The festival will be taking place between September 27th and October 1st in Westport, Co. Mayo. With acts such as the Strypes, Jerry Fish and The Stunning set to perform, there will also be a host of theatre shows, visual arts exhibitions and family entertainment to take in too
Music fans are in for a real treat with performances by the hottest hit makers of the moment, The Strypes & Dj Kormac in the newest festival venue, The Castle Late Lounge.
Folks who want to be in bed a bit earlier can enjoy performances by The Stunning and Jerry Fish in the spectacular surrounds of Holy Trinity Church from 8pm.
Also set to be one of musical highlights will be an intimate gig with The Chieftains - Matt Molloy teaming up with John Carty and Arty McGlynn who will explore the rich and varied tapestry of the fiddle and flute tradition of North Connaught in the well known surroundings of Matt Molloy's pub.
Following the runaway international success of Forgotten and Silent, Fishamble presents Pat Kinevane’s third solo play, Underneath, directed by Jim Culleton in The Westport Town Hall. This stunning play is a blackly comic, rich and vivid tale of a life lived in secret, a testament to the people who live on the fringes, under the nose of everyday life. It explores the surface, and what lies underneath.
Stones Throw Theatre Company take us into the underbelly of the lap dancing clubs with their hit play Broken Promise Land, in The Town Hall Theatre. With frankness and humour, actress and writer Mirjana Rendulic teaches us the tricks of the trade – and shares secrets gathered from her real life experiences which aim to dispel any easy preconceptions you may have about exotic dancers.
Closer to home St Patrick's Drama Group present their highly acclaimed play Stolen Child. The play tells the story of a young woman's journey to find her biological mother, which turns out to be a captivating thought provoking tale which will keep you in its grip from start to finish.
As always, family is a key aspect of Westport Arts Festival. Family highlights this year come from the spectacular aerial acrobatics troupe Fidget Feet on Saturday afternoon. This event is free for all and is hosted by Mayo County Council as part of the Westport 250 celebrations. This jaw dropping spectacle will take place on iconic Octagon in the town centre.
Other highlights for adults and children alike will be the annual Lego building competition, and this year for the first time the festival will be hosting digital art seminars and exhibition by
Louise O’Boyle who will encourage children and adults to explore the boundaries of art and technology.
Westport Arts Festival is well known in bringing the visual arts outside with specially curated outdoor pieces. This year the world famous street artist and activist Maser will adorn the streets of Westport with colour in a visual spectacle that is set to be an Instagram hit for years to come. Other visual arts highlights include the award winning Veronica Bolay’s new exhibition in the Custom House Quay.
A Note from the Chairman
Upon announcing the details of Westport Arts Festival 2017, the chairman Willie Walsh said:
“We are delighted to be presenting this year's exciting programme which is sure to entertain both the local community and those from further afield who wish to come and experience Westport at its very best. The festival creates a real buzz around this beautiful town and as always, the festival's programme has something for all ages and even the kid in us! This year, we would really like to encourage our local community to engage with us, stay curious in the arts and come out and try something new. During the day families can enjoy aerial acrobatics from Fidget Feet, attend a workshop and a whole host of free activities. In the evening mom & dad can book the babysitter and let their hair down with the best in music, theatre and even enjoy an evening of entertainment in our visual art installation, a 1917 Speakeasy called The Absacker Bar”.