The Futures of Irish Music

The Futures of Irish Music

A seminar hosted by music and academic professionals, facilitating a discussion about how Irish music can centre equality, diversity and inclusion moving forward as both an artform and as an industry. Hear from speakers informed by academic research and lived experience about the Futures of Irish Music.

As music festivals, venues, audiences and musicians continue to deal with the challenges wrought by Covid-19, this threshold moment may also allow us to reconsider more broadly the future(s) of Irish music in terms sustainability, diversity and inclusion. How might we move forward taking into account gender equality, minority participation, and modes of production that keep climate justice as well as social justice at the centre of activities? What kind of music career can professionals imagine into the future? Who will have access to the various modes of music education and funding, and how will that shape future participation and professionalisation of different genres and traditions? Can we model forms of music-making that address some or all of these challenges? What ultimately have we learned from the pandemic and what roles can festivals and the music industry play in such reimaginings? Our panel of musicians, educators, media influencers, content producers and shapers of cultural policy will address these and other questions.

FestiVersities is a HERA (EU) funded research project involving researchers and music festival partners in Ireland, Denmark, The Netherlands, Poland and the UK. This project aims to consider issues of cultural diversity and public space through a close examination of twelve music festivals across Europe, in addition to the impact of national COVID-19 restrictions on music industries and the post-pandemic landscape going forward. This event is hosted by members of the Irish FestiVersities team, senior lecturer Dr Aileen Dillane and postdoctoral research fellow Dr Sarah Raine from University of Limerick.


Mamobo Ogoro is the founder of Gorm Media, an influential, impact-focused digital media company that curates common ground through conversations that matter. Mamobo is currently pursuing a PhD in Social Psychology at the University of Limerick were she is a Sanctuary Fellow.  Nominated for her activism for the ‘Black and Irish’ Awards, Mamobo. has won numerous accolades for her social entrepreneurship and has participated in a variety initiatives that identify leaders of the future in Ireland.

Jack Talty is a musician, recording artist, composer and producer, and owner of the successful Irish music label, Raelach Records. Jack was recently appointed as Lecturer in Traditional Music at UCC.  He has a PhD in Ethnomusicology and was commissioned to produced “Navigating the Traditional Arts Sector in Ireland:  A Report on Challenges, Resources, and Opportunities”, which was published in 2020 to help inform policy.

Enda Gallery is a musician, composer, and producer, based in Berlin. Moving between there, Dublin and County Clare, Gallery operated under pseudonym ‘Delush’ for a period of time when he released his acclaimed debut album ‘Return to Zero’ in 2020. He reclaimed his name for the 2021 release of the official music video for ‘Guess We Got a Problem’, which has been nominated for a Shark Award. Gallery facilitates and collaborates with singer Tolü Makay, renowned Limerick rappers Willzee and Strange Boy, as well as other international electronic producers like Kid Simius, Dead Rabbit, and Nobody’s Face. His 2020 duet appearance with Makay on ‘Ireland in Music’ TV program

Niamh Ní Charra is a multi-award-winning musician, composer, and recording artist. She is also a professional archivist/project manager for the Conradh na Gaeilge and Mary Robinson collections in the National University of Ireland, Galway, as well as the Communications and Campaigns officer for the Archives and Records Association, Ireland. Niamh is a founding member and archivist for the volunteer campaign group, FairPlé, established in 2018, which aims to achieve gender balance in production, performance, promotion and development of Irish traditional and folk music. Niamh co-host the archives podcast series, Archive Nation.

Dublin-born, Clare-based singer-songwriter, Steo Wall first barged his way onto the airwaves in 2018 with his debut album, ‘Where I’m From’, featuring collaborations with celebrated artists Damien Dempsey, Luka Bloom and Davy Spillane.  Mixing traditional Irish folk with some contemporary Irish rap, Steo takes listeners on journey from the Badlands of Dublin’s working class, housing estates, to the beauty of Ireland’s west coast, with songs that sing truth to power.  His much-lauded song, Sarah Doran, is an ode to Steo’s Traveller grandmother, whose family is connected to uilleann pipers Felix and Leo Doran. Steo has toured with Aslan, Declan O’Rourke, Mick Flannery, Damien Dempsey, and headlined/performed at Doolin Folk Festival, Féile Nasc, All Together Now, and Vicar St. His second studio album, ‘Street Wisdom For Lost Souls’, will be released in early 2022.

FestiVersities Irish Team

Aileen Dillane is Senior Lecturer in Music at the Irish World Academy, University of Limerick.  A traditional musician with a PhD in Ethnomusicology from the University of Chicago, her works focuses on identity in music, with a focus on ethnicity, class and in/exclusion.  She has co-edited six books and published numerous articles on the traditional and popular music of Ireland, the UK and the USA. Aileen is Deputy Editor of Ethnomusicology Ireland, the journal of the International Council for Traditional Music, Ireland, and Co-Director of the Centre for the Study of Popular Music and Popular Culture at UL.

Sarah Raine is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Ethnomusicology at the Irish World Academy, University of Limerick. Sarah’s published research considers issues of gender and generation, authenticity and identity, and the construction of the past and present in popular music scene and industry. In addition to a range of articles and book chapters, she is the author of Authenticity and Belonging in the Northern Soul Scene (Palgrave Macmillan, 2020) and the co-editor of Towards Gender Equality in the Music Industry (Bloomsbury, 2019) and The Northern Soul Scene (Equinox Publishing, 2019). Sarah is also the co-Managing Editor of Riffs and acts as a Book Series Editor for Equinox Publishing (Music Industry Studies / Icons of Pop Music) and the Editor for Jazz Research Journal. Her research has been featured on Women’s Hour (BBC 4) and in The Guardian.

TradFest Temple Bar are proud to partner with Novaerus to ensure the highest possible standard of safety for our guests and staff. For your protection and peace of mind, the venue for this event will be equipped with best-in-class air disinfection devices from Novaerus, which cyclically disinfect the air of any harmful airborne pollutants including Covid – 19.