Castlewellan’s SOMA FEST 2024 line-up revealed

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The full lineup of performances and attractions of this year’s instalment of the ever-popular SOMA Festival has been unveiled for July 19-21.With less than two weeks to go, ticket holders will be thrilled to explore the variety of musical performances, family entertainment, craft stalls and more on offer.

The Soma Festival opening celebration will take place at The Lodge Business and Cultural Centre, Castlewellan, on Friday 19th July at 6.30pm. Ancient Whispers: The Fairy Gathering / Cruinniú na Sídhe is a family event combining story, song and music, and attendees are warmly encouraged to dress in costume relating to the elements (fire, water, earth, air and spirit) for the occasion.

Headlining the three-day festival on Saturday July 20 is John Spillane, one of the biggest names in folk music across the world, who will be joined by the Soma House Band for a night of brilliant song in St. Malachy’s GAC.

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The Cork-native is known for his gorgeous songs such as All The Ways You Wander and The Dunnes Store Girl, and will be supported on stage by Graham Henderson (keys), John McSherry (pipes/low whistle), Emma King (percussion/drums), Seán Ó Meara (guitar), and Tola Custy (fiddle). Talented young singer/songwriter Cathleen Garland is set to support.

The Soma House Band in 2023.The Soma House Band in 2023.
The Soma House Band in 2023.

Kicking off the SOMA Festival on Friday, July 19, is award-winning Dublin performer Eoghan Ó Ceannabháin, whose powerful voice and lyrics are set to captivate in the King’s Inn.

Supporting act on the night comes from Castlewellan’s own Ciara McCrickard Trio. This event is in partnership with Glór Uachtar Tíre.

SOMA Festival Director, Tíona McSherry, praised the behind-the-scenes organisers for curating this year’s brilliant line-up, saying: “Our team has come up with another stellar programme for festival goers to enjoy this year.

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“We’re so excited for the incredible acts we have coming to perform. We hope Castlewellan is as buzzing for it as we are.”

Other musical stars set for SOMA Festival 2024 include tradtronica group Huartan and closing-act funk band GrooveLine with Belfast-based folk outfit Lonesome George.

As well as four fantastic concerts, there will be a session trail taking in many pubs of the town. Attendees can also take advantage of the plethora of different hubs open on varying dates between July 19-21.

The Mind, Body & Soul space is open on both Saturday 20 and Sunday 21 in The Lodge Business & Cultural Centre, hosting a dedicated health and wellness area as well as housing a craft fair where local small businesses can display their creations.

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Alternatively, Soma in the Square boasts live music, children's activities, the Whitewater Brewing Co. Bar and delicious food on July 20 and 21 for fun that the whole family can enjoy.

For free-spirited visitors, the Little Gems series on offer across the long weekend features award-winning author Michael Magee reading from his terrific debut novel, a panel discussion on Irish language films (featuring Colm Bairéad, writer/director of Oscar nominated film An Cáilín Ciúin), serene nature walks throughout the County Down countryside and much more.

SOMA Festival 2024 received funding from Newry, Mourne & Down District Council, Foras na Gaeilge, and sponsors and partners Whitewater Brewing Co., Glór Uachtar Tíre, Excalibur Press, Dolmes Climate Action Network, and Cumann Phobail Garbhdhoire, and tickets are already available for purchase as either individual event passes or weekend access to all concerts.

The SOMA Festival runs between 19th-21st July and full details including tickets can be found at

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