Starry night: This year’s Trinity Ball headliners

Joline Steinhoff answers the prevailing question that’s on our minds about the T-Ball acts: who?

The long-awaited Trinity Ball 2024 lineup was announced only four days before tickets went on sale. With this year’s theme being Renaissance, I expected either European 15th century mediaeval or Beyoncé. To my surprise, neither is part of the lineup. In complete honesty, I did not recognise a single name on the lineup, except for our beloved Trinity acts, which I’ll touch on later. If you are reading this, you are either my mom or just as lost as I was looking at this year’s lineup. Let this guide be your map.

Headlining T-Ball 2024 is British singer Bakar. After listening to his song Hell N Back, I realised I did know him — and so do you. The song has over 454 million streams on Spotify, which went viral on TikTok in 2019. Since then, Bakar — born Abubakar Baker Shariff-Farr — has released two more albums. He has maintained his hit single’s nostalgic, soulful sound with warm and wholesome melodies. 

Next, this year’s T-Ball will welcome German DJ, singer and songwriter HorsegiirL. She also went viral on TikTok with her song My Barn My Rules in 2023. From looking at her you wouldn’t know it, but she wasn’t born with a horse’s head. Rather, she wears a horse mask to conceal her identity. Let us suppose the Renaissance marks the transition between the Middle Ages and modernity. Effectively, HorsegiirL represents a Renaissance of electronic music, taking it from its traditionally dark and heavy sound to a brighter and happier place. 

Next on the list is Kingfishr. Despite evidence to the contrary, this does not mean the bird commonly found by the river Boro in county Wexford will chirp on the T-Ball stage. Instead, the name denotes a trio from Limerick with the human names Eddie, McGoo and Fitz. They met in 2017 while studying engineering. After they realised their terrible mistake, they started making music instead. They write, produce and record everything in their home studio on a dairy farm. Creating a unique folk atmosphere, they bring back a Celtic sound with added freshness for a modern audience. In the past, the band has supported George Ezra and Dermot Kennedy with their catchy melodies. 

There is lots of electronic music on the lineup. Techno lovers fear not, for T-Ball is providing us with Black Traffic. The Irish techno DJ and producer has over 46,000 monthly listeners on Spotify, with his number-one hit amassing over 3 million streams. His sound is best described as hard techno, trance, and electronic rave. Next, the electronic and audiovisual artist duo COPE is made up of David Anthony Curley and Joe Furlong. Influenced by 90s dance and French House, they infuse their sounds with danceability, their alt-electronic tracks ranging from moody late-night tunes to energetic club hits. 

We can thank the pandemic for bringing us our next act, Bricknasty. The Irish band formed during lockdown in 2020 and comprises Fatboy on lead vocals and guitar, Korey Thomas on drums, Louis Younge on saxophone and keys, and Dara Abdurahman on bass. The neo-soul group, with soulful, jazzy chords and soft vocals, revives 90s RnB and hip-hop — in harmony with this year’s theme. Coming from Kerry is SHEE, born David Sheerin. Another lockdown miracle, the DJ SHEE started making music in his bedroom but only shared his work with the world when he moved to Limerick for college. Something about Limerick! His dreamy productions combine lo-fi, hip-hop, house and disco. 

Ready to murder the dance floor? Better bring the right shoes. Next on the lineup is Cassö, a 22-year-old British DJ best known for the international sensation Prada. You have definitely heard the dance anthem unless you live under a rock — it has reached over 437 million streams on Spotify. Based on Ferrari Horses by D-Block Europe and featuring Raye, Cassö turned the track into a trance hit with aggressive bass that will have us dancing all night long. Another danceable act, Charlotte Plank, an English singer-songwriter-producer. Her sound is a fusion of neo-soul, electronic, jazz, indie, and RnB, with influences from dance and house. 

Do you turn your nose at the Brits? These local picks are for you. Bruising Shins is a five-piece Dublin rock/grunge/punk band. Lead vocalist Marlon Mornignstar is joined by Rat Rail on guitar and backup vocals, The Scorpion on guitar, Night Owl on jazzy bass, and Sweettooth on drums. Taking their inspiration from 90s alternative rock, Bruising Shins will provide for all rock lovers. MOIO is the next act on the lineup. Incidentally a Trinity student, his soulful, laid-back, jazzy sound mixes into a winning blend with an infectious guitar tune and sweet, smooth vocals. MOIO brings all the summer vibes — everything we need for our rebirth at T-Ball. 

In the spirit of climate change activism and environmental consciousness, the last four acts on the lineup are also locally sourced. Trad Soc brings us Irish traditional music, goodness and craic. DUDJ will provide some first-class DJing from our very own students, and who knows, maybe the next David Guetta hides among them (and you will get to say you saw them before they were known). The entirely student-run Trinity Orchestra will bring us classical smashers! While their repertoire usually spans Bach, Beethoven and Tchaikovsky, I will keep my fingers crossed for some 15th-century Guillaume Dufay. Raw Cuts is the final act of this year’s T-Ball. After attending multiple performances, I can vouch for their excellence. The four-piece alternative indie-rock group’s tunes are energetic and catchy. The band has also been known to cover HorsegiirL’s My Barn my Rules, the second act on the lineup. Can we hope for a guest appearance? 

“No matter your music taste, there will be something for you and something to look forward to.”

That’s all the T-Ball acts dissected, broken down and explained to the best of my abilities. My best advice is to listen to each of these fantastic artists — after all, we are talking about music. This year’s lineup is fun and diverse — no matter your music taste, there will be something for you and something to look forward to. Happy Renaissance!