- 02 May 23
Tickets for the acts headline acts announced so far go on sale Friday, May 12th from 10am via Cork Opera House's website.
For its fourth instalment, Sounds from a Safe Harbour (SFSH) returns to stages across Cork and beyond from Thursday, September 7th to Sunday 10th.
An unmissable four days of music, dance, literature, theatre, and conversation, the festival is curated by Festival Director Mary Hickson, Bryce and Aaron Dessner of The National, actor Cillian Murphy and playwright Enda Walsh, and will include both ticketed and free events to explore.
The festival’s first headliners have just been announced with Canadian singer-songwriter, Feist, leading the lineup, set to return to the Cork Opera House, September 7th. The Canadian artist is best known for her carefully-crafted fusion of indie rock, folk and pop, and is sure to delight September's attendees with her emotive and introspective lyrics, accompanied by her hauntingly beautiful voice. The singer’s latest album, Multitudes, has most recently received critical-acclaim, with The Guardian, hailing it as her “soul stirring career highlight.”
SFSH have also announced an exclusive collaboration between Bonny Light Horseman and the RTÉ Concert Orchestra, conducted by Robert Ames, with orchestral arrangements by Bryce Dessner, set to take place at the Cork Opera House on September 8th, the National Concert Hall in Dublin on September 14th, and the following day at The Barbican, London, with the London Contemporary Orchestra. Folk trio Anaïs Mitchell, Eric D. Johnson and Josh Kaufman are also set to perform their loving ode at the upcoming European premiere.
The trio initially began their musical experiment in 2018 when they were invited to perform at the Eaux Claires festival by its co-founders, Justin Vernon (Bon Iver) and Aaron Dessner (The National), which was produced by Mary Hickson. The natural, intuitive bond between the three artists spurred them to continue writing and performing together. The direction towards traditional songs from the British Isles quickly emerged, and led to the trio’s self-titled LP, Bonny Light Horseman. This was quickly followed up by their 2022 album Rolling Golden Holy, dubbed by UNCUT as 'impeccably crafted'.
Chicago-based band Wilco are due to headline the Cork Opera House on September 9th, supported by Wicklow singer songwriter Anna Mieke. The band have been hailed for their dynamic live performances and previous critically-acclaimed albums. 2023’s SFSH will be the band’s debut at the Cork-based festival, with Wilco promising to deliver on their reputation for pushing musical boundaries and delivering a powerful, emotive show.
The biennial festival is experimenting in its approach this year, inviting Irish folk music duo Ye Vagabonds to respond to SFSH’s yearly call for an intimate artist residency. With the help of Quiet Lights, the folk duo have been asked to host the festival finale, Lighthouse Constellations at Cork Opera House, on Sunday September 10th at 6pm.
Speaking on the lineup, director of Sounds From a Safe Harbour, Mary Hickson says: “It’s a lovely feeling to be able to bring projects that are close to my heart back to Cork to share with you, particularly projects and artists I have a deep connection with. I have been working with FEIST as Creative Producer on her new show for the last four years, so it’s a major highlight for me to get to present this show in Cork Opera House. Being in the room for the inception of Bonny Light Horseman as a band back in 2018 was a moment I will never forget.”
Continuing, the director states, “I am thrilled to have the opportunity to expand the orchestral programme we started with them at MusicNOW (2021/Ohio) with Bryce Dessner and the RTÉ Concert Orchestra, presenting it to Cork for SFSH23. Together with Quiet Lights, we have invited the inimitable Ye Vagabonds to interact with and respond to the residency programme (an exciting programme which is yet to be revealed) and host a music finale for the festival.”
“We have SO MUCH more to come for SFSH23 - keep an eye out for lots more announcements,” she adds.
Tickets for Feist, Bonny Light Horseman with the RTÉ Concert Orchestra, Wilco, and Ye Vagabonds are due to go on sale Friday, May 12th from 10am via Cork Opera House's website here.