This weekend sees the return of KnockanStockan, the festival that has grown from its rough and ready roots into one of the most essential dates on the Irish calendar – especially if the state of the domestic music scene is of keen interest. Suitably, given it’ll be celebrating its tenth anniversary and taking a break in 2017, this year promises to be a corker but, with so many acts to choose from, planning your weekend can be tricky to say the least. So let State guide you with our own personal hour by hour pick of the acts on offer…
5.30pm – The HardChargers (Faerie Field)
An energetic opening to any festival weekend is key and you won’t get a harder kick start than this mixture of punk attitude, deep blues and American folk. Bring your washboard.
6.30pm – SlowPlaceLikeHome (Faerie Field)
From one extreme to another, pack away that washboard and get ready for some boundary pushing electronics.
8pm – BARQ (The Burrow)
Fronted by the one woman tornado that is Jess Kav, BARQ are on a festival run that should see their aggressive brand of soul music reach a wider audience.
9.30pm – Jafaris (Faerie Field)
Even amongst the growing number of astonishing hip-hop acts, Jafaris is one in a million. An incredible live performer with charisma flowing through his veins, an artist not to be missed in any circumstances.
10pm – Chewing On Tinfoil (Dimestore Stage)
Probably justified to consider themselves one of Ireland’s unheralded trailblazers, Chewing On Tinfoil hold a special place in the hearts of the country’s punk set and deservedly so. As good as anything you’ll find across the Atlantic and blinding live to boot.
11.30pm – Mutefish (Faerie Field)
A band born from this type of environment, you’d be hard pressed to find a better time or place to experience Mutefish’s cultural melting pot.
12am / 1.15am – Special Guests (The Burrow)
There are a number of these slots dotted across the weekend and, given the celebratory nature of the event, it’s not unreasonable to expect artists that live up to the billing.
2am – Toby Kaar (Dimestore Stage)
Having dropped his impressive Gumbrielle EP back in March, and recorded a killer mix for State which you can listen to below, Kaar is not one to miss this weekend. Get your dancing sandals on.
12.30pm – Arborist (Faerie Field)
Following a debut single featuring Kim Deal might have been a problem for some but Belfast’s Arborist has continued to produce the same quality of authentic Americana.
1.30pm – Elm (The Burrow)
A succession of beautifully crafted releases have marked Elm out as one of the most intelligent and thoughtful bands around. Now main stage status beckons and they’re more than ready for it.
2.30pm – AikJ (The Burrow)
Responsible for one of the tunes of the summer so far in the shape of ‘Suite Life’, AikJ takes RnB out of the studio and onto the stage with true verve and style.
4pm – Not Monsters (Dimestore)
One of many bands who have Knockanstockan in their DNA, Not Monsters have a long history with the festival in various forms. Expect this slot to be the pinnacle so far.
4.30pm – White Mice (The Burrow)
Sinead White’s transformation from solo artist to a more shifting persona is going well, giving her personal songwriting room to develop and meaning gigs such as these are being tackled with ease.
5.30pm – Farah Elle (Faerie Field)
Already one of our main tips for 2017, Farah Elle’s very individual take on urban music has benefited no end from the addition of a full live band. Look out for ‘Silk’, sure to be one of the songs of the weekend.
6.30pm – Lisa O’Neill (Faerie Field)
If ever O’Neill was destined to play a festival stage, it had to be this one. Magic is sure to ensue.
7.30pm – Come On Live Long (The Burrow)
Not so long ago, it felt as if Come On Live Long would be headlining events like this in the near future. An unexpected sidestep notwithstanding, they look to be very much back on that path.
8.30pm – Raglans (The Burrow)
Another band who have proved themselves able to sell records without selling out, Raglans have launched their new chapter in fine form with the single ‘Who Knows’.
10.30pm – The Hot Sprockets (The Burrow)
Virtually the festival’s house band, it wouldn’t be Knockanstockan without the Hot Sprockets making Saturday night on the main stage their own.
11pm – Megacone (Dimestore Stage)
A highlight of our stage at the Electric Picnic last year, Megacone’s wilfully enthusiastic instrumental rock is built for the festival stage.
12.30am – TooFools (Faerie Field)
As is the funk of TooFools, fast proving to be some of the most reliable party starters of the summer. Get your groove on.
1am – Overhead, The Albatross (The Burrow)
This just has epic written all over it.
1.30pm – Rosa Nutty (Faerie Field)
Soothing on the surface and strongly dark on the inside, Nutty will ease you into day three with a subtle twist.
3.30pm – The Shaker Hymn (The Burrow)
A band very much on the up following the release of their debut album, the Cork quartet have built an enviable live reputation.
4pm – Shrug Life (Dimestore Stage)
The combination of Queen and The Smiths as an influence shouldn’t work but Shrug Life are proof that such odd musical collisions – plus laser sharp lyricism – can work.
5.30pm – August Wells (Faerie Field)
Having brought us a number of exquisitely poetic singles over the past year, August Wells’ debut album is already on our list of must hears for the second half of the year. In the meantime, this will do nicely.
8pm – Robocobra Quartet (Dimestore Stage)
Robocobra’s spine tingling appearance at our Faces of 2015 show is one that has stayed with us ever since. An awe inspiring mix of spoken word, jazz, hardcore and hip-hop they should be on the essential list for anyone who likes a trip to the left field. And it is a trip.
8.30pm – Feather (Faerie Field)
Feather’s mix of Afrobeat and more modern influences has been one of the year’s brightest offerings, especially live.
9.30pm – Bad Bones (The Burrow)
Over half way through her single a month approach to 2016, Sal Stapleton is making advances with every release – leading to this high profile closing night slot.
10.30pm – Booka Brass Band (Faerie Field)
Finish your weekend in brassy style.
Of course this is just one route, there are plenty more on offer. Take a look at the stage times here and site map below for all your planning needs.
Get yourself a ticket here and find out for yourself.