A taste of ‘Saltwater’

Why 'Sea Sessions' organisers are launching a brand new festival on the west coast of Ireland.

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“Theres something special about the west coast”, thats what Daniel Browne says when asked why he and his business partner Ray O’Donoghue, two of the guys behind Sea Sessions, are starting an all new festival.  Ray has a slightly different take, “there’s so many gigs and great talent, but a lot of it is getting sucked into the vortex of Dublin. We see our mission as bringing music and quality festivals to people in the north west”.

The guys have some track record in this regard. Sea Sessions, billed as Ireland’s biggest beach party, is going to be celebrating its 13th year next June after selling out year after year and Ray has been bringing touring acts to the north west since his Coastal Beats venture back in the late 90’s.

Now the pair are turning their attentions to the gem of the Wild Atlantic Way, Westport. The June bank holiday weekend, 2020 will see the inaugural “Saltwater Festival” launched on the grounds of Westport House, Co. Mayo.

“We are working closely with the owners of Westport House, the local authority and businesses in the town to create something that’s long term and sustainable and grows over the coming years” says Daniel.

Ray, the one who is tasked with booking the acts for both Sea Sessions and Saltwater is passionate about selecting the acts and bringing them to the West Coast. “There are a lot of highlights in a job like this but one of the ones I love most is when I bring a headliner to somewhere on the North West Coast and their jaw literally drops when they see the setting.”

He continues to say that he’s absolutely ecstatic about the lineup so far for Saltwater “It’s been hard work to book, to be honest as sometimes acts are afraid of lending their name to a new festival but I think because we have such a good track record with Sea Sessions that has helped a lot. To get Dermot Kennedy, Johnny Marr & The Coronas as headliners in our first year is unbelievable. The hard work has paid off and we honestly believe we’ve a killer lineup with plenty more acts to come.”

Sketching out a bit more detail on what Saltwater will deliver Daniel follows up, “We are going to have a big emphasis on food and experiencing the best the west coast has to offer. We have one of Irelands top food bloggers curating the food stage and we are working with local producers to ensure people can actually taste where they are. We think Sea Food should be a big part of it too!”

“Thats where the ‘Saltwater’ name comes out of” he continues “we want people to literally taste the west coast, hear the sounds of the west coast and to experience the life we live here.  Westport is possibly the best place to go to deliver that.”

Ray fills us in a bit more “We’re looking at 2 live stages, a VIP area and a chilled out DJ area plus there’s also the Food Stage with Food Demos and sampling happening. We also encourage people to explore the grounds of the amazing 800 acre estate and to experience Westport town itself. There is of course Croagh Patrick to climb, for the more adventurous, alongside Yoga by day and a couple of surprise pop up parties we’re planning. More about that to be revealed. All in all its very much about being the sum of its parts and about people experiencing all that Westport has to offer, we see the festival as being complimentary to what exists,” he said.

He finishes by saying “There’s so much history in Westport House, so much that really charts the development and growth of the town and the surrounds, we hope that we’ll be bringing another chapter to that story”.


Saltwater Festival, Westport will be held in the grounds of Westport House on June Bank Holiday weekend, 29, 30 & 31 of May 2020. Tickets are available now including camping, glamping, camper-van options, junior tickets and VIP upgrades.



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