The best biggest small festival
Billed as 'Ireland's biggest small festival', Carrickmacross Arts Festival proves the truth in the old adage 'there's good goods in small parcels'.
Over the past three years, it has established a reputation as a family friendly festival with something to entertain everyone from the age of eight to 80.
Established in Carrickmacross in 2014 with the aim of showcasing the best original creative talents from the Monaghan, Louth, Cavan and Meath areas it has certainly succeeded and this year's line-up is certain to attract audiences from these counties and further afield.
This year's line up includes music, comedy, drama, poetry, film, and the visual arts, as well as crafts and artisan trade stalls.
Centred in the grounds and gardens of Callan's of the Bridge, the four day festival gets under way on Thursday, with an exciting line up of big names and up and coming local acts.
It features music by The Magic Numbers, Booka Brass, We Cut Corners, Otherkin, Heroes in Hiding, Darling and Turn, as well as local musicians Zoe Conway and John McIntyre, Accidents in the Workplace, TPM, We The Oceanographers, Nix Moon, Video Blue and more.
Lorcan McGrane is the M.C. for the comedy with David McSavage, Reuben, Lisa Casey and Michael Downey.
Visual artists including Barry Jazz Finnegan, whose larger than life live drawing has taken him around the word, Mateusz Lubecki, Hannah Martin and Hattie Bellingham.
The varied programme also includes street theatre by Italy's Teatro Due Mondi, poetry, drama from the Farney Players, interactive outdoor movie, pop-up Gaeltacht, workshops and talks, photography exhibition, artisan crafts, kids' events including lots of Harry Potter themed activities and lots of new fringe events too.
The festival is designed for those who love the festival experience but not the muddy fields or sleepless nights so there is no camping but there accommodation can be found in local hotels and B&Bs.
The full four day ticket offers excellent value at only €50 and there are other options available including one and two day tickets and tickets for the family fun day.
Tickets can be booked on line at www.carrickmacrossartsfestival.com/tickets or www.tickets.ie, from SuperValu and Centra stores nationwide and from Callan's Bar, Carrickmacross.
The organising seventeen strong organising committee are to be congratulated on putting together a programme which celebrates the culture of the community .
It includes chairperson David Marron, a music promoter and published musician, writer and digital artist with over 20 years experience creating original work; vice-chairperson Paul Markey, an experienced music graduate and event promote; secretary Orlagh Meegan-Gallagher, a renowned textile artist and graduate of NCAD with work exhibited throughout England, Portugal, America and Yemen; treasurer Maolíosa McMahon an accounting technician, trained vocalist and accomplished live performer. The co-treasurer is Yvonne Marron, Curator of the Carrickmacross Workhouse exhibitions.
They can be justly proud of organising a festival which fills a gap in this area and which has seen them nominated for 'Best Small Festival' at the European Festival Awards and 'Best Overseas Festival' at the UK Festival Awards.