Wednesday 24 April 2019

Something for all at the 2019 Arts Festival now open for bookings

Drogheda Arts Festival will showcase wealth of talent in the north east region

Bookings are now open for the 2019 Drogheda Arts Festival, a though-provoking and entertaining showcase of art, theatre, music and so much more.

Taking place from 30th April to 6th May in venues across Drogheda, the programme places local artists firmly at its heart and aims to showcase the wealth of talent in the North East.

Announcing the line-up this week, Festival Co-Chairs Elaine Cronin and Collette Farrell explained "We want the Drogheda Arts Festival, which is generously funded by Louth County Council and The Arts Council, to act as a platform for the creation of new pieces of work. We want it to connect with people, to challenge them, to bring joy and to entertain."

The festival opens on 30th April at Droichead Arts Centre with an exciting, experimental pop-up artist studio, residency and exhibition, Borrowed Ground. Droichead Arts Centre's Gallery will house eight purpose built studios for eleven different artists.

There they will work, create, collaborate and the public are invited to visit throughout and meet the artists. Borrowed Ground highlights the need for dedicated studio space for artists in Drogheda and its environs.

One of the theatrical highlights of the week will be the performance of Shakespeare's "The Rape of Lucrece", by the renowned Gate Theatre Company, starring the wonderful Camille O'Sullivan.

Poetry and spoken word will feature in three different events. Battle-rap sensation Mark Grist from the UK will head up "Word of Mouth" on 1st May. Drogheda Creative Writers will mark Poetry Ireland Day on May 2nd with "Poets Who Dare", poetry by famous poets who dared to challenge the status quo. On 4th May "Words and Wine" will showcase Spanish poetry and wines in The Highlanes Gallery.

Speaking of the Highlanes, a major new exhibition entitled "Distruptors" will open there on Friday 3rd May. Part of Bealtaine, the Age and Opportunity Festival, the exhibition will feature painting, sculpture, video and installation from emerging, established and senior artists. It launches with artists talks on Friday evening at 7.30pm.

"We are delighted to announce that St. Laurence's Gate will be open on both Saturday and Sunday this year. Ticket bookings open on on Tuesday 9th April at midday and will fill very fast, they always do."

The Festival features two new commissions for 2019. The first, "Super Extra Bonus Party," is a seed commission, for a piece that is currently in development. The festival will feature a mixed media rehearsed reading of this work on Saturday 4th May in the Little Duke Theatre.

The Drogheda Arts Festival Commission for 2019 was awarded to The Belfast Ensemble, a cutting edge music theatre group who find new ways of telling stories through music. Their re-imagining of "Ten Plagues", featuring a stunning visual experience by local artists Declan Kelly and Els Boghart, will connect the iconic historical event to the Port of Drogheda. With two performances of this work on Sunday 5th May, it promises to be a very special experience.

Music lovers always delight in the Drogheda Arts Festival. With everything from toe-tapping trad sessions to electronica and contemporary music, there is something to challenge and or entertain everyone. Don't miss Steven Stapleton's world renowned "Nurse with Wound" on Friday May 3rd brought to you by thirty-three - 45.

And the Drogheda Arts Festival wouldn't be complete without a big family day out. "Traditionally we've held Monday's event at Beaulieu however this year it will take place in the heart of Drogheda, in St. Dominic's Park. From 1-5pm on Bank Holiday Monday, this fabulous free family day will be fun for all. Bring a blanket and a picnic, grab your family, friends and neighbours and join us in St. Dominic's Park for free fun, activities, music and entertainment and lots and lots of laughter."

People can visit the Big Top and be amazed and thrilled by Guido Fanzini's Imaginarium of Entertainment, on the hour, every hour.

Marvel at the fabulous Ballet Poulet. Two world class Olympian-level idiots bring you their latest masterpiece.

Wonder and laugh at the exhilarating performances from Street Theatre Ireland or have a lesson and try learning some circus skills yourself.

Compete in the Traditional Games with some old school fun on the lawn. Dressed up in vintage costume and armed with their much-loved whistle, Sinead Brassil and Derek McCluskey encourage children (and adults) to enjoy and compete in the three-legged, egg and spoon, sack, and piggy back races You can also check out the gig rig showcasing the best of new music from County Louth with bands Teorann, The Room keepers, Fuzzy papers, and Skins F.C. Wander through the trees to hear the Drogheda and Lourdes Brass Bands and DJ Michael Gerrard.

"Our aim in developing the Drogheda Arts Festival programme for 2019 was to both entertain and introduce our audience to exciting new pieces. We also wanted to elevate the work of incredible local professional artists, to present their ground-breaking pieces and to showcase the wealth of talent in the North East Region."

Check out the full line-up and book your tickets now on For those aged 18-25, discover the Youth Pass with entry to 3 events for just €20.00. Follow the Festival on social media for all the latest updates and competitions.

The Argus