Updated: 16/07/12 : 15:42:25
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Sligo 400 Summer Festival / 8-11 August

The Festival will take place in Sligo Borough and its environs in an open air music festival in Stephen Street car park featuring Bressi, The Sawdoctors and many top artists, on the weekend of August 11th and 12th.

The Music Hub of the festival will take place on a state of the art performance space located in Stephen street car park, spread over the days commencing on the Friday evening from 6.30pm to 11pm. A top end programme of music is lined up featuring Bressi and the Sawdoctors. Other top artists and many surprises on the main stage. This will also be the format on Saturday evening. Adding to the festivities will be a wide range of trad and a variety of music sessions held through various venues spread around the town.

On Saturday, the main stage will feature the Katonahs, the Kanyu Tree, Sunday Mass and the Saw Doctors, and the day’s activities will also see a number of locations where street performances will take place adding to the summer carnival atmosphere in the heart of what promises to be a buzzing Sligo Town for the event.

In addition to the top music performances taking place on the stage, there will be a 5k adventure run race which will include an assault course and will begin in the park in Cleveragh and will finish on Rockwood Parade later in the day.

One of the other exciting events is the Lough Gill swim. This is a 10km swim the full length of Lough Gill in aid of Northwest Hospice, Sligo. It is also the 10km Connaught Swimming Championships which is the swim marathon. It raised over €11,000 last year which went directly to the hospice. It hopes to raise even more this year by expanding the number of swimmers and increasing our fundraising efforts.

In addition to this there will be A Raft Race on the Garavouge river which Sligo Sub aqua are helping to run. This will take place on Saturday afternoon and it is hoped that clubs and sports teams from Sligo will be encouraged to enter this event with Street Acts and a soap box race.

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Sligo Summer Festival Musical Line-Up

The Sligo 400 Festoval boasts an exciting music line up with internationally renowned artists and up and coming Irish acts. The music cover various genres meaning there is something to suit everyone’s taste. The streets of Sligo will be livened up with buskers and Sligo’s pubs and cafes will be hosting a range of music throughout the weekend. For more details goto www.sligosummerfestival.com  



The Blizzards were one of Ireland’s biggest rock ‘n’ roll deals, but that didn’t stop their guitarist and singer Niall Breslin deciding in January 2010 that he needed a new challenge. Since then he has been busy producing a number one album, ‘Colourblind Stereo’ which has led to hit songs ‘Can’t stay young forever’ and ‘Breaking my Fall’.  

He was also a judge on RTE’s The Voice and is currently on a nationwide tour. Bressie headlines on the Friday night of the Sligo Summer Festival.

The Saw Doctors

The Saw Doctors

A band that needs no introduction The Saw Doctors have being touring worldwide for more that 20 years and regularly play to sell out crowds in Ireland and abroad. Their music has always been big and brash and continues “in celebrating the parts of real Ireland that most other bands don’t reach.” The Saw Doctors headline on the Saturday night.

A Plastic Rose

A Plastic Rose

This 4-piece were formed when bassist Troy and drummer Dave answered a call from other members Gerry (guitar/vox) and Ian (guitar/vox) following unsuccessful attempts to kidnap members from other local bands. Once settled these Sligo/Tyrone lads have forced themselves into public and critical consciousness with acclaimed EPs, singles and live shows including TV appearances on UTV’s ‘Live At The Limelight’, multiple radio sessions across Ireland, and well-received slots at Glasgowbury, Hard-Working-Class Heroes, Unconvention and Leeds and Reading Festivals, the latter coinciding with them becoming the first ever unsigned band to be play-listed on BBC Radio 1, with airplay across the schedule. Jo Whiley, Edith Bowman, Nihal, Huw Stevens and Tom Robinsons all playing their debut single 'All You Know And Love Will Die. A Plastic Rose kick of the Sligo Summer Festival on the Friday night.

Sunday Mass

Sunday Mass

This exciting band came into being in a very “organic” way. A group of musicians set up “The Sunday Club”, a musicians’ social club set up on Sundays in McGarrigles Pub, Sligo. It welcomed musicians from every genre (Trad, Rock, Jazz, Classical) to informally meet, share ideas and jam together. From the very first gathering, in February 2010, it was clear that this informal jamming was a hit, the Sunday Club was soon renamed Sunday MASS (Massive Acoustic Sunday Session) and has the pub packed every Sunday since. Sunday Mass play on Friday night of the festival.

Original Rude Boys

The Original Rude Boys

The Original Rudeboys are an Irish acoustic hip hop band from Dublin. They release their debut album ‘This Life’ earlier this year featuring online hits  "Stars In My Eyes" and “Travelling Man” .They have played such venues as The Olympia Theatre and have also played at festivals such as Oxygen and the Reading, Leeds ,Sea Sessions Festivals, T in the Park and the Phoenix Park, Dublin. The Original Rude Boys also play on the Friday night. 

