The May Bank Holiday weekend is coming and that can mean only one thing … it’s Drogheda Arts Festival Time” declares Collette Farrell, co-chair of the Drogheda Arts Festival.


With a range of free and ticketed events, the Drogheda Arts Festival offers something for everyone. Co-chair Elaine Cronin continues “Music, poetry, walking tours, visual arts are just the start. We’ve a host of new plays by local theatre companies and two big family fun events. We’ve two legendary DJs, Mike Joyce and Tim Burgess playing in Sarsfield’s and Fusion plus ‘Spectrum’ aka Pete ‘Sonic Boom’ Kember, founding member of psychedelic rock pioneers ‘Spacemen 3’, plays the music of Spectrum, E.A.R & Spacemen 3 in this his only Irish performance.”


Drogheda Arts Festival runs from 1-7th May in venues right across the town. Obvious venues include the Droichead Arts Centre, Highlanes Gallery and St. Peter’s Church of Ireland but there are some new and unusual locations too such as The Chocolate Factory, The Living Room at Sarsfield’s and An Grianán. Check out the full line up for the week on


Some of the highlights for 2018 include:


Love Hate star John Connors will take to the stage for “Dissenters”. He’ll be in conversation with the BBC’s Marie-Louise Muir about his views on politics, travellers’ rights, homelessness, and so much more.


The world premiere of “The Star of Chester’s Lane”, a new play about the life of Drogheda’s Kate the Navvy. It is accompanied by another new production “The Immortals” featuring a view of life through the eyes of some of Drogheda’s most well-known historical characters. A Midsummer Night’s Murder will take place in An Grianán with dinner theatre and a super production by Catastrophe Theatre Company.


A new walking tour for 2018 includes Drogheda’s musical heritage. “Songtrail” features music, songs, stories and tells the tale of Drogheda’s rich traditional music history. “The Word” is an unmissable night of spoken word from some of Ireland’s foremost performance poets, including Derry artist, Abby Oliveira.


Family fun is a really important part of the Drogheda Arts Festival every year. And everyone is invited to take part explains Elaine Cronin:


Join us for a free family fun event on Saturday 5th May. Drogheda Arts Festival at St Dominic’s Park runs from 12:30-5pm, and will include circus acts, children’s comedy and imagination building blocks. It will be a feast of colour, activity and fun and a great free day out for kids and grown-ups.


Collette Farrell concludes “We are thrilled to announce the return of Drogheda Arts Festival at Beaulieu on Bank Holiday Monday. With more acts and activities than ever before it promises to be a fabulous way to spend your day off. Live music on the woodland stage, acoustic gigs in the chapel, ballet in the garden and traditional games on the lawn. There will be a feast of food and music in the quadrangle with brass bands and DJs and delicious tea and buns. Don’t miss The Cottage Market Beaulieu with treats and gifts for all ages.”


Tickets are on sale now for all events. Visit to book your tickets or pop into the box office at the Droichead Arts Centre in Stockwell Street. Follow the Festival on Facebook and Twitter for Festival updates. The Drogheda Arts Festival is generously funded by Louth County Council and the Arts Council with accommodation sponsorship from the d hotel.


Check out the latest images from Lysis

Upstate Theatre Project – Lysis

Based on the writings and testimonies of people living with mental health issues, Lysis is an audio-visual installation and docudrama that traces the experiences of five individuals. Created by members of Shine, a mental health support group, with artists Declan Mallon, Carl Kennedy, Kieran McNulty, Kilian Waters, and Dan Keane, this 45-minute experience from Upstate Theatre Project is designed for an audience of five people.

Lysis journeys through psychosis and toward recovery, challenging for the right to be recognised beyond diagnoses. Come in from the cold; take off your coat; have some tea; and listen to our stories.

Book here


daf commission

DROGHEDA ARTS FESTIVAL 2018 | Artist Commission


2018 | Artist Commission

Commission Award: Maximum €5000

Deadline: November 11th 2017 at 4pm

Call for proposals from professional artists, arts collectives, and arts companies based in the North East and working in any genre to support the presentation of new work at the Drogheda Arts Festival in May 2018.

