Skibbereen is the small town in West Cork with a Big Heart and ambitions which put other places to shame. Just to prove it this year’s Skibbereen Arts Festival is welcoming an array of the world’s most talented musicians and artists. West Cork itself is one of the most beautiful art galleries on the planet. At every turn there are incredible vistas and on every corner you are likely to bump into a practitioner of the arts. The seventh Skibbereen Arts Festival is taking place from the 24th July – 2nd August with a programme that is simply astonishing.
The Abbeystrewry Church will be the home of many concerts held by various talented musicians for the week including; a rare Irish appearance by Scottish troubadors James Yorkston and Alasdair Roberts for a double concert, The ‘Canon Goodman Concert’ hosted by folk legends Andy Irvine and Donal Lunny, a unique reprisal of ‘The Bird Song Project’, also featuring ‘The Starling Song Project’ developed by Liz Clark, and a very special tribute to song collector Alan Lomax, featuring amongst others, David Kitt, Cian Nugent and Eibhlís Cronin. Also welcome to the festival is Congolese singer Niwel Tsimbu for his latest project entitled ‘RiZA’. ‘RiZA’ is also set to be the first ever concert hosted in the Skibbereen Courthouse.
— Matt K (@Dunlough) July 24, 2015
The unique ‘4 Plays in A Day’ returns with productions including Donal O’ Kelly’s ‘Catalpa’,and an exceptional play about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, ‘Bassam’. The art of poetry and spoken word features heavily with appearances by Gabriel Rosenstock, Liz Nugent, Tom French and Clara Rose Thornton and highlighted by the third annual 12-hour ‘Poetry Marathon’.
An incredible Film Festival will show a series of beautiful and thought-provoking films from around the world; including the 1930 Russian masterpiece ‘Earth’ with live musical accompaniment of the original soundtrack, by Dublin based group 3Epkano, an outdoor screening of Italian favourite ‘Cinema Paradiso’, 2015 Oscar-winning Irish animated film ‘Song of the Sea’, which stars the voices of well-known Irish actors such as Brendan Gleeson, Fionnula Flanagan, Patt Short and many more, and documentaries on two of the giants of Irish history Padraig Pearce and W.B. Yeats.
— Skibbereen (@SkibbereenIRL) July 24, 2015
An amazing array of visual art exhibitions are happening throughout the town as Skibbereen becomes a gallery for the week, with the work of over 50 artists on display. Highlights include ‘Umha Aois’, an international archeology and sculpture symposium that will produce bronze sculptures in the walled garden of Liss Ard Estate, a gathering of some of the world’s leading practitioners of ‘Artists’ Books’ for an exciting focus on Book Art, and an ‘Art Trail’ following the path of the lIen River that will be launched by Ireland’s best known living artist Robert Ballagh.
The Skibbereen Arts Festival is perfect for families as the programme also features some stunning nature and history walks, talks and discussions, and a plethora of interesting and educational workshops for all ages. There is also an opportunity to see a brand new show, Café by integrated dance company, Croi Glann.
Delighted to have Robert Ballagh, one of Ireland's greatest artists, officially launch the Skibb Festival Art Trail http://t.co/UJPFGEZHZ9
— Skibbereen Arts Fest (@skibbartsfest) July 19, 2015
The festival opens with a very special event to mark the centenary of the death of Irish patriot Jeremiah O’ Donovan Rossa. On Friday 24th July Skibbereen will go back in time to the 19th century with a spectacular street parade to commemorate the life and times of one of the town’s most famous sons.
Come see a west cork first, Rossa, a play combining actors from Rossmore, Skibb,Baltimore + Schull drama groups. pic.twitter.com/tsjCjrEJse
— Baltimore Crabs FC (@BaltimorecrabFC) July 14, 2015
The ethos of this remarkable festival is ‘inclusion and accessibility’ and everything is very reasonably priced with many free events and many opportunities to view or to take part. Undoubtedly The place to be for the last week of July is at Skibbereen Arts Festival 2015!
For more information on event listings and tickets please check out their website http://www.skibbereenartsfestival.com/
or catch them on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/SkibbereenArts
This is the 7th Skibbereen Arts Festival. In these short few years it has grown a little in size and a lot in stature and is now firmly established as one of the best festivals of the year in West Cork. Truly Sweet Skibbereen is excelling itself with the Festival this year confirming Skibb as one lively spot!