away to the Skies: A High Lonesome Bluegrass Mass': two sets in the Guinness Storehouse, Dublin 8, 1.00 p.m. and 2.00 p.m.
Sun. 29th: Dr Tim Sharp's 'Come Away to the Skies: A High Lonesome Bluegrass Mass', Taney Church of Ireland church, Dundrum, Dublin 14, 11.00 a.m.
Thurs. 16th: High Plains Tradition (USA), the Pillo Hotel, Ashbourne, Co. Meath, 8.00 p.m.; tel. 087-9762337
Thurs. 16th-Mon. 20th: Shannonside Winter Music Weekend, Sixmilebridge/Bunratty, Co. Clare; full lineup here (High Plains Tradition (USA) with Martin Gilmore, Fri. 17th, Sat. 18th, Sun. 19th); Tim Rogers & Clew Bay Critters; many more; tel. 086-1571847, e-mail
Sun. 19th: Joy Kills Sorrow (USA), Whelan's Upstairs, Wexford St., Dublin 2, 8.30 start; €15 (€13 booked in advance)
Mon. 20th: High Plains Tradition (USA), Village Arts Centre, Kilworth, Co. Cork, 8.15 p.m.; plus Martin Gilmore; tel. 087-7921171
Tues. 21st: High Plains Tradition (USA), Church of Ireland church, Bruff, Co. Limerick, 8.00 p.m.; tel. 086-3027976
Martin Gilmore (USA), O’Neill’s Bar, Buttevant, Co. Cork, 9.00 p.m., with Jacob's Ladder (vocal harmony group); tel. 086-8168692
Wed. 22nd: High Plains Tradition (USA), Dolan's Bar, Dock Road, Limerick city, 9.00 p.m.; tel. 061-314483
Thurs. 23rd: High Plains Tradition (USA), St John's Theatre, Listowel, Co. Kerry, 8.00 p.m.; tel. 068-22566
Fri. 24th: High Plains Tradition (USA), Tearoom Sessions, Brewery Lane Theatre, Carrick on Suir, Co. Tipperary, 8.00 p.m.; plus Martin Gilmore; tel. 087-1205353
Sat. 25th: High Plains Tradition (USA), Mannion's Bar, Balla, Co. Mayo, 9.00 p.m.; plus Martin Gilmore; tel. 087-2296018
Sun. 26th: High Plains Tradition (USA), Pikers Lodge Hotel, Lough Gowna, Co. Cavan, 7.30 p.m.; plus Martin Gilmore; tel. 086-2268567
Mon. 27th: High Plains Tradition (USA), Pikers Lodge Hotel, Loch Gowna, Co. Cavan, 8.30 p.m.; plus Martin Gilmore; tel. 086-2268567
Fri. 14th-Sun. 16th: FOAOTMAD old-time music festival, Gainsborough, Lincs., England
Thurs. 10th-Wed. 30th: Tumbling Bones (USA) tour in Ireland; details TBA
Fri. 2nd-Sat. 3rd: 12th International Bühl Bluegrass Festival, Bühl/Baden, Germany
Fri. 2nd-Mon. 5th: 17th Kilkenny Roots Festival
Thurs. 29th-Sat. 31st: 17th European World of Bluegrass Festival, Voorthuizen, the Netherlands
Fri. 6th-Sun. 8th: Coastline Bluegrass Music Event, Royal International Pavilion, Llangollen, North Wales LL20 8SW
Fri. 13th-Sun. 15th: 8th Westport Folk and Bluegrass Festival, Westport, Co. Mayo: Loose Moose String Band (UK), Corn Potato (USA), Battenkill Ramblers (D), Down and Out Bluegrass Band (NI), Hat Fitz & Cora Robinson (AUS), Miriam Donohue, Sullivan Brothers, Rocky Top String Band, Tim Rogers & Friends, others TBA
Thurs. 26th-Sat. 28th: International Bluegrass Music Museum's ROMP Bluegrass Roots & Branches Festival, Yellow Creek Park, Owensboro, KY
Fri. 11th-Sun. 13th: 24th Athy Bluegrass Festival, Athy, Co. Kildare; New Essex Bluegrass Band (GB), Woodbine, others TBA
Clonmel Busking Festival, second weekend in the month
Thurs. 21st-Sun. 24th: 20th Guinness International Bluegrass Festival, Dunmore East, Co. Waterford
Tues. 30th-Sat. 4th Oct.: International Bluegrass Music Association's World of Bluegrass, Raleigh, NC, USA