About Soma


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!

Golden Ticket


Access all Concerts and Meals at the Soma Kitchen for One Flat Fee of £100


Headlining Acts

This year's headliners include


An Intimate Evening With KT Tunstall

St Malachy's Church, Castlewellan

Wednesday 17th July

£28.00

Liam Ó Maonlaí with The Soma House Band

St Malachy's GAC, Castlewellan

Thursday 18th July

£22.00

Honeyfeet & Cormac Neeson

St Malachy's GAC, Castlewellan

Friday 19th July

£20.00

Events




An Intimate Evening With KT Tunstall

St Malachy's Church, Castlewellan
Date: Wednesaday 17th July
Time: 7:30pm
Price: £28.00


Liam Ó Maonlaí with The Soma House Band

St Malachy's GAC, Castlewellan
Date: Thursday 18th July
Time: 9:00pm
Price: £22.00


Honeyfeet & Cormac Neeson

St Malachy's GAC, Castlewellan
Date: Friday 19th July
Time: 9:00pm
Price: £20.00


Soma Soul Party

Ft. Funktank, Ded Rabbit & Rev. Doc and The Flying Squad
St Malachy's GAC, Castlewellan
Date: Saturday 20th July
Time: 9:00pm
Price: £10.00


Seán O Meara, Damien Mullane & Niamh Farrell

Support: Sorcha Meehan, Martin Meehan & Ruairí Cunnane
The Back Door, King’s Inn
Date: Friday 19th July
Time: 9:00pm
Price: £12.00


Introduction to Bollywood Dance

The Back Door, King’s Inn
Date: Friday 19th July
Time: 9:00pm
Price: £12.00


From Donegal to Down: Clann Mhic Ruairí

With Emma Ní Fhioruisce, Doimnic Mac Giolla Bhríde and other musicians.
King’s Inn, Castlewellan
Date: Saturday 20th July
Time: 8:00pm
Price: £8.00


Free Events

Soma Houseparty

St Malachy's GAC, Castlewellan
Date: Friday 19th July
Time: 9:00pm
Price: FREE


Ukulele Open Mic

Savage’s Bar, Castlewellan
Date: Friday 19th July
Time: 9:00pm
Price: FREE


The Piping Hot Sessions

The Fountain Bar, Castlewellan
Date: Saturday 20th July
Time: 7:00pm
Price: FREE


The Singing Tree

Maginns, Castlewellan
Date: Saturday 20th July
Time: 2:00pm
Price: FREE


Young Performers Stage

Stretch Tent, Upper Square, Castlewellan
Date: Saturday 20th & Sunday 21st July
Time: 1:00pm - 6:00pm
Price: FREE


The Green Tangerines

Savage’s Bar, Castlewellan
Date: Saturday 20th July
Time: 10:00pm
Price: FREE


A Taste of Language Cafe

Urban Cafe / Nana's Kitchen, Castlewellan
Date: Monday 15th - Saturday 20th July
Time: 11:00am - 12:30pm
Price: FREE


Small Worlds Workshop

Maginn's (Upstairs), Castlewellan
Date: Thursday 18th July
Time: 2:00pm - 4:30pm
Price: FREE


Tony Macaulay: Book Reading

Nana's Kitchen
Date: Thursday 18th July
Time: 5:00pm - 6:30pm
Price: FREE


Tenx9

The Fountain Bar, Castlewellan
Date: Thursday 18th July
Time: 7:00pm
Price: FREE


Reclaim The Enlightenment: Talk/Film

Maginn's, Castlewellan
Date: Friday 19th July
Time: 7:00pm
Price: FREE


Tony Macaulay: Book Reading

Nana's Kitchen
Date: Thursday 18th July
Time: 5:00pm - 6:30pm
Price: FREE


Little Gems / Walks & Talks


Lots more to come, be sure to stay up to date


Mind, Body & Soul

Take Some Time to Revitalise


Gallery

Great Memories From Previous Soma Festivals