Achill Goes Country Festival 2019 20th-21st July

Achill Goes Country Star Search

Downda Road Productions in partnership with Willie Headon Recording and Debra Communications are looking for the Achill Goes Country Star! Are you passionate about Country Music? Over 17 years of age and would love to record a song at a professional studio? Get the chance to release it and to be played on the radio? Perform at a festival? Then you might be what we’re looking for!

Submissions are now open and to enter you must send an email to with the following:

  • A video link of you performing a song (cover or original)
  • Your bio and photo
  • A short description of why you think you’re the Achill Goes Country Star

The competition winner will not only spend a day at a professional studio recording a demo track, but will also get a chance release the song on Downda Road Productions and receive complimentary distribution to all major radio stations by Debra Communications! Furthermore, the winner will get a slot at the Naas Wild Food Festival, Co. Kildare.

Please read below for terms and conditions.

Finalists will be contacted on July 1st and must be available to perform at the Achill Goes Country Festival on Saturday 20th and/or Sunday 21st of July 2019 in front of an appointed jury. The winner will be chosen that same weekend.


Participants must fulfil the below requirements:

  • Participants must be 17 years of age or older and a resident of Ireland
  • Participants must be unsigned and free to work with Downda Road Productions.
  • Downda Road Productions and appointed judges by the aforementioned reserve the right to disqualify or void participants and performances if deemed necessary. Inappropriate conduct during or in association with the Achill Country Star Search or Achill Goes Country Festival will result in disqualification. Downda Road Productions will be in charge of appointing the winner of the competition.
  • Participants agree to provide a press photo and bio as part of the competition which can be used by Downda Road Productions and partners at their discretion to promote the event.
  • Finalists are allowed to perform with backing tracks (they will be responsible for providing a track in a compatible format) or accompanied by an instrument (either played by the participant or a musician of their choice).


The winner of the Achill Country Star Search will get the exciting opportunity to record and release a demo track of their choice in partnership with Downda Road Productions. The prize includes a 1 Day recording session at Willie Headon Recording, Co. Kildare, (terms and conditions apply). Furthermore, if deemed appropriate, the participant will also get to release their track in partnership with Downda Road Productions and receive a complimentary radio distribution package from Debra Communications for the recorded track. If desired, Downda Road Productions will also assist the winner with queries regarding song choice, release, etc. They will also get to perform at the Naas Wild Food Festival, Co. Kildare, on the 7th of September.


Prize(s). The prize(s) that may be awarded to the eligible winner(s) are not transferable, redeemable for cash or exchangeable for any other prize. Participants must provide valid and accurate contact information. If a winner cannot be contacted or is disqualified for any reason, Downda Road Productions reserves the right to determine an alternate winner or not to award that winner’s prize, in its sole discretion.

Entries. Only entries submitted to may be used to enter the contest. Contestants will receive an email confirming receipt. Downda Road Productions is not responsible for entries that might be sent to the wrong address, marked as spam or received after the given deadline. It is at the participants’ discretion to ensure they receive confirmation of entry. Winner will be selected from all eligible entries received. Applications that have not been completed in full may be considered ineligible.

Publicity; Use of Personal Information. By participating, all participants and winner(s) grant Downda Road Productions exclusive permission to use their names, characters, photographs, voices, videotape, and likenesses in connection with promotion of this and possibly other contests and waive any claims to royalty, right, or remuneration for such use.

Disqualification; Fraud. Failure to comply with any published contest rules is grounds for immediate disqualification from the contest. Downda Road Productions reserves the right to disqualify any entry not conforming to the rules at any time. Downda Road Productions and its contest and promotional partners assume no responsibility for entry fraud committed by any entrant. In the event it is determined that an ineligible entrant wins a prize, Downda Road Productions reserves all rights to the ownership and return of the prize and all costs associated with remedying any prize award to an ineligible entry or entrant.

Misinformation. Downda Road Productions is not responsible for undeliverable, lost, delayed, misdirected or misaddressed email or any other issues regarding the electronic delivery of the contest entry. This includes, but is not limited to, the speed at which your email service routes email through the internet. The sole determiner of eligibility for entry will be the time the email is received at our offices.

Release. By participating in the contest, each participant and winner waives any and all claims of liability against Downda Road Productions, its employees, agents and partners, the contest’s sponsors and their respective employees and agents, for any personal injury or loss which may occur from the conduct of, or participation in, the contest, or from the use of any prize.

