The Sounds From A Safe Harbour festival in Cork has announced the first of its headline acts. Canadian singer Feist, Irish singer-songwriter Damien Rice, and Bryce and Aaron Dessner from The National will be among those playing an event taking place from September 12 to 15.
As with the previous two festivals, in 2017 and 2015, the Dessner brothers have been hands-on in organising an event that was originally conceived by former Cork Opera House CEO Mary Hickson, and also involves such artistic luminaries as actor Cillian Murphy and playwright Enda Walsh.
A closing concert at Cork Opera House will take the form of a tribute to Lhasa de Sela, the Mexican-American folk singer who passed away in 2010. That concert will include Andrew Barr of The Barr Brothers, and had previous incarnations at the PEOPLE festival in Berlin, and at the Barbican last year. It is typical of the slightly different approach that PEOPLE and the related Cork event have taken to festivals, eschewing the branding, obvious headliners and other trappings in favour of interesting collaborations.
For instance, the last SFSH included a performance at St Luke's by Big Red Machine, a project involving the Dessners and Justin Vernon (Bon Iver). While in Cork in 2017, Vernon said of the festival: “We need our music to surprise us, we need our festivals to surprise us, this is not entertainment,this is a spiritual f**king thing.”
Damien Rice was last seen on Leeside in 2015 for a well-received gig at the Marquee that formed part of a mini-comeback for an artist who initially broke through with the hugely-successful debut album, O, in 2002. In recent months, the low-key Kildare singer has been performing in India and Australia, and is likely to be the first of the SFSH gigs to sell out when tickets go on sale on Monday, May 27. Numerous free and informal concerts will also take place across Cork city and county for the event.
Mary Hickson, director of Sounds From a Safe Harbour, said:
Sounds From A Safe Harbour, Cork, September 12 to 15. Tickets on sale Monday, May 27, from Cork Opera House. soundsfromasafeharbour.com