It all happens in a 100-year-old pub and grocery shop in Ballydehob.
Each year, ticket holders have absolutely no idea who is performing until they walk through the door of Levis’ Corner house on Secret Song Sunday.
The latest instalment of the Secret Song festival takes place on Sunday, October 6th, marking the fifth time that Joe O’Leary and Caroline O’Donnell have hosted the day-long event in their home, one of the best small live music venues in Ireland.
A pop-up shop of musical originality, the couple say that Secret Song also offers an alternative, “a sort of remedy to the cult of celebrity that has strangled the life out of music part of the music business.”
‘Who’s headlining anyway?’
The line-up promises quality, unknown acts, local and international, performing their own original music on the same bill as bigger names. Performances are scheduled creatively, so technically there is no headliner.
Past performers include Glen Hansard, Duke Special, Mama Kin, Jen Grant, This is the Kit, Rozi Plain, John Blek, Clare Sands and SON, to name but a few and audiences move from room to room, outside to the back garden, from the old grocery store previously run by Joe’s grand aunts, to the old parlour upstairs, to the Outback and the odd cubbyhole along the way.
“The performers themselves do not know who else is playing until the day… although some clever clogs manage to work out one or two of their musical compatriots that are coming by just spotting them on the road West that morning or the night before.” says Joe.
“Even the sound engineers don’t know until the morning of the festival. They are given time slots and locations for over 20 performances, which all adds to the excitement.”
Intrigued? If you’re up for heading west on the day, the doors open at 2.30pm and tickets are €42 here.