Category Archives: Festival

Padraig Lalor and Sarah Passmore

We are delighted to welcome two songwriters based in Wales Padraig Lalor and Sarah Passmore to The Acoustic Yard Festival this May.  Both songwriters will be performing at our event with the help of…


Padraig Lalor born in Belfast, living in Wales and recently released his debut solo album Ismay’s Dream which is an evocative journey through Ireland’s Titanic history that will appeal to anyone who loves great stories and great songs.

He has a fascination with his country’s musical history and a love of the stories that permeate its culture, bring an engaging authenticity to his songs. Capturing the passion and contradiction of the people and places of Belfast has seen Padraig earn the reputation of a modern day Seanachaí. Not surprising perhaps, that he lists both the great Irish Tenor Josef Locke, and Belfast’s Kathleen Largey amongst his key musical influences.

“Padraig Lalor is one of the foremost singer/songwriters of his generation” – Alison O’ Riordan Irish Post

‘Rivals anything from the Celtic Gospel of Van Morrison.’ – Sean Laffey Irish Music Magazine


Sarah Passmore is a young Swansea musician whose self-penned songs belie her age. With a pathos and ability far beyond her years she has mesmerised audiences across Wales and will continue to do so. Her songs tell of an experience unique in one so young and definitely one Welsh singer to look out for.

“This girl is going to go so far. I don’t think I have ever seen such raw, natural and unwavering talent that close up before. I feel it was a true privilege.”
“Sophisticated, tangy with a hint of wood smoke. I like!”

‘This is music that you get lost in…she is not to be missed’ – Seán Laffey, Irish Music Magazine


Duke Special & Ulaid confirmed for The Acoustic Yard Festival

We are delighted to confirm that Duke Special and Ulaid will be performing their new show on Saturday May 6th at the Westport Town Hall Theatre as part of The Acoustic Yard Festival. Special guest on the night will be Jack O’Rourke and tickets will be on sale soon for all events.

When contemporary songwriting and traditional music meet, the results can be something to be treasured. Such is the case with the collaboration between folk supergroup, Ulaid, and singer-songwriter extraordinaire, Duke Special.

The project draws on Duke Special’s songwriting skills, from pre-rock’n’roll to modern acoustic pop. He injects drama and theatricality, bringing storytelling to the fore with meditative twists and turns amid the melodic architecture. Ulaid’s mixture of skills in arrangement, interpretation, composition and performance lend a peculiarly folk-but-modern, urban-but-pastoral air to the whole. For a collaboration that may have seemed unlikely in theory, proves itself thoroughly in practice; when heard, it somehow seems inevitable.

Duke Special & Ulaid

Jack O’Rourke

The Acoustic Yard Singer/Songwriters Compilation CD Volume 2

We are putting together The Acoustic Yard Singer/Songwriters Compilation CD Volume 2 after last year’s album proved to be a success in helping with our fundraising.

If you wish to have your track included in the compilation then please send a WAV file to All money for the CD will go towards the festival and ultimately back to the artists.

There are still a limited number of copies available for Volume 1 in our Store and the album includes Bap Kennedy, Anna Mitchell, Craig and Willoughby and many more.


Cormac O’Caoimh, Davie Furey and Pa Curran Confirmed for Festival

We are delighted to confirm 3 great Irish singer/songwriters for The Acoustic Yard Singer/Songwriters Festival on May 5th – 7th 2017.

Cormac O’Caoimh

Cork based Cormac’s New album – Shiny Silvery Things will be out April 28th 2017. This will be his 6th Album. Cormac’s music is reminiscent of the legendary Prefab Sprout – wonderfully crafted songs!

“Acoustic Gems from the Cork singer-songwriter. Each song superglues to the memory ” **** Mojo Magazine

“Cormac’s songs are like little sculptures… considered, shaped and honed into things of beauty that find their way to your soul.”
– Fiachna Ó Braonáin (Hothouse Flowers)


Davie Furey

Davie released and toured his fabulous album ‘Easy Come Easy Go’ in 2016. He has the voice of Springsteen and the heart of Christy Moore

“Let your hand brake off and freewheel through the traditional rhythms and rock guitar power chords and enjoy the refreshing honest sounds of Davie Furey.”  FATEA Magazine

“Easy Come Easy Go is a testament to Davie Furey’s talents as an entertainer, and most definitely would make you want to enjoy his live performance.” Ceol Caint



Pa Curran

The Acoustic Yard Singer/Songwriter of the Year makes his first appearance at the Festival. Based in Bantry, Co Cork he released his debut album ‘Poor Man’s Clothes’ in February 2016. It was the second highest new entry to the official Irish Album charts on its release week and went in at number 8 in the Irish Artist Album Charts.

“Pa Curran tells stories in a simple and very personal way…Its an album that deserves attention and a few repeat plays to unlock its lyrical value and the wisdom contained within.” Tim Coakley

The Lark and The Robin Returns

‘The Lark and The Robin’

Kate O’Callaghan (and Seamus Devenny) 


The Lark and the Robin returns for the end of Festival party in Matt Molloy’s on the 7th of May hosted again by the wonderful Kate O’Callaghan. Last year was such a success that we have invited Kate back to perform and introduce a selection of songwriters from the weekend.

Kate has just released the successful album ‘The Girl With The Beret’ comprising of a series of songs and spoken word tracks weaving the story of a young woman caught up in the 1916 Rising in Dublin.


 “Distinctive, thoughtful, heartfelt, provocative and most definitely all her own…She is unique. Observe and enjoy.” – Fanrealm (USA)

“Subliminal, understated and simply glorious” – Fatea Magazine










Jack O’Rourke Confirmed For Fest

We are delighted to confirm that Jack O’Rourke will play The Acoustic Yard Songwriters Festival on Saturday May 6th at the Town Hall Theatre Westport.

In the way that a story is only brought to life in the way in which it is told, the piano is an instrument truly appreciated by the way that it is played. To weave both a song and a story from the piano is something that, as music listeners, we long to hear fit side by side.

The lone figure of Jack O’Rourke seated at a piano is one that Irish gig goers are becoming more accustomed to seeing. Whether performing startlingly honest ballads solo or driving Spectorish rock with his versatile band, Jack’s plaintive baritone and piano are core. An insightful lyricist and powerful live performer, Jack O’Rourke began 2016 in the manner in which he finished 2015 – a growing national profile with TV and radio appearances and critical acclaim, alongside the first tracks from his approaching debut album.

His songs speak of various human conditions with melodic flair, through young but wise eyes. There already have been flattering comparisons with the likes of David Bowie and Rufus Wainwright, but Jack has been determined to find his own voice amid a plentiful sea of influences – to ensure it is the unique qualities he possesses that he becomes best known for.

His first Dublin headliner was a sold out success at Whelan’s, and he subsequently was recognised for his era-marking song ‘Silence’ by winning an award in the Nashville-based International Song Writing Competition. Despite being a newcomer on the Irish music scene, Jack has quickly built up a loyal following among music lovers for his impassioned songwriting and performances, boding well for the release of his Dreamcatcher album in October.

“To have my words and music recognised by the likes of Tom Waits means I can die happy,” says Jack. “Dreamcatcher, my debut album is deeply personal but there’s a lot of universality to absorb – love, loss, going on the tare, the little eccentricities of life are all here with a piano and a beat”