We are delighted to welcome Sharon back to the festival.Her last appearance was in 2002 when the old factory at the Wild Duck was filled to capacity and the audience were wowed by a foot tapping performance!
Sharon Shannon is a musical icon. For the past twenty years, her accordion playing has allowed her to travel the globe, collaborating with a host of performers and writers across a multitude of genres including Hip-Hop, Cajun, Country, Classical and Rap.Sharon has showcased Irish traditional music on a world platform and kept it relevant in a modern and contemporary sense. Her musicianship is key to this great success and her warm and generous spirit is renowned the world over, ensuring a long and fruitful career for the Galway woman. She has had many Number One albums and singles and has collaborated and toured with a myriad of household names from U2 to Willie Nelson, Steve Earle to Christy Moore, Shane MacGowan to Imelda May. Sharon continues to throw herself fearlessly into new projects and genres and her recent album, ‘Flying Circus' with the RTE Concert Orchestra has been a particularly rewarding venture.
Other artists who Sharon has recorded and toured with in the Irish and Global Music Industry, include Bono; Adam Clayton; Sinead O'Connor; Jackson Browne; John Prine; Mark Knopfler; The Chieftains; The Waterboys; Nigel Kennedy and Alison Krauss - a list that is testament to Sharon's versatility as well as talent.
Sharon has entertained US President Bill Clinton and Irish Presidents, Mary Robinson and Mary McAleese and also The Sultan of Brunei in Australia.
Sharon records and produces her albums at her own studios, ‘Poets Corner' outside Galway in Ireland and she owns her own record label – ‘The Daisy Label'.
The genre-defying star has had multi-platinum album sales and has had several number one albums, singles and DVDs in her home country.
Sharon's album, ‘The Galway Girl' has gone 4 times Platinum in Ireland and the title track has won the Meteor Award for most downloaded song over two years. The Meteor Awards also honoured Sharon as the youngest ever winner of the Lifetime Achievement Award.
The other great love in Sharon's life is animals, rescued ones in particular, with the current headcount in her very large back garden standing at seven dogs and three cats. Her pack comes in all different shapes, sizes and personalities, with their own individual stories, but all with the common bond of coming from rescue centres. With the release of Flying Circus, Sharon is taking the opportunity to shine a light on her new campaign, ‘ADOPT DON'T BUY', an impassioned plea to all those considering a new or first time pet to start their search at their local pound and animal rescue centre. Thousands of unwanted dogs, from Heinz 57's to purebred pedigree pooches, tiny newborn puppies to dignified old ladies and gentlemen, are sitting in pounds and rescue centres across Ireland, waiting for families to call their own. With ‘ADOPT DON'T BUY', Sharon hopes to make the wider public aware that pounds and rescue centres are the best, most cost effective way to find the perfect lifetime companion and every type of breed imaginable comes through their doors.
Sharon is patron of one very special all Ireland rescue centre in Kerry called Animal Heaven Animal Rescue (AHAR). The rescue takes distressed and unwanted animals of all kinds, dogs to horses, goats to hens, pigs to cats, from across Ireland, nurses them back to health, both physically and mentally, before re-homing them, both here and abroad. Suzanne Gibbons who runs AHAR is reminiscent of those volunteers who run animal rescues across Ireland, working tirelessly day and night to give a proper and dignified life to abused and abandoned animals of all kinds. AHAR never turn any animals away and they live at AHAR for as long as it takes to find them a home of their own. The lead song on Flying Circus is called Top Dog Gaffo and was written by Sharon in remembrance of her beloved dog Gaffo, who died last year at a grand old age. It is a fitting tribute to Gaffo that Sharon has offered the track as a download from her website and in return is asking fans to make a donation, no matter how great or small, which will go directly to AHAR.
Sharon Shannon has music at her fingertips....literally! We look forward to her welcome return to the festival.
For more information please visit Sharon's website: