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DAF 2016 Programme Launch

The Programme for this year’s Drogheda Arts Festival was unveiled at a reception this morning at  St Laurence’s Gate, Drogheda, with special guest Mayor of Drogheda Cllr. Paul Bell.

The 12th Drogheda Arts Festival, 25 April to 2 May 2016, developed specially by a committed festival programme team from Drogheda and the Boyne Valley, presents the first festival of the summer, with a diverse programme across all of the arts which brings critically acclaimed local and international artists, for a full seven days, which will reach its climax for the May Bank Holiday Weekend.


Brian Harten Louth County Council , Aoife Ruand Highlanes Gallery , Mayor Paul Bell and Eddie Phelan Drogheda & District Chamber at The Drogheda Arts Festival Launch Pic Jimmys Weldon

(Brian Harten Louth County Council , Aoife Ruand Highlanes Gallery , Mayor Paul Bell and Eddie Phelan Drogheda & District Chamber Photo Jimmy Weldon)

This year’s line-up promises to be something special: from the iconic: DJ David Holmes, and fiddler Gerry O’Connor, to the traditional: Kern and uileann piper Dara ÓHéiligh. From the contemporary: Michael McLoughlin, Cecily Brennan, Manchán Magan and Brokentalkers, to the classical: Chopin and Beethoven, and the revolutionary, with a public interview titled Dissenters, with Waking the Feminists founder Lian Bell, and the world premiere of The Big Fellow, a new play based on the life of Michael Collins as told by Frank O’Connor.

There will be a rehearsed reading of one of the world’s oldest and longest poems directed by playwright Mark O’Rowe, theatre for both adults and children, and a multitude of special musical performances by some of Ireland’s most important practitioners. The festival will also feature a new guided experience of Drogheda using technology, traditional storytelling and song, a film quiz with quizmaster extraordinaire Gráinne Humphreys (ADIFF), a specially curated evening of diverse music by Kaleidoscope Night, three new dynamic and vital spoken word performers in The Word. There will be spectacular street performances, and even a ‘mini festival’, with the Bank Holiday afternoon at Beaulieu House & Gardens, and three new treasure tours of the Boyne Valley, which will highlight its art, culture and natural beauty, finishing of a great festival experience in style.

There is a particular emphasis on family and participation as Drogheda welcomes young and old into its historic streets and buildings for new experiences, serious engagement, fun and relaxation.  The centenary of the Easter 1916 Rising is important to this year’s festival, with a number of programme elements reflecting, exploring, and reimagining ideas around it, including an exhibition, new theatre work for the stage, and for the park, and a public interview with a visionary of our time.

Drogheda Arts Festival would not be possible without the steadfast core funding from Louth County Council, a festival programming grant from the Arts Council, key sponsorship from

Western Motors and Skoda, Coca-Cola International Services, the d Hotel, and the many local businesses which have been both inspired and energised by the arts.

Come and engage with this ambitious and hugely varied selection of work.

Thrill to the new, luxuriate in the old, essay the unusual…

See the full programme here.


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

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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