About the festival
Carlow Arts Festival marks a special time in the town’s annual calendar, providing an opportunity for everyone to experience something out of the ordinary, soak up the celebratory atmosphere and be part of the thrill of knowing that in the hands of exceptional artists anything is possible.
The idea of reaching out is at the centre of this years programme and we are proud to be presenting some of the most exciting and innovative artists working nationally and internationally from as far afield as Canada to as close at hand as Carlow.
Key to the festival is a deeply held belief that the arts are for all of us, and that nobody should be left out of the exceptional experiences it can provide. This is why we work hard with funders and supporters to present over 75% of the programme for free, and have developed a new Pick Your Price initiative. We are deeply committed to developing work where artists and community members work together on creation such as with Spraoí, Extraordinary Bodies and The Dog Project. We are also proud to be championing inclusive arts as a centrepiece in our programme with the work of Extraordinary Bodies. We want to ensure that ability, demography and capacity to pay are not impediments to our audience accessing and participating in world class arts events.
Music fans from techno to trad will be treated to gigs from King Kong Company, Stocktons Wing, Náva and a very special Sunday night encounter with Lisa O’Neill and Radie Peat (Lankum). Don’t run home after though, as resident DJ Aoife Nic Canna will be keeping the groove going in the O’Hara’s Pavilion till late.
Theatre and Dance are well represented with some of the best in the world coming to town. Our opening show Atomic 3001 (Belgium) embraces a techno beat, while Mouthpiece (Canada) is an extraordinary and virtuosic piece with stunning singing interwoven with a feminist storyline. L’Après-midi d’un Foehn Version 1 (France) is a beautiful and moving show for all ages. Outdoors will be a sea of free delights from lying on your back and getting rolled into a horse box with The Trip (Catalonia), to following the exploits of Kamchàtka (Catalonia) as they weave their way through the streets in search of refuge. The theme of refuge is taken up by Cie Dyptik (France) with their hip-hop dance explosion D-Construction on Sunday afternoon. ARTWORKS and the associated exhibitions and events at VISUAL, take inspiration from rural life that surrounds us and continues through to September.
And of course there is a huge amount more in the programme! So we invite you to join us in June on a journey of discovery, exhilaration, and enrichment for the first big cultural event of the Summer.