Ballydehob Jazz Festival Returns May Bank Holiday Weekend

The event runs 3rd – 6th May 2024.

By: Apr. 22, 2024
Ballydehob Jazz Festival Returns May Bank Holiday Weekend
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Ballydehob Jazz Festival is a community and volunteer run Music & Art Festival which takes place May Bank holiday weekend, 3rd – 6th May, in Ballydehob Village, West Cork attracting musicians from all over the world and thousands of visitors.

The 2024 Festival has rolled out another outstanding programme featuring musicians, spoken word artists, street performers, and dancers, from across the globe. 

The village will host a FREE Live Music featuring over 30 performances from Irish and International acts - The Bonk, Donal Dineen, The Lava Birds, Tacla, Becca Ruane, Boolaboom. There will Jazz, New Orleans Punk & Funk, Piano prodigies, Swing, Beats & more.

Last year BJF, which has been running since 2007, welcomed thousands of visitors to the streets, and village venues. Over 80% of the festival events, art exhibitions, music trail, street performances, poetry slam, food & craft market, parade all have FREE entry. 

In the Main Festival Hall (The Ballydehob Community Hall) the festival will host a concert with New Orleans Jazz Punk Pianist Stephanie Nilles, on the Saturday The Canibal Dandies, Djs & Dancers take over for the Bootleggers Ball. Professional Dancers from Argentina and Ireland will run swing works shops throughout the weekend and will lead the audiences at The Bootleggers Ball.  Tickets for the headline events over the 3 nights are available online at

Making its debut this year is PIRATE TAXI, an Outdoor Circus Show suitable for all ages. An extraordinary aerial show, original live music, humour, a mechanically ingenious set built on an old school London Taxi, all taking place in the Ballydehob Playground on Saturday and Sunday (free entry). 

Other family friendly events include the Sunday Jazz Festival Food & Craft Market, complete with children's circus school (free) out front, and pop-up day time live music and poetry gigs. 

The village's vibrant community pulls together to channel Ballydehob's energy though the legendary New Orleans-style Sunday funeral parade, which is themed the “Carnival Of Creatures” and led by Modh Coinníollach (the Good Mood) muppet, a physical manifestation of the village's sunny predisposition. Joining the Ballydehob Puppet Family this year are The Three Jazz Kitties! These playful creatures are inspired by a local story... when a man at the bar heard rolling his eyes and saying "fecckksss if a cat had kittens in Ballydehob, that village would have a Festival."

The Ballydehob Jazz Festival, which is supported by Cork County Council, The Arts Council of Ireland, and local business, runs free community and school workshops all through April in Levis' Corner House, offering skills in puppet/ mask/prop making, and putting together performance pieces such as dance and drumming. Lead Artist is Elaine McClague (Loosy Smokes), working with Robert Rowe (Ballydehob Puppet Making Company), and Artist & Workshop Volunteer Co-Ordinator Kathy Crockett, as well as Visual Artist Millie Egan leading the School Workshops. Creative Director of the Ballydehob Jazz Festival is Joseph O'Leary (Fred, Levis Corner House). Participating schools are Scoil Bhride NS, St Matthias & Lisheen NS.

"It's a really unique festival we have created together, full of heart, fun and community, music and art. It's a celebration of Ballydehob. And could happen no where else because there's no where like this village" says Creative Director Joseph O'Leary.


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