Radie Peat

Be it as a solo performer or as member of Lankum and Rue, in recent years Radie Peat has deftly risen to prominence as one of the most important voices in Irish folk music. A multi-instrumentalist and singer, Peat’s music explores not only Irish traditional music but that of America and the English speaking world. A stirring and evocative presence, Peat & her music should find a fitting accompaniment in Sherkin Island, where it can sometimes feel like time is standing still.


Garies are a band from North Dublin whose music has been likened to that of a drunk Carl Craig. One half New Jackson, one half Lumigraph and all Garies, this partnership delivered one of the finest Irish albums (nae, finest albums full stop) of 2018 in the form of Dull Clunk, an engrossing exploration through the duos machines, that managed to keep both their identities intact while creating something entirely its own. It’ll be no mean feat trekking all the way down to Sherkin with their banks of gear either, but we’re 100% confident it’ll be worth everyone’s while.

Patrick Kelleher and His Cold Dead Hands

Patrick Kelleher is an electronic musician, singer, producer and live-wire performer based outta Dublin town. Along with His Cold Dead Heads, Kelleher’s sound has been characterised at various times by either ghostly visions of 80s Synth-Pop and new wave, or more recently, the more vigorous sounds of acid house and proto techno from Europe, all the time accompanied by his own intimating vocal styles. Travelling from the Balkins to Brazil and central Europe to the UK, Patrick will now make the journey to the North Shore accompanied by frequent collaborator and some-time Nurse With Wound member Brian Conniffe.  

Jennifer Walshe

Jennifer Walshe is a composer, vocalist and performer. Her work has been performed all over the world by ensembles such as Alter Ego, ensemble recherche, Ensemble Resonanz, Apartment House, Crash Ensemble, Con Tempo Quartet, The Rilke Ensemble, The Irish Chamber Orchestra, Musica Nova Consort, and The Scottish Chamber Orchestra. In addition to her activities as a composer, Jennifer frequently performs as a vocalist, specialising in extended techniques. Her most recent project, Historical Documents of the Irish Avant-Garde, involved the creation of a fictional history of the musical avant-garde in Ireland. This history spans 187 years, and is housed at aisteach.org, the website of the Aisteach Foundation, a fictional organisation which purports to be “The Avant-Garde Archive of Ireland.

Woven Skull

Woven Skull is a multi-instrumental gathering where the woods and the bogs of the Irish countryside are as much an inspiration - and studio - as anything more traditional or obvious on offer. The atmospheric surroundings of Sheemore, near where Woven Skull was first forged has helped create a music which is, all at once,  minimal, repetitive, distorted, ugly and beautiful..

A band for which the term “and the kitchen sink” may actually ring true, this trio have spent several years experimenting with combinations of instrumentation, household objects, kitchen utensils, seashells, footsteps, chimes, recordings of cats purring and frogs mating while developing a sound that was described as being like “a Turkish Velvet Underground.” Make of that what you will, if you dare.

Maria Somerville

With a reputation for enthralling live shows, by the time Open Ear ‘19 has come around Maria Somerville’s debut LP All My People will have been released into the world, a collection of works recorded across the country from Dublin to Inis Óirr. Drones, post-punk, glacial pop and folk all vie for room in Maria’s tales of doomed romance and bittersweet love stories; intimate tales sometimes shrouded in a ghostly etheral glaze but never without crystalline glimpses of hope.  

Fran Hartnett

With a life spent in the world of techno that harks all the way back to being a resident at the legendary Genius night in The Kitchen in the late 90s, Fran Hartnett has continued to hone his craft both in a club and in the studio, with his uncompromising take on the harder edges of techno finding fans all over the world, including some of the most important names in the sound such as Planetary Assault Systems and Surgeon. For his trip to the island Fran will be delivering a special live performance that will be definitely making a claim for causing the most bass vibrations to travel the waters of the bay over to Heir Island -  we do like to keep them on their toes over yonder during the weekend.

Club Comfort

Club Comfort and it’s residents Baliboc, Roo Honeychild and DJ Selky have, in the last couple of years, flagrantly set a light to Dublin’s party underworld. With a grab bag approach to diverse musical traditions accompanying a focused belief in the importance of the group experience with their conceptually themed parties that result in a regular moment in which all people are encouraged to feel comfortable and desirable, and to have fun. Their’s is an ethos we feel a certain kinship with, hence insisting that they run wild amongst the stars on an after-dark Sherkin Island in June.  


Be you a dance-floor enthusiast or a type to indulge in spotting trains, Eliza has got you covered. Going under the radar for too long, the last couple of years has seen Ireland cop itself on to the kinetic selections of Eliza. We already had her do serious damage to an Open Ear dancefloor at our Dublin Christmas party, which was really just priming us and the main Open Ear tent on Sherkin for a serious, bassbin-rattlin’ showdown.

