Blindboy, piper Louise Mulcahy, comedian Bernard Casey, RTE’s Aedín Ní Thiarnaigh and Irish language rapper Súil Amháin are just some of the top names that will draw crowds to a new event in the North Kerry seaside town of Ballybunion this July.
They are set to feature in the new Ballybunion Arts Festival from 21st to 24th of July.
“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,” says the festival’s artistic director and organizer Katie O’Brien.
The festival features a number of homegrown talents, native to Kerry and the surrounding counties.
Blindboy is an obvious choice for a headline performance, says Katie.
“He champions creativity, the arts, and wellness and, he’s only from up the road in Limerick.”
Blindboy will do a live podcast with a special guest, whose identity is under wraps for now.
Listowel-based Irish rapper Séamus Ó Súilleabháin is another example of homegrown talent taking part this year, as is Portmagee comedian Bernard Casey.
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.”
Aedín Ní Thiarnaigh says Ballybunion is where her love of Irish began.
“Many moons ago I was a student in the Coláiste Bhréanainn ... I'm especially proud to be involved with such an ambitious festival that celebrates so many of my passions; Ballybunion, Irish culture and of course, the Irish language!” the RTE presenter says.
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,” the festival director told.
There are also a handful of competitions including the Shahidah Janjua Poetry Competition which remains open for submissions until July 15.
Check out the full programme on Ballybunionartsfestival.ie.