Having been shortlisted for the Best New Festival gong at the European Festival Awards in 2011, Spirit of Folk will return this year - but with a slightly altered identity. What used to be a three-day camping festival will this year become a brand new music initiative, held over two events.

Top Irish folk acts will battle it out in a semi-final on August 31st, taking place in Whelan's on Wexford Street. The winner will be chosen by a panel of judges at a one-day 'Feastival' in Dunderry Park, Co Meath, on September 21st.

Emily Duffy, festival coordinator, explains further: "While the three day event was not possible this year, due to allowing the grounds to recover properly from our sold out festival in 2012, we were determined to find a creative way to fulfil our mandate of promoting Irish up and coming folk acts as well as educating people on our own fascinating heritage."

The acts on show, festival director Martin Duffy explains, will echo the vibrancy of the last two years' worth of festivals. "We'll have great folk and trad music, storytelling, traditional games, delicious food and arts and craft vendors upstairs in Whelan's. We're really excited to transform the place into a mini folk festival!"

Three of the top Irish folk acts will then battle it out on September 21st for the Spirit of Folk award, which will include a €1,000 cash bursary, recording time with Darklands Studios and a creative writing week at Dunderry Park.

You can apply for selection to [email protected]. Make sure to include a short description of why your act should be included, along with your three top tracks.

Tickets for Whelan's are priced at €10 and will be available from entertainment.ie/spiritoffolk
Tickets for the final 'Feastival' in Dunderry Park are €50, also from entertainment.ie/spiritoffolk