Mr Herlihy, from Ballydesmond, Co Cork, will receive the O’Keeffe traditional music award for his dedication to the music of Sliabh Luachra.
After the presentation, which takes place on Saturday night, he will be joined on stage for a concert by many friends, including fiddler Donal O’Connor.
Now in its 20th year, the festival starts on Friday and continues until Monday.
Singers and musicians in attendance will include Mickey MacConnell, Jimmy Crowley, Gerry Harrington, Eoghan O’Sullivan, Paul de Grae and the Smokey Chimney Reunion; West Limerick’s Dan Brouder and The Lark’s Air Launch; Jackie Dan Jerry O’Connor and Terence McQuinn.
Also there will be the United Nations Reed and String Band; Peter Browne and Billy Clifford, Danny O’Mahony and Micheál Ó Raghallaigh, Frankie Gavin and De Dannan.
The popular singing session will be held at Fagin’s Bar from 3pm on Saturday where the likes of Tim Dennehy, Mickey MacConnell, Seán Garvey will perform. Here also festival debutant Jimmy Crowley is sure to get a rousing welcome. The session will be hosted by Aileen Rowntree.
Arts and Heritage Minister Jimmy Deenihan will officially launch the festival on Saturday night.