Conduct and Decisions. By participating in the contest, participants agree to be bound by the decisions of Company personnel. Persons who violate any rule, gain unfair advantage in participating in the contest, or obtain winner status using fraudulent means will be disqualified. Unsportsmanlike, disruptive, annoying, harassing or threatening behavior is prohibited. Downda Road Productions will interpret these rules and resolve any disputes, conflicting claims or ambiguities concerning the rules or the contest and Downda Road Productions’ decisions concerning such disputes shall be final. If the conduct or outcome of the contest is affected by human error, any mechanical malfunctions or failures of any kind, intentional interference or any event beyond the control of Downda Road Productions, Downda Road Productions reserves the right to terminate this contest, or make such other decisions regarding the outcome as Downda Road Productions deems appropriate. All decisions will be made by Downda Road Productions and are final. Downda Road Productions may waive any of these rules in its sole discretion. Any attempt by an entrant or any other individual to deliberately circumvent, disrupt, damage or undermine the legitimate operation of this contest is a violation of criminal and civil laws. Should such an attempt be made, Downda Road Productions reserve the right to seek civil and/or criminal prosecution and/or damages from any such person to the fullest extent permitted by law.

Miscellaneous. Downda Road Productions may substitute prizes, amend the rules or discontinue the contest at any time as announced. Downda Road Productions disclaims any responsibility to notify participants of any aspect related to the conduct of the contest. All entries become the property of Downda Road Productions and will not be returned.


Achill Goes Country Festival is hosted by Downda Road Productions and will be spanning across 2 days, all located at the Achill Island Hotel, Achill Sound, Co. Mayo at the large function room located inside the hotel. The festival is headlined by musical legends Gloria and Paddy O’Brien, as well as Liam Kelly and band who recently won “Hottest Act in Irish Country Music” (male) and Sina Theil, who was awarded “Hottest Act in Irish Country Music” (female). Other acts include Hot Country TV Presenter Sabrina Fallon, Aoife McDonagh (Hot Country TV and Ocean FM Presenter), Pete Kennedy, The Achill Lads and other musical acts, as well as entertainment. As part of the festival we will also hold an "Achill Country Star Search", which will give up and coming Country artists/singers the oportunity to win a day in a professional studio to record a demo track, possibly release it on Downda Road Productions and receive a complimentario radio distribution package from Debra Communications. The winner will also get a slot at the Naas Wild Food Festival, Co. Kildare.

Limited discounted early bird tickets are now available on and submission for the "Achill Goes Country Star Search" will open very soon. For more information see or email

You can also follow "Achill Goes Country" on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Please get in touch with if you have any queries


Downda Road Productions is always on the look out for upcoming artists and it is our mission to nurture and develop such talent. Our values and success are based on hard work, dedication, good faith and passion. To date, we have achieved close to twenty #1 Download Singles in various different Genres such as Country, Singer-songwriter, Alternative, etc. We have also successfully released two Charity Albums that featured internationally acclaimed artists such as Paddy Casey, The Four of Us, Mundy, The Blades, the Devlins and many more. Regarding artist development, since 2017 we have been working with Sina Theil who recently won “Hottest Act in Irish Country Music (female)” at the Hot Country TV Awards. When commencing work with us, Sina had under 300 likes on Facebook and never released music prior to that point. To date, we have organically grown her Facebook likes to almost 12K and she has just scored her tenth #1 in the Irish Country Download Charts. Her debut album also charted at #1 in the Country and #5 in the overall Album Download charts. Furthermore, she has surpassed 2,600 radio plays on station all over Ireland, as well as some International stations. Other of our artists have been awarded “Homegrown Hero” on Dermot and Dave (Today FM) and supported household names to the likes of Declan O’Rourke, Paddy Casey. Mundy, Hudson Taylor and many more. Downda Road Production is an ever growing record label and artist development and management company, focused on developing a tailored strategy with the artist that will work towards bringing out their best potential.


Willie Headon has over 30 years of recording experience across a broad variety of genres including Country, Trad, Rock, Classical, Jazz… He has recorded countless artists over the years, including Tommy Flemming, Enya, John Spilane and The Strypes to mention only a few and worked as a sound engineer for the Chieftains, RTE and many more. He has a “no pressure” recording philosophy and is focused on creating a relaxed and comfortable atmosphere so artists can enjoy the experience and perform to their best.


Specialized on releases for TV, radio and newspapers, as well as marketing emails for music artists and businesses. Debra Communications is very well connected in the Irish Country Music scene and the official agent for Hot Country TV. Some artists that use Debra Communications for their Irish radio releases include Albert Hammond, Big Tom, Paddy O’Brien, Liam Kelly, Declan Nearny, Lee Matthews, Sabrina Fallon, Sina Theil and many more.