Action-packed week of Arts in store for Drogheda

“So many new and exciting experiences await you this week, and we hope you’ll come along and try something different.”

The Drogheda Arts Festival 2019 kicks off on 30th April with the launch of Borrowed Ground at the Droichead Arts Centre and continues for 7 days in venues across Drogheda with arts events for all ages and interests. The Festival is generously funded by Louth County Council and The Arts Council and is now in its’ 15th year.

Speaking this week, Co-Chair of the 2019 Festival Elaine Cronin explains “We design the programme to bring something new and thought-provoking to local audiences. Each year, we work with local artists, writers, actors and  musicians to develop new pieces of work for the Festival. We want to showcase the best of emerging and established professional local artists.”

With that in mind, here are some of the highlights you can look forward to at the Drogheda Arts Festival 2019:

Explore Borrowed Ground: Visit the Droichead Arts Centre for an exciting, experimental pop-up artist studio, residency and exhibition, Borrowed Ground. The Centre’s Gallery will house eight purpose built studios for eleven different artists from April until 14th July. In this pop-up studio the artists will work, create, collaborate and the public are invited to visit throughout and meet the artists. Borrowed Ground aims to highlight the need for dedicated studio space for artists in Drogheda and its environs.

Why not give poetry a go? Spoken word is a way of bringing poetry to life is a really energetic way. Hear Mark Grist, Alice McCullough, John Cummins and Nicola Cassidy in “Word of Mouth” on 1st May. “Poets Who Dare” is brought to you by Drogheda Creative Writers on 2nd May to celebrate Poetry Day Ireland. While Saturday’s “Words and Wine” will celebrate Spanish poetry and wine in the beautiful setting of the Highlanes Gallery.

Try Out A New Tune: The Drogheda Arts Festival is famous for offering eclectic music performances. 2019 is no different. From toe-tapping trad sessions to electronica and contemporary music, there is something to entertain everyone. Don’t miss Steven Stapleton’s world renowned “Nurse with Wound” on Friday May 3rd brought to you by thirty three – 45. Sunday afternoon in the Highlanes Gallery features fabulous traditional music from Saran and Tadhg Mulligan and friends. Monday evening sees We Eat Electric Light bring their ethereal down tempo pop collective to the Living Room at Sarsfield’s.

Love Spielberg Movies? Hear and see Megumi Masaki perform the world premiere of Spielberg Etudes in Drogheda. Composed by Canadian Nicole Lizee, the piece is an audio and visual masterpiece showcasing pieces from Spielberg’s greatest movies.

Be Disruptive: As part of the Bealtaine Age & Opportunity Festival, the Highlanes Gallery will open their new exhibition “Disruptors” on Friday 3rd May with an artist’s talk at 7.30pm. This group exhibition features emerging, established and senior artists working with paint, sculpture, video and more. This exhibition addresses issues of environment, border, identity and much more as the artists scrutinise what it means to disrupt the traditional systems and processes introducing innovation and design.

What about Theatre? 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. For something totally different, be part of the conversation between two people in the performance of ‘Summertime” and audio theatre performance taking place on Saturday afternoon in Drogheda Town Centre.

It’s Party Time! Get a sneak preview of “Super Extra Bonus Party” a new piece of theatre being developed by Stay Up Late and SuperGlue Assembly Line Theatre Companies. These two companies have come together, with the support of the Drogheda Arts Festival Seed Commission, to create a new play, which will have a multi-media rehearsed reading as part of the 2019 festival.

Free Family Fun: Roll Up! Roll Up! Roll Up to St. Dominic’s Park on bank holiday Monday for a feast of fun, music, entertainment and creativity. Running from 1.00-5.00pm this free family friendly event features loads of great music including a gig rig with emerging musicians from across the north-east, the Lourdes and Drogheda Brass Bands, DJ Michael Gerard. Kids will love the Imaginarium of Entertainment, Ballet Poulet arts and crafts with Art As Exchange and Creative Spark. They will also have an opportunity make their mark on county as they work with local artists on the larger than life “Draw on Louth” project. Adults and kids alike will enjoy a trip back to the good old days with traditional games including 3-legged race, egg and spoon and sack races. Bring your family, friends and neighbours and relax for an afternoon on the banks of the Boyne with lots of free family fun.

And now for something totally different: The Belfast Ensemble, a cutting edge music theatre group who find new ways of telling stories through music, will perform the world premiere of their re-imagining of “Ten Plagues”.  This stunning visual experience by local artists Declan Kelly and Els Boghart, in conjunction with the music, will connect the iconic historical event of the Great Plague to the Port of Drogheda. With two performances of this work on Sunday 5th May, it promises to be a very special experience.  

And if that wasn’t enough:  Drogheda’s wonderful Cottage Market will open especially for the Drogheda Arts Festival on Saturday 4th May in St. Peter’s Church of Ireland Parish Centre. Discover delightful foods, confectionary, crafts and skincare, all made by local artisans.

“It’s been months in the planning and we are so delighted that the Festival is now upon us. We can’t wait to welcome both locals and visitors to experience and enjoy these events. We encourage everyone to come along and try something new at the Drogheda Arts Festival 2019” concludes Collette Farrell, Co-Chair of the Festival.  Check out the full line-up and book your tickets now on www.DroghedaArtsFestival.ie. 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. Avoid disappointment, book your ticket tickets today!

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