2019 Great American Irish Festival Features All-Star Lineup


Feb 2, 2019

UTICA, NY – GAIF 2019 Lineup is Announced

When the 2019 Great American Irish Festival (GAIF) comes to the Herkimer County Fairgrounds in Frankfort on Friday, July 26, Saturday, July 27 and Sunday, July 28, it will boast an array of Irish and Celtic performers ranging from the delicate to the raucous.

Headlining the traditional stage at this year’s festival will be an act that has become a cultural phenomenon, Ireland’s Folk Band of the year and winners of Irish Music Award’s Top Traditional Performance Show, the High Kings.   Boasting a musical pedigree that few can match, and fresh off record-breaking PBS showings, four musical powerhouses — Finbarr Clancy of the legendary Clancy family, Brian Dunphy, son of well-known singer, Sean Dunphy, renowned vocalist Darren Holden, and vocalist and multi-instrumentalist George Murphy — have come together to create the most exciting Irish ballad group to emerge since The Clancy Brothers and Tommy Makem electrified the worldwide folk revival of the 1960s.  

For those whose tastes are a bit more contemporary, back to headline this year’s festival will be the wildly popular band, We Banjo 3, plying their banjo, fiddle, guitar and mandolin skills in an innovation fusion of styles that they dub “Celtgrass.” 

Joining the other headliners on the Contemporary Stage will be Central New York favorites, Enter the Haggis, returning to the festival that helped launch them to prominence in 2005.  Making a long-awaited return to the festival will be Celtic rockers The Young Dubliners, who headlined at GAIF ’06.  Back after a year away are Donegal’s Diver sisters, better known as The Screaming Orphans.

As they did the last two years, the American Rogues will fire up the contemporary stage crowds with their anthemic and powerful performance.  Making their debut will be the darlings of Dublin and viral video stars, The Byrne Brothers (none of whom were even born when the first GAIF was held!).  Other upper tier bands returning to the festival are the Ottawa Valley’s Searson, long-time favorites, the Glengarry Bhoys, multi-talented Colin Farrell and the Colin Farrell Band (this year, with his brother), and roots-rockers, the Town Pants

Other GAIF favorites making their return to the festival are the husband and wife team, House of Hamill (Brian Buchanan from Enter the Haggis and Rose Baldino, from Burning Bridget Cleary); GAIF veterans the Blarney Rebel Band and Hair of the Dog (each making a record 15th appearance!), local trad groups Craobh Dugan and Arise & Go, and making their GAIF debut as a trio will be A Mighty Craic.

In addition to the non-stop music, merchandise vendors from across the U.S. and Ireland, carefully selected from a list of applicants, will be selling Irish and Celtic merchandise, and a variety of food booths will be providing a taste of the Emerald Isle for festival-goers.   Returning again this year will be the 5k run, bagpipe competition, whiskey tasting and Irish Mass. Campsites are also available.

This year’s festival will be held from July 26-28, 2019 at The Herkimer County Fairgrounds, located just off Route 5s in Frankfort NY, just minutes from the New York State Thruway. For directions, tickets or more information, visit the festival web site at www.greatamericanirishfest.com.

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