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Alan O’Hare on hosting this year’s Liverpool Irish Festival

Canter, Levin and Berg are proud to be sponsoring the Festival Club at this year’s Liverpool Irish Festival. Here we catch up with local musician Alan O'Hare, who will be one of our Festival Club hosts.

The annual extravaganza is a cultural feast bringing together the colourful Irish heritage of Liverpool with the best of contemporary and traditional Irish arts and culture.

There are many events going on in and around the city and The Festival Club, which makes its temporary home at The Zanzibar on Seel Street will see performances from local, as well as visiting artists on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights during the event.

Local musician Alan O’Hare will be one of the hosts at the event. Here he is explaining just what music fans can expect to see at the venue.

You are one of the hosts at the Festival Club. What does this entail?

Hosting! I will be helping to curate a line-up of local and visiting artists to keep the tunes going long into the night! We start at 10pm – after each regular LIF gig has finished. So we will also be tempting one or two of the featured artists into giving us a song. Lots of popular names from the local circuit have signed up, alongside more of the traditional Irish musicians, both from Liverpool and beyond, so the evening should gel well.

As a musician, what does the festival mean to the city?

It means venues across the city are alive with culture. And that’s very healthy. Music, poetry, dance, performance, film… you name it, LIF features it. I love that some fantastic venues outside Liverpool City Centre get in on the act too. That’s vital.

There are some great artists performing this year. Who are you looking forward to seeing?

I love to be surprised by something I’ve never encountered before. Last year, I heard Pauline Scanlon sing for the first time and was blown away. She’s back this year with her band Lumiere too. Christy Moore, Damien Dempsey and the Irish Sea Sessions are all bound to be belters as usual…

Canter, Levin and Berg are sponsoring this year’s event. How important is sponsorship to the festival?

That’s one for the suits I’m afraid! Although it certainly gives the festival artistic freedom to do the things they’re good at.

You are well known in Liverpool for your work with Only Child. Anything we can expect in the future?

We play LIF on Tuesday, October 15 at The Garden at FACT. It’s a free event and we’re supporting Odi, who is great, so get along to that. I’m just finishing up mixing our debut album too, so we’ll be launching that before Christmas or early in the new year. I’m sure we’ll have a big launch party for the release so keep your ears to the ground!

The Liverpool Irish festival runs from October 10 – October 20th. Alan will be hosting our Festival Club at the Zanzibar on Seel Street on Thursday 10th and 17th, with Ian Prowse in charge of proceedings on Friday 11th, 18th and Saturday 12th and 19th. You can find out more about all the events by going to the official website.