It’s mid-July, which means one very important thing; Knockanstockan, Ireland’s biggest display of homegrown talent is close to kicking off! The festival, which is based in Blessington, Co. Wicklow is celebrating its 10th birthday this weekend and this year promises to be bigger and better than ever with an extra day chock full of great music. If you’re wondering who to catch over the three days look no further because we’ve got you covered with ten must-see acts!


Where: Dimestore Tent
When: Friday 8pm

Oh Boland are a Galway based noise pop trio who take inspiration from US Garage acts like Thee Oh Sees and Yo La Tengo. The bands no nonsense approach to writing tunes is infectious and their sound is perfect for festival vibes.


Where: Dimestore Tent
When: Friday 11pm

ETC are a 5 piece playing pop songs with rock sensibilities. Their live performances contain a ridiculous amount of energy and antics that not a lot of bands can match. They also utilise violin in some of their tracks which really helps them stand out from the crowd.

Vernon Jane

Where: Dimestore Tent
When: Friday

Vernon Jane describe themselves as “experimental jazz-rock “and “progressive psychedelia” and if that alone isn’t enough to draw you in their live shows are absolutely magic. They recently released their debut EP “The Inner Workings Of A Damaged Nobody”, which contains 5 brilliant tracks.


Where: Animal Barn
When: Saturday 22:15pm

Spudgun are an 8 piece rock/funk/jazz ensemble with a concept based live show that revolves around their travels through space. Each show is a brand new experience that’s full of humour and strangeness from another world.


Where: Faerie Field
When Saturday 9:30pm

New Secret Weapon have gained quite a lot of attention over the years. Their mix of harsh punk sounds with a hint of prog rock results in something really satisfying. The bands first gig was at Knockanstockan in 2007 and their set last year was one of the highlights of the weekend so you’d be foolish to give these guys a miss.


Where: Dimestore Tent
When Saturday 11pm:

Bringing a bit of musical insanity to the festival, Megacone three guitar riffage and monster rhythm section are second to none. Having just released their second EP “Absolute Magnitude” the quintet will have plenty of excellent tunes for people looking for something a little bit heavier.


Where: Faerie Field
When: Sunday 3:30pm

Taking inspiration from the folky sounds of Paul Simon and Joni Mitchell, Mongoose are something a little more chilled out for those who’d like to take it easy on Sunday afternoon. The bands music feature acoustic guitars, double bass and beautiful vocal arrangements with beautiful harmonies.

Francis “The Viper” Higgins

Where: Animal Barn
When: Sunday 7:30pm

Fans of Hardy Bucks will be delighted to hear that The Viper will be descending upon Knockanstockan to deliver “and inconvenient truth”. While he probably won’t be playing too many tunes, The Viper is one of Ireland’s funniest characters and will definitely provide some of the weekends more memorable moments.

Travis Oaks

Where: The Burrow
When: Sunday 8:30pm

Travis Oaks are an alt rock band with a hint of blues that have been making quite a name for themselves over the past three years. The past few months have seen the band enjoy quite a bit of success, which has included supporting The Strypes at a sold out show in The Olympia and releasing their latest EP Black Light. Another band for those looking for something on the heavier side.


Where: The Burrow
When: Sunday 10:30pm

Meltybrains? are one of Ireland’s weirdest and most wonderful groups. The bands electronic sound and weird vocals are unmatched by anything else. They’ve also earned a reputation as fierce live performers. Their late slot on Sunday means they’ll be one of the last bands playing the festival and they’ll definitely end things with a bang.

These are just ten out of the many acts that are playing over the weekend, so there’s plenty more to see than what you’ve read about here. Each day is chock full of entertainment with plenty of variety to suit everyone so keep on the lookout and you’re sure to find something right up your alley.

For more details on this weekends festival and tickets see –

Live gigs editor at Pure M - Contact: "Most rock journalism is people who can't write, interviewing people who can't talk, for people who can't read." - Frank Zappa