Monday 19 February 2018

Surf's up in Sligo as movers, shakers and street artists roll into town

Shore Shots 2017

Pól Ó Conghaile

Pól Ó Conghaile

Sligo is set to make waves all along the Wild Atlantic Way next month, with the edgy Irish Surfing Festival rolling into town.

The festival, also known as Shore Shots (shoreshots.ie), brings a host of pro surfers, street artists, musicians, MTV video makers and fun to the west coast.

It runs over the weekend of April 22-23, with tickets including access to almost all talks, events and festivities priced at €60pp.

Special guests this year include big wave surfer Andrew Cotton, currently searching for a world record-breaking 100-ft wave to surf, Waterford street artist James Earley (below, with his work on Temple Bar's Bloom Hotel) and artist Dorothy Cross.

Street artist James Earley. The 2017 Shore Shots Festival takes place in Sligo. Photo: Ian Mitchinson
Street artist James Earley. The 2017 Shore Shots Festival takes place in Sligo. Photo: Ian Mitchinson
Easkey Britton. The 2017 Shore Shots Festival takes place in Sligo. Photo courtesy of Finisterre
Gearoid McDaid surfing at Easkey, Co. Sligo. Photo: Ian Mitchinson
Nick Von Rupp surfing at Mullaghmore. The 2017 Shore Shots Festival takes place in Sligo. Photo: Ian Mitchinson
Street artist James Earley's work in Tramore. Photo: Ian Mitchinson

This is the second year Shore Shots has been staged in Sligo, bringing a welcome economic boost with its talks, movies, food and drink - not to mention an excuse to sample the county's ever-improving Sligo Food Trail (sligofoodtrail.ie).

A weekend of surf culture, adventure, film, music and technology also includes a special viewing of Ross Whitaker's ‘Between Land and Sea’, which documents a year in the life of Lahinch, with a Q&A from pro-surfer Ollie O’Flaherty.

Fancy riding monster waves yourself? You can tackle an epic example beneath the Cliffs of Moher, courtesy of an Oculus Rift 360-degree VR headset.

Other events include a live performance from David Kitt, a storytelling workshop with local surfer and environmentalist Easkey Britton (below), a photography exhibition by Ian Mitchinson (see galleries above and below) and the best viral clips and footage captured by surfers along the Wild Atlantic Way over the past twelve months.

Last year’s winner was Chris Case from Fish Farm TV, who scooped the top prize with ‘Of Viking Minds’ – an edited version of his video is above.

The Irish Surfing Festival was originally held in Dublin's Light House Cinema, but this is the second year it has been held in Sligo.

Easkey Britton. The 2017 Shore Shots Festival takes place in Sligo. Photo courtesy of Finisterre
Easkey Britton. The 2017 Shore Shots Festival takes place in Sligo. Photo courtesy of Finisterre
Street artist James Earley. The 2017 Shore Shots Festival takes place in Sligo. Photo: Ian Mitchinson
Nick Von Rupp surfing at Mullaghmore. The 2017 Shore Shots Festival takes place in Sligo. Photo: Ian Mitchinson
Gearoid McDaid surfing at Easkey, Co. Sligo. Photo: Ian Mitchinson
Street artist James Earley's work in Tramore. Photo: Ian Mitchinson

“Sligo is such an exciting place to be right now with so many people moving their work here to enjoy the Wild Atlantic Way lifestyle," says festival director Aidan Ellis.

"It’s got music, arts, technology and creativity all in one place, but you can also jump out for a surf or hike just five minutes from your door.”

The festival is partnered by LookWest.ie and sponsored by Tullamore D.E.W.

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