The Ballycotton F.A.T. Fest is back next month

Moya Brennan and John Spillane among lineup at May Bank Holiday festival

The East Cork seaside village of Ballycotton is gearing up for the second annual F.A.T Fest of folk, alternative and traditional music. Hosted by Sea Church in Ballycotton from May 2nd to 6th, and with music throughout the village, the festival will have an outstanding lineup of both Irish and international artists.

Headlining this year’s festival is the legendary Moya Brennan, founding member of Clannad, a Grammy-winning artist who always delights audiences. The festival kicks off on May 2nd with acclaimed trad band Altan. Also on the lineup is renowned fiddle player Tara Breen, and the legendary John Spillane. 

Ballycotton Lighthouse, which is one of the locations earmarked for busking sessions, as part of Ballycotton F.A.T Fest, over the May Bank Holiday weekend. Organisers of the festival have put a call out for buskers to get in touch with Sea Church if they’re interested in taking part. Photo: Michael O’Sullivan, OSM Photography 

Attendees can also enjoy six-piece contemporary instrumental ensemble Notify, featuring talented musicians such as Pádraig Rynne and Davie Ryan. Contemporary folk harpist, singer, and composer BRÍDÍN will also be gracing the stage, adding her unique blend of soulful vocals and heartfelt lyrics to the lineup.

In its second year, an exciting element has been added to F.A.T Fest: Buskers are invited to get in touch, for the chance to perform at a number of scenic spots around the village of Ballycotton, including in the unique and historical Ballycotton Lighthouse. Festival organisers will then choose one of the busking acts to perform at Sea Church on the Bank Holiday Monday, becoming part of the festival’s prestigious lineup. To top it off, the winning group will also be offered the opportunity to record a music session at Clay Castle studios in Youghal. 

John Kidney, General Manager of Sea Church said: “Preparations are well and truly underway for F.A.T Fest 2024, with some of the country’s biggest names in folk and trad music. Last year people flocked to Ballycotton for the gigs in venues like Sea Church and the Blackbird, and we’re expecting this year’s event to be busier again. This year we have the added appeal of offering buskers the chance to perform at scenic spots around the village, and at the Ballycotton Lighthouse, which is an incredible opportunity.”

Buskers interested in performing at the Ballycotton F.A.T Fest are invited to send a short video (no more than one minute) of one of their performances, to It’s also preferable that interested acts have a number of original songs ready to perform over the weekend of the festival. 

Tickets for the Ballycotton F.A.T Fest are available now, with more information on all upcoming events available at

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