Stendhal Festival of Art has announced that the award winning, all-encompassing music and arts extravaganza will celebrate its fifth anniversary at Ballymully Cottage Farm, Limavady, on August 7 and 8, 2015.
Since its inception in 2011 Stendhal has been likened to a fairy tale come to life, called the coolest event of the summer and named Ireland’s Best Small Festival at the Irish Festival Awards.
In 2014, the event enjoyed its most successful year to date as over 4,000 visitors revelled in all that was on offer, including Frightened Rabbit, Paddy Casey and The Undertones, to name the smallest of slices of the Stendhal pie.
** Update, 22 June 2015
Having already announced such acts as Donovan, Kerbdog and DJ Format amongst many others for this Summer’s Stendhal Festival of Art, the organisers are pleased to announce the second raft of performers.
To kick things off we are delighted to announce the return of the one and only Macka B, the Reggae and dancehall pioneer who was the sleeper hit of the 2013 festival.
For over 30 years Macka B has been a standout in British Reggae music and his brand of engaging, humourous and high-energy showmanship means anyone who has ever witnessed him play live before will be eagerly anticipating his return.
Rainy Boy Sleep returns to his old Limavady stomping grounds for what will no doubt be happy homecoming of sorts for Stevie Martin. Since he was last with us at Stendhal, Stevie signed to Universal Records and released the brilliant EP Ambulance.
Also appearing will be Declan O’Rourke, who entered Dublin's singer-songwriter scene in his mid-twenties among the likes of Paddy Casey, Gemma Hayes and Damian Rice. His 2004 debut album Since Kyabram was a critical and commercial success and his subsequent follow-ups, 2007’s Big Bad Beautiful World and 2011’s Mag Pai Zai further cemented his place as one of Ireland’s best contemporary singer songwriters.
We love innovation at Stendhal Festival of Art and Kormac’s Big Band certainly fits the bill. While DJ Kormac is best known for the tracks he produces alone in his studio, intermittently accompanied by a guest musician or vocalist, his live performances often swell into a 10-piece orchestra. Kormac's Big Band is a mix of live electronics, turntables, drums, bass, vocals, trumpet, trombone, tuba, guitar and live visuals.
Fatherson are an Alternative/Indie/Rock band hailing from Scotland. In 2014, they released their debut album I Am an Island through a record label set up by their management. The release was a success and went to No.11 in the Scottish Album Chart, Top 40 UK Indie charts and peaked at No. 5 on the iTunes alternative chart. In a live setting their immediately singable choruses and hooks make their gigs an exciting and energetic experience.
Ursula Burns is a harpist with a difference who draws rave reviews wherever and whenever she steps on stage. She combines a sublime dexterity in harp skills with a razor sharp wit to command the title of the best comedy harpist in Ireland, if not the world. Winner of the 2012 Irish Comedy Music Award, the maverick songstress has released four self-penned albums and performed everywhere from the Albert Hall to burning fire escapes.
Making Monsters tore the house down last year at Stendhal, literally. That won’t stop us from having them along again for more of their powerhouse brand of hard rock.
From Stompin' Blues To Celtic Ballads & All That Folks Between, Dylan Walshe is an alternative roots artist from Dublin. His varied palette draws from traditional Irish and European folk, to North African and Americanised blues, but his sound is his own. He is known for his robust guitar playing and warm unique vocal style.
This year Stendhal is excited to welcome an eclectic international experience courtesy of Afresh, a traditional Zimbabwean folk band led by Gabriel Makamanzi. This truly international band of top-flight musicians from Zimbabwe, Poland, Slovakia, and Ireland was formed in Belfast in 2007 and brings a new slant to African rhythms mixing the eclectic approaches and influences of the players into a one of a kind live experience.
Maria McGrann is a Soprano from County Down who has a wealth of stage experience courtesy of her stunning voice and vocal range. Winning a host of competitions around Ireland over the course of her singing career, Maria’s performance at Stendhal will be her first at a music festival of this type and we can’t wait for people to enjoy her beautiful operatic stylings which will be a perfect addition to a day in Karma Valley.
The Hardchargers are a raw and raucous blues-rock band that take no prisoners with their fierce live shows. Their music is raunchy, exciting, provocative and honest, ranging from down-home washboard/resonator/double bass workouts, to a heady blend of twangy electric blues and roadhouse style rock. Described by the legendary Teri Hooley as “My kind of fecking band,” the Hardchargers have been blazing a trail in the Irish music scene for six years.
