Sharon Shannon is a musical icon and another world class musician whose name has long been associated with the festival. During her first visit in 2002 she memorably described the old shirt factory venue as a "Mini Point Theatre”. Her return visit in 2012 was hugely anticipated and the centre piece of the poster that year was another top class painting by Conor Larkin, featuring Sharon herself! That year our poster went on to win the ‘Best Poster’ at the ‘Carlton Best of Festival Marketing Awards’. Understandably we are over the moon that Sharon has accepted our invitation for a third time, the perfect conclusion to the twentieth festival celebrations. Like before the audience will be wowed by a foot tapping performance!
For the past twenty seven years, Sharon’s 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 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 four 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.
Sharon Shannon has music at her fingertips....literally!