Aaron Dilloway & Vicky Langan

Collaboration is a theme running throughout Open Ear in 2019 and there is possibly none more  intimidating than that of Cork artist Vicky Langan and improviser & composer Aaron Dilloway, co-founder of the notorious Wolf Eyes. Langan’s fearless, boundless commitment to her art will see her create  a human sound loop with Dilloway as she generates noise and sound from her physically intense contact mic interactions with objects such as stones and scratched slates as well as her own body, sounds which Dilloway will then process and respond to. Hold on to your hats for this one, folks. 
(Vicky Langan is supported by Music Network’s Music Capital Scheme, funded by The Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht.)


Coruscating shards of pressuring sound design and a truly separate approach to the grime template has always distanced Belfast's Bloom from many of his contemporaries. After a hiatus of a couple of years he returned with Hydraulics EP late last year, further expanding his deconstructed and overdosed palette to parts barely known - we're hyped to see how far he can push the Island in June, too.


Based in Ber….no, we’re not gonna say it. Ebauche is the work of Alex Leonard, an Irishman currently living in central Europe; a project wherin Leonard creates a wide array of textured sounds from serene ambience to the chaotic and densely-layered. Ebauche returns home this June to deliver a performance which promises to forage for a space between the subconscious and the present.  


Rustling away behind his machines for many a year now in between co-founding Cork’s LEDGEndary Sunday Times parties, Static.’s work has finally started to see the light of day across Jheri Tracks, Apartment Records and Moot Tapes. Tinges of acid, droning electronics and bass heavy instrumentation finds the music in one moment trying to melt your face, and in another, attempting to give you a soothing head rub.

Aoife O'Neill

Aoife O’Neill is the founder of Out of Space which doubles as both a series of parties - mostly based in Cork but slowly and surely moving across the country - and a radio show on Dublin Digital Radio. Bass, electro and heavy doses of percussion combined with a variety of sounds that jump back and forth between decades reaching back to the 80s vie for space in shaping Aoife’s Dj sets; in order to dance.


When it really boils down to it, we want Open Ear to be a platform for those too often overlooked by other stages and festivals around the country. While it’s not to say that Prun hasn’t slayed his own fair share of dance-floors over the years we still reckon there’s plenty of you out there who’ve yet to experience the searing intensity and skills of The Prunisher in full flow. Not for much longer, mind.


From crates deeper than yours and dub heavier than yours emerges the sounds and productions of T-Woc. Creating low-slung, psychedelic beats from a wildly differing selection of samples layered with analogue warmth and dub studio techniques, T-Woc creates new grooves for the dancefloor and fresh sonic spaces for the brain. Man.


Hot on the heels of love and hot off the heels of returning to Dublin's Jheri Tracks with the typically skewered electrolysis of the May 1932 12" we welcome back long time friend and collaborator SIAS to the North Shore of Sherkin Island. SIAS' work sees him delving across the music and art worlds from his aforementioned club tracks to his work with the Repeater collective and further adventures in the world of sound art and installations. At this year's Open Ear he will take you into some of the further reaches - and probably back round again - of his music collection. 

Kenny Hanlon

Most at home digging through second hand bins or patiently mining the €0-5 filter on discogs, in his spare time Kenny runs Apartment Records out of the front room of his gaff in Dublin 7. As a label Apartment works as a reflection of Kenny’s djing, it’s not really sure where it’s going all the time but does its best to keep throwing you off the scent.


Swapping his turntables for a table of machines and his teeshirt for well, possibly, nothing, Belacqua is the Dj Noid the Droid turned machines-in-meltdown music maker. This is high-wire antics for headbangers that comes on with all limbs (and wires) flailing and goes from there.

Áine O'Dwyer

After a truly mesmerising performance at our opening concert last year, Áine O’Dwyer returns to Sherkin to continue her collaboration with the island, more of which will be revealed closer to the festival...

Dabbledoo featuring Amanda Feery & Everyone

DabbledooMusic is an award-winning platform that is revolutionising how music is taught in Irish primary schools. Using an animated and colour-coded system of graphic notation Shane, Killian and Chris are giving teachers the tools to help children perform and compose their own pieces. Always striving to create something new, their third visit to the festival will feature a collaboration with composer Amanda Feery. A graphic score will be interpreted live by Amanda as well as all audience members in attendance, who will be provided with a range of instruments. No musical ability is necessary, just a willingness to get involved!

The Digital Druids

The Digital Druids return to Sherkin Island with a series of curated events, interventions and products designed to soothe the mind and feed the soul. Keep those eyes peeled (everywhere) for more info soon...