Thousands of Rock ‘n Blues Music fans from across the world will be making their way to the North West to honour Ireland’s greatest Blues ‘n Rock Guitarists next week, when the Rory Gallagher International Tribute Festival swings into action in Ballyshannon, Co. Donegal.
The Rory Gallagher International Tribute Festival, takes place in Ballyshannon between Wednesday 2nd June and Sunday 6th June with the opening event one of the highlights, the unveiling of the Rory Gallagher life-size bronze statue on Wednesday 2nd June at 7pm in the Town Centre. Gallagher was born at the appropriately named ‘Rock Hospital’ on 2nd March 1948 in Ballyshannon, before the family moved to Derry and then to Cork City, where Rory would have received his education.
Rory Gallagher sold over 30 million albums worldwide and was well known for his constant Live Performances firstly with ‘Taste’ and then with his own ‘Rory Gallagher Band’.
Following complications after a Liver transplant, Gallagher sadly died in June 1995 at the age of 47 years.
The unveiling of the life-size bronze Statue on Wednesday 2nd June 2010, is without doubt the ultimate tribute to Rory Gallagher, with a host of music personalities, close friends and family, all expected to attend. Special music tributes will be paid at the unveiling ceremony by another Ballyshannon born musician, Charlie McGettigan the former Eurovision Song Contest winner and possibly one or two surprise guests. Rory’s brother and lifelong Manager Donal Gallagher said “its an extraordinary tribute to have my brother remembered in this way and I thank everybody involved as Rory would be so thankful for such an honour. I have seen the statue in progress and its so life-like, its absolutely superb. “It will be a special night for my family and for the Irish Blues ‘n Rock fans. I really hope as many of Rory’s dedicated followers can attend during the week”.
Meanwhile Ballyshannon is gearing itself for an invasion of Rory Gallagher’s fans from all over the world with the event fast becoming one of the biggest Musical events in the North West and indeed is unique in Ireland with one specific theme honouring one person in a very appropriate place. Festival Chairperson, Barry O’Neill said “we are delighted with the many bands and performers that will be appearing over the 5 days, but the effort of Rory’s fans from Countries such as Australia, America, Germany, Norway, Holland, Belguim, the UK and throughout Ireland demonstrates the enormity of Rory’s appeal, popularity and the respect that he won and continues to win to this day”.
Among the headline acts are former ‘Whitesnake’ legendary guitarists Bernie Marsden who will play a full tribute of Rory Gallagher’s music at a special concert with Rory’s former band members Rich Newman and Dave Levy. Donal Gallagher said that “Bernie Marsden is one of the great guitarists and has been highly influenced by Rory over the years.
In all there will be 25 different acts will appear at the Rory Gallagher Tribute Festival including the highly rated Dutch based band “Wolfpin”led by the talented Marcel Scharpenzel on lead guitar, while also returning are one of the Festival favourites “Sinnerboy” from Manchester, former “Mama’s Boy’s” guitarist – Pat McManus who is undoubtedly one of the greatest living Irish Rock Guitarists, while making a welcomed debut to the Rory Festival is the Willie Byrne Band and travelling from Norway are the “Bearded Babies” and former ‘Dervish’ guitarist Seamie O’Dowd and his Electric Rock ‘n Blues Band. Among other acts to watch-out for, the superb “Shinkicker” from England, “Dave McHugh Band” (Dublin), “Brian Meakin Band” and local legend “Johnny Gallagher & the Boxtie Band”.
The Festival is a must for Music lovers with a mass gathering of Gallagher fans set to participate in the 5-day programme of events filled with non-stop Rock ‘n Blues sounds.
For further information and the full festival programme check out www.goingtomyhometown.com