It is with great sadness we have to announce the decision to cancel Counterflows Festival 2020 due to the ongoing issues with COVID-19.

Putting international artists through the stress of cancelled flights and being potentially quarantined is just too much of a risk to take given the current situation. On top of this, it feels increasingly irresponsible to be holding social events of our scale given the risk of the virus spreading.

We will be issuing refunds for the festival via Eventbrite right away. Funds should be back in your account within the next 7 working days.

Counterflows is a small grassroots festival and we appreciate the love and support the artists, audience members, supporters/funders, staff and everyone else have given us on this venture.

As a small statement of solidarity, if you want to help support artists due to perform and their respective independent labels, we have made a list of music that is available for purchase on their bandcamp pages

We are working out our budgets at the moment and aim to pay all the artists cancel fees. If anyone is able is able to help boost the amount we give them you can do so by donating to us via PayPal at 100% of donations will be spread equally between the artists.

As it stands we will be focussing our energy on the 2021 edition of the festival, which will be our 10th year anniversary. The plan is to hopefully reschedule as much of the line-up for the 2020 festival as possible, as well as add some additional projects on top. This of course depends on funding and finances, but our fingers are crossed. We'll keep in touch.

Please look out for and support one another during this difficult time. We all need one another more than ever.

Love and strength,
Alasdair & Fielding – Team Counterflows

Original website still available below
A Festival Of Underground, Experimental & International Music
2 – 5 April 2020
Various Venues Around Glasgow

Mohamed Issa Haji Matona & Àine O’Dwyer

Delighted to welcome the debut live duo performance from Zanzibar-based multi-instrumentalist Mohamed Issa Haji Matona and Irish (now London based) experimental singer-songwriter Àine O’Dwyer. Having only played once before through a chance meeting on BBC 3’s Late Junction, we were instantly blown away by their seamless meeting of traditional music forms, blending their native Tanzanian and Irish tongues and instruments to create a whole new beautifully open and meditative music.



Born in Zanzibar, Matona is a musician, composer, arranger and songwriter. He is a founder member of the Dhow Countries Music Academy, (DCMA) Zanzibar and as well as being Artistic Director at the Academy he is a teacher and performer of traditional taarab, eastern/Arabic music and theory as well as classical, western, jazz and fusion music.

He is a multi-instrumentalist and plays a variety of instruments ranging from traditional African gambus, nai, Arabic ganun and oud, as well as being a highly accomplished violinist, saxophonist, keyboard player, guitarist and percussionist etc.

He began his musical career performing in several Tanzanian groups as a percussionist, violinist and ganun player and went on to create his own group the “G Clef Taarab Orchestra” which performs jazz, modern taarab and fusion music from the countries of the Indian Ocean.

Matona has performed and recorded in many international festivals and events and enjoys an international reputation as a musician, songwriter, teacher and performer. He is Zanzibar’s most celebrated and highly acclaimed teacher and performer.



Áine O’Dwyer is an Irish composer, and performer based in London. Primarily a harpist, Áine has experimented with a variety of different instrumentation and approaches to her music; covering poetic folk ballads, ensemble compositions, solo improvisations and more. We first discovered Áine’s work via her wonderful “Music For Church Cleaners vol. I and II” release on MIE music – a series of solo improvisations that qualify simultaneously as a live recording, site-specific performance art with a Cagean mindset, and field recording.

Aine’s ongoing recording projects and residencies include the Brunel Tunnel shaft, London and the Franciscan Friary, Limerick city, Ireland. She has performed widely as a solo artist and in collaboration with Mark Fry and the A-Lords, United Bible studies, Visitant (Trevor Knight, Gyohei Zaitsu, and Alice Maher), and Charlemagne Palestine, Cafe Oto, London. Recent solo performances for both harp and pipe organ include Tusk Festival, Newcastle, UK, Full Of Noises Festival, Barrow in Furness and “sound is sound is sound”, London.

“Music For Church Cleaners Volumes I & II is a great addition to the canon of experimental and improvised music, with a lightness of touch and depth of feeling that’s uncommon in many of records of its ilk. Listening to it is like meditation. You can lose yourself for a while, and, when it’s finished, everyday life seems just that bit more bearable.” – Louder Than War