This coming Sunday, 14 June, marks the 25th anniversary of the death of Irish guitar legend Rory Gallagher – and although some planned events to mark the anniversary have been put on hold due to the coronavirus lockdown, fans will still be able to celebrate Gallagher’s life thanks to an international online festival comprising a variety of live-streamed tributes.
Starting at 5pm BST on Sunday on both Facebook and YouTube, what’s being billed as a “mini Rory festival” will be broadcast. It’ll be hosted by radio DJ David ‘Kid’ Jensen and include musicians who either played with or who have been inspired by the pioneering musician, including Band Of Friends featuring Gallagher’s former drummer and bassist Brendan O’Neil and Gerry McAvoy, singer/songwriter Dom Martin and Peter Donegan, son of one of Rory’s most enduring formative influences, Lonnie Donegan.
Then, at 8pm, Eagle Rock, in partnership with YouTube, will broadcast Gallagher’s widely-acclaimed performance with Taste from the Isle Of Wight Festival in 1970.
In addition, Germany’s WDR TV will be showing a selection of the guitarist’s Rockpalast performances, while other European countries are planning on broadcasting documentaries and concerts.
18 June will also see Irish rock magazine Hot Press publishing a special Rory Gallagher edition and together with Fender, they’ll host the opportunity for someone to win a Rory Gallagher replica Stratocaster. The publication will also feature contributions from Gallagher’s many admiring peers including new interviews with Slash, Johnny Marr and Dinosaur Jr’s J Mascis amongst others.
2020 has already been a successful year for Rory Gallagher’s legend, with the release of the Check Shirt Wizard album – a live collection of 1977 UK performances – seeing the artist return to the album charts, notably, claiming the No.1 spot in Billboard’s Blues chart for three consecutive weeks.
“This is a crowning honour in celebrating my brother, in his anniversary year and especially an acknowledgement of his devoted following” Dónal Gallagher, Rory’s brother and manager told Broadway World.