Carlow Arts Festival Announce 2019 Programme

Carlow Arts Festival celebrates its 40th anniversary this year with many events taking place in the festival’s HQ at Carlow College, as well as St. Patrick’s, VISUAL and other local landmarks from June 4 – 9.

Visitors can immerse themselves in international and award-winning artistic adventures from Finland, Denmark, Spain, Catalonia, Belgium, the Netherlands, the UK and Ireland. These include festival premieres, spectacular free performances, live music, visual art, family friendly events and virtual reality experiences.

Carlow Arts Festival continue their work to ensure the arts are for everyone. 80 per cent of the events are free to attend alongside a ‘Pick Your Price’ scheme for certain activities.

Local participation is as strong as ever.  Sugartown, this year’s Saturday night spectacle, is a celebration of Carlow featuring music, dance and stories with a sweet edge (inspired by the old Sugar Factory) all topped off with a fireworks extravaganza. Made by acclaimed international director Dina Abu Hamdan, with the people of Carlow, it will take place at 10pm

Announcing details of Carlow Arts Festival 2019, Festival Director Jo Mangan said in a statement: “It’s such a whirlwind each year as we pull together the programme, and bring the final pieces of the jigsaw together. And here we are in the 40th anniversary year of the festival with a range and depth of programming that I think surpasses all past iterations.”

Musical highlights this year include Max Richter’s eight hour epic Sleep played in its entirety for the first time in Ireland by The Max Richter Ensemble and soprano Grace Davidson (Fri, June 7). The Irish National Opera and a host of Ireland’s rising opera stars will perform a free outdoor performance of opera arias, duets and ensembles (Sun, June 9). Meanwhile, Galway Street Club will bring their high octane, no holds barred international bare chested busking to the streets of Carlow (Sat, June 8).

O’Hara’s Pavilion, sponsored by O’Hara’s Irish Craft Beer, at Carlow College St Patrick’s presents a very special free music programme to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the festival. It features a host of Ireland’s finest acts including His Father’s Voice, Pillow Queens, Elaine Mai, Proper Micro NV, Bitch Falcon, DJ Kormac, Sun Collective, and Cormac Begley & Friends.

Carlow Arts Festival has announced a unique Virtual Reality strand at this year’s festival, featuring the best in homegrown and international talent. Mural artist Shane Sutton will run a virtual Graffiti Art Workshop and producer, songwriter, singer and performer Chagall, one of the early adaptors and most experienced users of MI.MU technology, will perform her sensor activated live music/visual show.

There’s also a strand titled Challenging Reflections. CRAVE #2 from Denmark is an interactive, provoking, intimate piece of performance art, where the opinions of the audience are challenged by a one on one experience with a sex-worker.

Meanwhile, from the makers of the international hit show-game The Money comes Pig (June 4 – 9). This is a large transparent perspex pig. Inside a scrolling LED sign states, ‘This is a community fund. You can contribute to it if you like, and when you’ve agreed how to spend it, you can open me and spend it.’

Also part of this strand is innovative play Our Carnal Hearts. Following sold out UK and US tours, the award-winning experimental show comes to Visual and is a thrilling and murky celebration of desire, competition and all the times we screw each other over (Fri, June 7).

Theatre, circus, pop-up performances and other free family events are a big focus of Carlow Arts Festival again this year. Festival HQ and VISUAL are the places to be for the weekend of June 8-9.

Other weekend highlights include the award winning comedy act Lords Of Strut’s show Absolute Legends (Sat, June 8), a family event titled The Horsebox Theatre (Fri to Sun, June 7 – 9), and El Laberint, a large-scale interactive puzzle for all ages (Sat and Sun, June 8 and 9).

Janice de Bróithe and Sinéad Cormack will also share a work-in-progress, telling the thrilling story of An Murúch –  a sea creature from Irish legend that has the ability to move between the sea and land using a magical red cap (Sun, June 9). Meanwhile, off-site is Sing Me to the Sea, a blissful watery adventure for children with disabilities at the Holy Angels Day Care Centre.

The ever-popular outdoor movie night is back with two movie nights scheduled for this year’s festival. This year you can chose family classic The Muppet Movie (Fri, June 7) or Sunday night’s mystery movie.

Carlow Arts festival will showcase some of the very best Irish and international visual art this year. You Arrre Seeing Thingsthe first exhibition of artists Bárbara Wagner and Benjamin De Burca’s work in Ireland – features triptych of films Set To Go (2015), You Are Seeing Things (2016) and Holy Tremor (2017). Meanwhile, there’s also Dearly beloved we are gathered here todaya commission from Tom Watt and Tadhg McSweeney. This will be a flexible space that exists for the creation of art and the artists that gather to bring their works to life (June 4 – September 8).

Not to be missed, festival dance highlights include internationally renowned Dutch company Compagnie Kairos. They will bring Deladanse to various locations across Carlow on Friday, Saturday and Sunday – a site-specific dance performance created one day in advance for, with and inspired by Carlow.

Also, award winning Artists Luke Murphy and Alex Pentek will collaborate on Carnivore, a provocative, atmospheric and energetic dance performance (Fri to Sun, June 7 – 9).

Visit for the full programme and ticket details.

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