All roads lead to Ballybunion next weekend when the beautiful North Kerry tourist destination debut’s the inaugural full outing of the brand new Ballybunion Arts Festival, a four day long event who’s aim it is to celebrate Irish artists with an impressive, eclectic line up of music, talks, art, theatre, workshops and comedy planned from July 21 to July 24.
Amongst the top headline acts for the weekend are Blindboy Boatclub, piper Louise Mulcahy, comedian and Kerry native Bernard Casey, RTE’s Aedín Ní Thiarnaigh and Irish language rapper Súil Amháin, all of whom are guaranteed to draw a crowd and bring vibrant energy in a year where the summer vibe has been sorely lacking.
Blindboy will be doing do his live podcast with a special guest, whose identity is under wraps for now, on the night Saturday night (July 23) at 9:30pm while the wonderful Abbeyfeale musician Louise Mulcahy will discuss Women Pipe Players in Munster before she performs at 5pm at the Tinteán on the Sunday evening.
The festival’s artistic director and organiser Katie O’Brien says the festival is about celebrating all types of art and artists that reflect Irish culture in their modern work.
“We were especially interested in hosting artists creating work that engages nature and ecology with ancient and traditional Irish culture. North Kerry has a dense population of multi-disciplinary arts from writing, tourism and film. But these are usually celebrated in silos in Kerry - never as a collective,” said Katie
“The Ballybunion Arts Festival brings all disciplines together through events that allow us to soak up the art but also nourish and inspire creativity in artists in the iconic backdrop of this coastal town,” she continued.
The programme features many Irish language and bilingual events.
“Ireland has a population of Irish speakers and so we wanted to advocate on behalf of and showcase artists working with the Irish language, with bilingual events with rap poet Súil Amháin, poet Máire Holmes, RTE’s Aedín Ní Thiarnaigh, IMLÉ, Róisín Seoighe and Manchán Magan,” Katie added.
As well as performances, exhibitions and talks, the programme features events to help artists and festival goers to unwind with beach yoga, sea swimming, nature talks and a whopping great 70-drum percussion circle on the beach.
“Festivals can be full-on, so time in the outdoors is ideal – especially in beautiful Ballybunion. When you feel topped up and rested it’s easier to feel connected and inspired,” says Katie.
The festival was granted funding from the Failte Ireland, Arts Council Ireland, Leader Programme, Kerry County Council Arts Act and Community Support Fund and Foras na Gaeilge.
See a full list of the schedule of events and purchase your tickets for anything that grabs your attention at the Ballybunion Arts Festival website here.