Now in its ninth year and well established as one of Ireland’s best Winter Festivals, The Ballincollig Winter Music Festival returns in January 2018, with another fantastic and eclectic mix of artists and events centered around the festival hub at The White Horse.


Rising star of the Canadian folk scene, Kaia Kater, supports Wallis Bird on Thursday January 25. Based in Tornoto but spending a lot of time in West Virginia Kaia Kater’s old-time banjo-picking skills, deft arrangements, and songwriting abilities have landed her in the spotlight in North America and the UK, garnering critical acclaim from outlets such as Rolling Stone, CBC Music and The Roots Music Report. Often praised for her capacity to sound new and old at once, Kaia anchors her music the space where tradition and innovation intersect.


Sunday January 28 will see an afternoon show, featuring trad maestros Frankie Gavin, Alec Finn and Derek Hickey with special guest, Italian folk and world music star, Lavinia Mancusi. At the age of seven she began studying the violin at the Popular School of Music of Testaccio with Maestro Massimo Pastorello. In 1997 she won the Special Jury Prize for the violin of the “Arturo Toscanini” Competition. Over the years she studied the violin with masters such as: Carlo Cossu, Tiziana Mangione (first violin of the Rome Symphony Orchestra), Marco Fiorentini, and Antonio Fraioli. Since 2006 Mancusi has incorporated popular music into her repertoire and worked with Nando Citarella as part of Tamburi del Vesuvio. She is currently the voice and violin of Medfree Orkestra, with whom she recorded the album “Pensiero Mediterraneo” (2012) and “Background” (2014), and of the Takadum Orchestra by Simone Pulvano, with whom he recorded the album “Takadum .. .suoni at the border “(2013) and” Addije “(2015).
Returning to the Ballincollig Winter Music Festival is Irish Times’ journalist, Tony Clayton-Lea, as he brings a mix of lively debate, interesting interviews and live performances to The White Horse on Saturday January 27, with Culture Vultures, while that night, Cork legends Rubyhorse are set to bring brand new material to the venue that night. The band are set to release new tracks in 2018, with shows in Ireland and the US, where they had a billboard top 20 hit with ‘Sparkle’ and appeared on the David Letterman Show, Conan O’Brien and Good Morning America.


Meanwhile, the festival takes a step away from Ballincollig for a show at Cork Opera House, where The White Horse Guitar Club bring Kentucky and Tennessee roots music to a new level with an ensemble of guitarists drawn from widely varying backgrounds.


Bringing the festival to close on Sunday night, The Niall McCabe Band will launch a new album with support from Rowan. Further news on festival workshops, discussions and more great artists will be announced in the coming weeks.


We’re looking forward to welcoming back Music in Community as part of the festival programme”, says festival organiser Joe Carey, “as well as a lots of workshops and sessions throughout the weekend”. All tickets on sale now from