We Banjo 3, a beloved “Celt-grass” quartet with a misleading band name, will deliver hope to hearting hearts as hosts of the Follow The Light virtual music festival on Saturday, August 29. A band of brothers – two sets of them – combine tradition and celebrate Irish heritage. Gaelic Storm, Sharon Shannon, Nathan Carter, and The East Pointers join the tribute with featured performances.
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Debuting in the U.S. in 2012, the Billboard Bluegrass chart-toppers have since fine-tuned their knack for seamlessly converging the shared and varied traditions of Americana, Bluegrass, and Celtic music with pop-sensible songcraft to create a truly unique and gratifying signature sound. The Galway, Ireland, and Nashville-based quartet comprises Enda & Fergal Scahill and Martin & David Howley, continually pushing musical boundaries while maintaining an un-wavering devotion to the essential audience experience.
WB3’s intention is not to replace live music festivals. They understand that experience can never be replicated. However, at a moment of longing for human interaction, the band hopes to deliver a niche experience. It’s designed to be an intimate and immersive event that could only work in a virtual setting. In a joint effort with some of their favorite bands, WB3 will highlight Irish culture with an all afternoon/evening/night jam, depending on where you tune in from.
“We’re trying to recreate the sense of the fun atmosphere we feel on stage during this scary time,” says lead vocalist, David Howley. “Our music is focused around hope and bringing people together. Our last album’s title is Haven, which was a nod to the idea that music is a safe space for everybody, and it should be something that unifies us. We feel our role as musicians is to create a space for people to congregate and come together, despite the current circumstances. This project brings what we normally do in a live setting onto a virtual stage. People can show up, and we’ll see what positives we can draw out of it.”
While longing not only for their fans, they also miss their fellow bandmates spread out between Ireland, Michigan, and Nashville at the moment. WB3 laid the groundwork for Saturday’s event from their respective corners of the world. Their brainstorming focused on creating a dynamic live music experience that will rebuild unity amidst desolation. The band considered what people who come to normal festivals don’t get and how they might leverage this connection platform to deliver something unique.
WB3 is no stranger to an avante-garde approach. The band feels thankful for the open-minded audience that encourages their inventive ideas of entertainment. Last summer, on each Sunday of every festival, the band hosted “Pool Party Sundays” on stage.
“The people who listen to our music and support us are insane,” says David. “They all showed up in their hula skirts, florals, and floaties. We feel extremely lucky as a band that basically one of us has a mad idea, we laugh about it in the van, and then we do it, and our fans are like, ‘Sure, let’s try it.’”
The band reiterated that their “mad” ideas do not always pan out, but they have fans to thank for the ones that do and feel confident this festival falls under that category. Despite the fact this is the most time they’ve ever spent apart in the last decade, they feel connected through the planning process. The sonic chemistry of the quartet is a result of the positive working relationships between each of them. They’ve designed this event to highlight personality points and the inter-band experience.
Beyond Gaelic and trans-Atlantic music traditions, attendees can expect gameshows, cocktail recipes, and “intense amounts of smoke meat.” We Banjo 3 invites listeners to join them. They meet this moment with intentional innovation and a vehement desire to reconnect with their fans this Saturday, beginning at 2:00 PM PT / 5:00 PM ET / 10:00 PM IST.
“Follow the Light festival is a nod to hope and inclusivity,” says David. “It is intended to help us see the little glimmer of light on the hillside. Producing it has been really beautiful for us as a band.”
Reserve festival tickets, artist meet & greets, and exclusive festival merch, here.