The Drogheda Arts Festival:

Set against the backdrop of the Boyne Valley’s cultural capital, the Drogheda Arts Festival takes place each year during the May bank holiday weekend. The first festival of the summer swings into action with an eclectic mix of theatre, music, traditional arts, literature and spoken word, visual art, family and outdoor activities for all ages. The festival is supported by the Arts Council and Louth County Council, and is programmed and delivered by a voluntary committee. For more on the festival, and to see our 2017 programme, see

Commission Award:

This commission is open to professional artists at any stage in their career looking to present new work in a festival setting. The aim of the commission is to assist artists living in the North East region to present new work and develop their professional practice. This new work can take any form – including visual arts interventions (please note both Highlanes Gallery and Droichead Arts Centre are already programmed, so all visual arts proposals should be outside of these two spaces), performance of new music compositions, scripted theatre, off-site dance, and everything in between –  we are not prescriptive about in the manner in which you work, only that the work is new, ambitious, and professional.

The successful artist or arts collective will be selected by a shortlisting and interview process, based on artist(s) CV, proposal, budget, previous work, and references.


Please email Elaine Cronin at with one pdf document including the following details:

·        Artist(s) CV (max three pages)

·        Proposal to include:

Artist Statement: 250 words

Overview of Proposal: 250 words

Detailed Proposal: 500-1000 words. As well as information about the work and any associated outreach, workshops and/or talks, reference should be made to the audience you would like to reach, where you envisage the work being presented, and how this commission will support your professional practice.

·        Detailed budget

·        Samples of current and previous work (max three pages). This can include photos, excerpts from scripts, drawings of work in development, writing samples, and/or links to audio or video/dropbox files, and your website.

·        Phone and email contact information for two arts professional references.

Application deadline: Saturday 11th November 2017 at 4pm

Late applications will be deemed ineligible. Please send your application in the requested pdf format. No hard copy applications will be accepted.

The Drogheda Arts Festival is kindly supported by the Arts Council and Louth County Council


DAF 17 news

DAF 2017 Programme Launch

Festival Friends,

We’re delighted to bring you news of the 2017 Drogheda Arts Festival Programme which was launched on Monday morning 20th March at Muireadach’s Cross, Monasterboice, just outside Drogheda by the Mayor of Drogheda, Cllr. Oliver Tully.

Speaking at the launch, the Mayor expressed his pride and support of the artistic and cultural ambition of the festival saying ‘Drogheda is rich with a people engaged in a whole range of cultural activity, and this festival expresses that confidence and interest in the arts and heritage, also looking outwards and reflecting and hosting the very best from artists across the world. I look forward to planning an exciting week of artistic pursuits this May Bank Holiday week and encourage others to do the same.’


Chairperson of the festival, Aoife Ruane, expressed her gratitude to the programming committee, and anticipation of the artists and organisations that will present and perform at this year’s festival, and a welcome to old and new festival attendees…’Drogheda Arts Festival would not be possible without the generous and steadfast core funding from Louth County Council, a festival programming grant from the Arts Council, key sponsorship from Western Motors and Skoda and the d Hotel, and the many local businesses which have been both inspired and energised by the arts… and as it’s the first festival of the summer ‘Thugamar féin an Samhradh linn!’

Drogheda Arts Festival will present a Louth Contemporary Music Society special commission, the world premiere of The Louth Work, by composer James Dillon, two Irish Exclusives in the form of Thor and Friends (US musician, painter, and carpenter, former percussionist with Swans) and a Bank Holiday Sunday night DJ Set by Terry Hall, as well as a special rehearsed reading of poems by three of the world’s greatest poets of the last 150 years.

This year, two of the core programming organisations have reached significant milestones. Upstate Theatre Project celebrates their twentieth year and Highlanes Gallery its tenth. Each will present exciting new work to mark these important anniversaries, with Upstate presenting the World Premiere of Urban Oratorio, a multilayered, multi-discipline work, displaying all of the hallmarks of this innovative company’s approach, and Highlanes (in association with Droichead Arts Centre) mounting an exciting new exhibition looking at how artists engage with and respond to the built environment surrounding us.

There will be theatre for both adults and children, and special musical performances across many disciplines by some of Ireland’s most important and emerging practitioners. Diversity will be key. From the sublime (Crash Ensemble) to the ridiculous (Fanzini’s Circus Jukebox); from the traditional (Maighread & Tríona Ní Dhomhnaill) to the contemporary (Elaine Hoey, Gerard Byrne and Sharon Olds); not to mention the classic (Bram Stoker, Robert Ballagh).