The Katonahs

The Katonahs

Sligo based The Katonahs are a guitar driven indie rock group fronted by Dubliner Peter Butler and complimented by Sligo guitarist Sean Mulligan, drummer Paul Conlon and bassist Dominic Callaghan. Rich melodic vocals, vibrant mesmerising guitar licks and a solid bold rhythm section come alive to define the groups innovative sound. Drawing influence and inspiration from the likes of U2, Tom Petty and Coldplay, The Katonahs have garnered respect from audiences and fellow musicians and have witnessed increased numbers at their live shows. The Katonahs kick off the line up on Saturday night of the Sligo Summer Festival.

The Side Up

This Side Up

This Side Up are an all original Hip Hop group hailing from Sligo. The group consists of two MC’s Myster-E and Shaool with DJ Noone on the turntables. All about “Keeping it Rural” This Side Up meld intelligent lyricism with booming melodic beats in a unique homegrown fashion.

Heavily involved in the local music scene This Side Up have been running nights in Sligo since 2009. Their live performances have gained them a large following, from true Hip Hoppers to the converted sceptics, and enabled them to perform nationwide with artists like Jazzy Jeff, Grandmaster Flash, B Dolan and Skratch Bastid. Festival appearances include No Place Like Dome, Knockanstocken, Temple House Music Festival, Sligo Live and the Sea Sessions. This Side Up play Saturday night of the festival.

The Kanyu Tree

The Kanyu Tree

The Kanyu Tree are three brothers from Galway and have long won over Galway audiences with their infectious mix of slick pop, creamy vocal harmonies, and white boy funk. They have toured extensively around Irish venues and festivals and their debut album, 'People Street', was released in October 2011. It entered the Irish charts at  number 4. The Salthill brothers have already shown they possess the potential to make it big with their two recent singles - the excellent ‘Radio’ and its follow-up ‘Shelf Life’ receiving massive airplay on national radio. The Kanyu Tree also play on the Saturday night of the festival.


Sligo 400 Swim and Sub Aqua Club Events

Lough Gill Swimmers Poster    

As part of the celebrations of the 400th anniversary of the Borough of Sligo, a two day festival is taking place on the weekend of the 10th August. The Sligo 400 Summer Festival will involve music, sports, art and culture, and featured events will include, adventure races, horse racing, street theatre, street art, street performances and two days of music from some of Ireland’s top musicians.

Sub Aqua Club LogoOn the adventure side Sligo Sub Aqua Club will host a raft race on the Garavogue River on Saturday August 11th.  Companies, clubs, teams, families and individuals are invited to participate.

From a pioneering group, the club has grown and consists of individuals from all walks of life. We educate and train people for recreational diving to international standards.

The club has assisted the community for over 40 years and provides a much needed Search and Recovery Service by a specially trained unit. We are proud to say that the relationship between the club and the people of Sligo is one of confidence and support. You may access the Race Rules and Registration Form on our web site www.sligosac.com  or follow us on Facebook Sligo sub aqua club.

Also on the Saturday brave swimmers take to the cold waters of  Lough Gill to raise funds for Northwest Hospice, Sligo. The ILDSA Connaught 10km Championship is entering its second year and crosses counties Sligo and Leitrim in one of the most scenic areas of the country. Last year was a huge success with the swimmers afforded a Civic Reception in Sligo Town Hall in 2011 having raised over €11,400 for the Hospice.

The swim gets underway at Parkes Castle crossing the lake and Garavogue River and finishes at Boathouse Quay in Doorly Park.  It’s certainly not one for the faint hearted requiring years of training to simply finish the race. Along the way swimmers will pass The Lake Isle of Innisfree, immortalised by WB Yeats and swim in waters used by Captain Matthew Webb in training to become the first man to successfully swim the English Channel.

There will be a party atmosphere at the finish area at Doorly Park with activities for children and adults alike and a post-race barbeque along the banks of the river at the Blue Lagoon. 

Donations can be made at www.loughgillswim.com or through sponsorship cards.

Soapbox Derby

As part of the 400th anniversary celebrations of Sligo Borough we are delighted to be endorsing this fantastic event which is taking place as part of the Sligo Summer Festival. As you can see from the information above a Soap Box Race will take place on the Mall on Saturday the 11th of August at 5pm.

Businesses and the communities of Sligo are requested to get involved and enter a team in this event. There will be a number of different categories from best dressed to wackiest design. Top prize will be the “Professional Cup” which we will give to the winning Business. This will entitle them to bragging rights for the year.

So all you need to do to enter is: E-mail sligosoapboxrace@gmail.com with your name, e-mail address and contact number.

The cost of entry will be €40 for Senior and €20 for Junior teams (U16). Each team will consist of four people. See SOAPBOX DERBY RULES