Ferry set to rock Tall Ships party weekend

ORGANISERS of this summer’s Tall Ships Races in Waterford have confirmed veteran pop artist Bryan Ferry as the headline act for the opening night.

The Roxy Music lead singer and long-established solo artist released his 13th solo album, Olympia, last year and this year toured with his Roxy Music colleagues in Britain, Australia and New Zealand.

His June 30 show will help open this year’s Tall Ships festival in Waterford and joins the likes of Sharon Shannon and The Waterboys on the musical bill for the event.

Later this month he is playing at the Royal Albert Hall in London as part of a concert to honour former Soviet Union leader and reformer Mikhail Gorbachev.

Among Ferry’s hits over the last few decades are Avalon, More Than This, Jealous Guy, and Let’s Stick Together.

Looking ahead to the Waterford show, he said: “I am delighted to be returning to perform in Ireland following Roxy Music’s performance at Electric Picnic last year.”

He will be performing on the main stage at Bolton Street for the Tall Ships fesyival. The headline act at the same site on Friday, July 1 are The Waterboys who will be supported by Waterford’s O Emperor, while the Saturday, July 2, headline act will be the Sharon Shannon Show with special guests Damien Dempsey and Dessie O’Halloran.

Announcing the latest headline act from the festival programme during a briefing to Waterford City Council, Tall Ships 2011 chairman, Des Whelan said Bryan Ferry’s addition to the bill caps off an exciting programme and means that, on each of the three nights, Waterford audiences will be entertained free-of-charge by world-class acts with a track record of high-powered live shows.

“Waterford’s hosting of The Tall Ships Races 2011 is generating huge interest in Ireland and overseas with massive traffic to the website at www.waterfordtallshipsrace.ie and strong enquiries to the quayside office,” he said.

“The countdown is very much on now so it’s great to have all the main elements of the festival programme finalised. We’ll be announcing ticketing arrangements for the main stage at Bolton Street shortly.”

Festival committee chairman Paul McDaid said securing Bryan Ferry was “a real coup” for Waterford.

“Along with the previously announced headline acts, he represents a huge draw for Waterford when we welcome Tall Ships and crews from around the world to Ireland’s oldest city.

To coincide with Waterford’s hosting of the Tall Ships Races 2011, Spraoi has commissioned almost 20 national and international street performance acts while award-winning illusionist Keith Barry will perform a specially-commissioned piece at the launch on the afternoon of June 30. Other highlights include the Crew Parade on July 1 and the Parade of Sail by the international Tall Ships fleet on July 3.

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