The Whereabouts are a young, energetic four-piece rhythm and blues, rock and roll band from Kingscourt, Co. Cavan. The band members have all been playing music from a very young age under the influence of bands such as the early Rolling Stones, The Beatles, Dr. Feelgood, The Doors and Chuck Berry. Since releasing their first material in 2013 they have been heard on The Stuart Bailie Show on BBC Radio Ulster, The Dermot O'Leary Show on BBC Radio 2, Amazing Radio UK and Ireland plus a host of European and international radio stations.
Exit Pursued by Bear are a home-grown Limavady act that have been recently working on a raft of new material scheduled for release very soon as a follow up to their well received Bella Rose EP. Describing themselves as ‘Space Rock’ the band draw on influences such as Radiohead, Muse and And So I Watch You From Afar. They are an intelligent blend of melody, rhythm and dynamics.
Another home-grown Limavady talent is making his Stendhal debut as the front man of his own band this Summer. The Eunan McLaughin Quartet is fronted by Eunan McLauglin and brings together several stellar Jazz musicians who have been wowing audiences across the country since their formation last year.
Axecatcher are a 4-piece hardcore act based in Derry. Punchy, to the point and guaranteed to make a lot of noise, Axecatcher have evolved into a fantastic live act, blending hardcore, punk, prog and heavy rock for a signature sound that might melt your face off.
Apartment B are funk, soul and blues wrapped up in a blanket of brilliance. Having gigged up and down the Country for almost a decade, this band have an unmissible live set in store for guests at Stendhal this year. Blending well known funk classics with their own material, Apartment B are part of the heart and soul of the local music scene.
The Oh Yeah ‘Scratch My Progress’ stage
This Year Stendhal continues to work with local music organisations and welcomes Belfast’s ‘Oh Yeah’ centre to the farm for the first time. Oh Yeah will join with The Nerve Centre to take over the new Keady Corner Stage for the duration of the festival, showcasing some of the best up and coming talents in Northern Ireland. Scheduled to play as part of the ‘Scratch My Progress’ programme are Hot Cops, R51, Sister Ghost, Serotonin, Shadow Police, Ed Butler and more to be announced.
We will be announcing even more acts in the coming weeks as the countdown to Stendhal continues, so stay tuned to our website and social media pages for more announcements coming soon.
**Update, 6 May 2015:
Stendhal Festival of Art is delighted to announce that Rock N Roll Hall of Fame and Songwriter Hall of Fame inductee, Donovan, will be the Friday Night headline act at this year’s event.
The legendary folk-rockpop troubadour’s career has spanned 50 years, 27 albums and has produced some of the most highly regarded and memorable songs in the history of music.
‘Sunshine Superman’, ‘Catch the wind’ and of course ‘Mellow Yellow’ all beautifully captured the spirit of the times in which they were written but have endured through to this day as a result of the timeless qualities Donovan brings to his music.
Donovan entered the Rock N Roll Hall of Fame in 2012 and the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2014 and Stendhal Festival of Art is honoured to be welcoming him to celebrate the fifth anniversary of the award winning festival.
Stendhal has also revealed 25 more artists who will be taking to the stage this year including; Kilkenny grunge rockers Kerbdog, hip-hop DJ extraordinaire DJ Format, Contemporary Irish Trad trailblazers Kila, electro-dance, nu-disco duo Televisor and 2014 Northern Irish album of the year winner Robyn G Shiels.
Tickets for the event are available at www.stendalfestival.com
Stendhal Festival of Art 2015 music line-up so far:
Friday Night Headline Act – Donovan
Go Wolf (Belfast)
Televisor (London – Amsterdam)
Ciaran Lavery (Tullygally - Armagh)
Sullivan & Gold (Co. Derry/Londonderry)
Ryan Vail (Derry-Londonderry)
Jason Clarke – (Belfast)
Join me in the Pines (ROI)
Oh Volcano (Maghera – Belfast)
Hannah McPhillimy (Coleraine)
Hurdles – (Belfast)
Emma Lusby (Limavady)
Ryan McMullan (Portaferry – Belfast)
Katharine Philippa (Belfast)
Marty O'Reilly & The Old Soul Orchestra (USA)
The Bonnevilles (Lurgan – Banbridge)
Robyn G Shiels (Garvagh – Belfast)
LORE (Dungiven – Limavady)
Lauren Bird (Strabane)