There will be spectacular street performances by the River Boyne and at The Cottage Market, and the annual ‘mini festival’ with the Bank Holiday Afternoon at Beaulieu House & Gardens. Also featured this year will be a new short film festival evening, a film quiz presided over by the acclaimed actor, Karl Shiels, an exhibition of contemporary sculpture responding to a historic garden, and three new treasure tours of the Boyne Valley, each of which will highlight its art, culture and natural beauty.

The team at Drogheda Arts Festival are excited to present the seven day programme of the 13th Drogheda Arts Festival. Spring has sprung with its familiar sights and sounds heralding rebirth, growth and possibility, and it’s the perfect time to plan a visit to (or indeed remain in) Drogheda, the cultural capital of the Boyne Valley, for this coming May Bank Holiday week, teeming as it will be with artists and events, both local and international.

To view the 2017 programme and for bookings, click here or telephone the festival box office, kindly hosted at Droichead Arts Centre, on T. +353 41 9833946

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Drogheda Arts Festival Launch and Exhibition Opening | Highlanes Gallery | What Is And What Might Be

what is copy

We would like to invite you to the official launch of Drogheda Arts Festival 2015.

Monday 27 April Exhibition and Festival Opening | Highlanes Gallery, Laurence St. | 7:30pm |

 Miranda Blennerhassett, Neil Carroll, Susan Connolly, Kevin Cosgrove, Fergus Feehily, Mairead O’hEocha, Mark O’ Kelly, Kevin Mooney, Kathy Tynan, Andrew Vickery

In Jacques Lacan’s [1] The Four Fundamental Concepts Of Psychoanalysis (1964), he refers to Hans Holbein’s[2] painting The Ambassadors (1533). The painting is an elaborately rendered document of a historic meeting between Jean De Dinteville and George De Selve. Holbein famously interrupts the pictorial plane with an anamorphic skull, essentially transgressing the viewer’s experience of a convincingly rendered reality with something more puzzling and ungraspable. Lacan argues that the viewer invests in the painted fictional illusion while simultaneously recognising their former blindness to it, moving from the perspective of what is real and what is speculative within the surface of the painting.

What Is And What Might Be features ten contemporary painters that conceivably share some of Holbein’s concerns – spatial and material illusion, fictional and real space, and movement between a position of doubt and certainty.

The exhibition is co-curated by Colin Martin, visual artist, lecturer and Principal at the RHA School; Cliodhna Shaffrey, Director of Temple Bar Gallery + Studios and Aoife Ruane, Director of Highlanes Gallery.

Drogheda Arts Festival 2015 programme launched at Highlanes Gallery

Drogheda Arts Festival’s programme has been officially launched… Here comes the Summer!

The first festival of the summer swings into action on 27th April until May 4th. The line-up is diverse and is set to bring in critically acclaimed local and international talent. There’s certainly something for everyone. Special guest at the launch was singer, Jaime Nanci who performed a beautiful version of George Gershwin’s classic song ‘Summertime’.

Check out some pics from the launch below. For more information on the full programme check out our events section online.


(Jamie Nanci, Mayor of Drogheda Kevin Callan, LCC Cathaoirleach Cllr Oliver Tully and Drogheda Arts Festival Sponsors — at Highlanes Gallery. )

DAF launch

(Jamie Nanci, Mayor of Drogheda Kevin Callan, LCC Cathaoirleach Cllr Oliver Tully — at Highlanes Gallery)

|Music Highlights From 2015 Drogheda Arts Festival Announced |Booking opens 13 March at 1:00pm

Today the Drogheda Arts Festival announced some of the music highlights audiences can look forward to this May bank holiday weekend. Further programme details of this multi-disciplinary festival will be announced in the coming weeks but tickets for the following events go on sale 13 March from 041 9833946

Irish Premiere
Composer Ian Wilson
Performed by Ties Mellema, saxophone

Irish Premiere Louth Contemporary Music Society
Performed by Marino Formenti, Piano

(Former MC5 band member)
Public Performance and Public Interview with legendary musician and activist hosted by Tony Clayton Lea, Music Critic, Irish Times

Featuring Dave Redmond on dark and delicious double bass, pianist Pawel Grudzien, ace brassman Ciaran Wilde, and drummer Kevin Brady