The Soma Festival is a music & arts festival set in the beautiful town of Castlewellan and
surrounding areas of County Down.
Our Story: Back in 2013, trans-Atlantic supergroup the olllam found themselves in need of an extra gig (or two)
to justify going on their first ever Irish tour – Americans had to be flown over – so the good people of Castlewellan i.e. a voluntary collective
of local musicians, artists and all-round culture vultures obliged and founded a festival!
We’ve come far since that fabulous first incarnation of Soma, a humble weekend affair with one major, sublime concert; a few excellent
masterclasses; an art exhibition (also excellent); a hotchpotch of traditional music sessions scattered throughout the town and a cast of
dedicated volunteers running ragged making sure the whole thing didn’t come apart at the seams. And let’s not forget the sheep run…
Six years on and what an extraordinary range of talent we have hosted: David Gray, Martha Wainwright, Eddi Reader, Paul Brady, Damien Dempsey,
Sharon Shannon, Lisa Hannigan, Zoe Conway & John McIntyre, Declan O’Rourke, Cara Dillon, Dónal Lunny, Paddy Keenan, John McSherry, Brian Finnegan,
Brian Kennedy, Duke Special, Cathy Jordan, Wookalily, The Breath, Rising Appalachia, HamsandwicH, Balkan Alien Sound/Basork, KNEECAP, Ded Rabbit, David Keenan,
A Stór Mo Chroí, At First Light, Breaking Trad, Commonalty, Graham Henderson, Gráinne Holland, Rónán Ó Snodaigh, Inni-K, Liam Bradley, Tola Custy, Steve Cooney, Kate Ellis, Brigid O’Neill, SÍOMHA,
Orlaith & Mollie/Dea Matrona, Sean’s Walk, Thatchers of the Acropolis, Flook, Moxie, Beoga, the olllam… and all the rest! And what memories the wonderful people who join us for the ride each and every year help to create.
Born of necessity, as is our firm belief, we mean to continue our journey as a vital cultural gathering in the Irish festival calendar and as Castlewellan & surrounding areas’
very own annual musical blowout.
If you wish to support us, there is a Donate button just waiting to be clicked! We are 100% run by unpaid volunteers, 100% dependent on funding and 100% guided by our passion for bringing
top quality music & the arts to the Mourne area. If you think that’s worth £2, a fiver, or significantly more of your money, we can sincerely tell you that we are most grateful.
Bring on Soma 2019!