- 08 Nov 23
The first details of the programme for Brigid 1500 have been announced, with many of Ireland’s leading female artists already lined up to participate in what promises to be a very special celebration of the legend of Brigid – a Pagan goddess and a Christian saint who is symbolic of the power, strength and independence of women in Ireland.
Eleanor McEvoy, Moya Brennan of Clannad, Mary Coughlan, Gemma Hayes, Una Healy, The Henry Girls, Lisa Lambe and Nell Mescal are among the artists confirmed for a series of four music events lined up to celebrate Brigid 1500 early next year – with many more leading female artists to be announced.
Running between 27 January and 4 February, the music events will include 'Mother Earth: A Day of Food and Music' on 27 January, in a special programme that will also feature leading lights in the food world – including food writer, TV chef and founder of Ballymaloe Cookery School, Darina Allen; Majken Bech-Bailey, co-founder of the legendary Kildare-based Aimsir Restaurant and now MD of Bech-Bailey; and Chantelle Nicholson, founding member of The Chef’s Manifesto and proprietor of leading edge sustainable restaurant Apricity in London – as well as a unique evening concert. Darina Allen has just published The New Ballymaloe Bread Book, the latest in a long list of ten best-selling cookery books.
The Brigid 1500 programme for 2024 was officially announced yesterday evening by Kildare County Council, promising a diverse and spectacular calendar filled with culturally rich events speak across Kildare. The main activities in the festival take place in the weeks around the Brigid’s Day public holiday – which celebrates both the goddess Brigid and St Brigid, who founded a monastery in Kildare town. The Brigid 1500 programme will celebrate St. Brigid: A Woman, A Life, A Legacy and the enduring impact of her life and her work.
Taking place from 27th January to 6th February, the overall programme will bring together artists, performers, enthusiasts, communities and visitors to celebrate Brigid in a contemporary and modern way – "with something for everyone, from the poignant, to the spectacular."
Under the overall banner Nothing Compares: A Celebration of Irish Women Artists, the music elements in the programme are run by Hot Press, in partnership with Kildare County Council, and will include:
● Mother Earth: A Day of Food and Music at The Wonderful Barn, Leixlip – Saturday 27 January
● We Shall Overcome: Songs of Social Justice and Freedom, Athy – Tuesday 30 January
• Nothing Compares – A Brigid’s Day concert in The Moat Theatre, St. David's Church, and The Potato Market – Thursday 1 February
● She Moved Through The Fair – An Evening of Song, St Brigid’s Cathedral Kildare – Sunday 4 February
On Brigid’s Day, 1 February 2023, Hot Press curated the inaugural Nothing Compares: A Celebration of Irish Women Artists, with Imelda May, Eleanor McEvoy, Susan O’Neill, Gemma Dunleavy, Tolu Makay, Mary Stokes, Megan O’Neill Herstory poet-in-residence Laura Murphy and Ireland’s first woman, Sabina Higgins, all performing and reading in the Moat Theatre, and events also happening in St. David’s Church of Ireland Church and The Potato Market.
Light shows will be unveiled around the county at prominent locations in Clane, Newbridge, and Athy, including Naas Potato Market and the new Naas Library and Cultural Centre. Two grand, fiery processional events will take place in the towns of Maynooth and Kildare over the bank holiday weekend – the latter to coincide with the concert in the Cathedral titled She Moved Trough The Fair. The full festival programme of events can be found on brigid1500.ie
Sonya Kavanagh, CEO of Kildare County Council, expressed her excitement about the programme, stating: "The Brigid 1500 Programme that has been curated reflects the vibrant and diverse community of Kildare. We look forward to a calendar of events filled with cultural enrichment and we are inviting everyone to partake in the festivities, commemorating St. Brigid the woman, the life, and the legacy.”
The Brigid 1500 Programme, which is funded by Kildare County Council and Local Property Tax, also encompasses various initiatives and events, including a Community and Creative Grant Scheme, diaspora engagement, craft workshops and library events, schools programme, historical talks and walks.
Specially commissioned St Brigid art pieces will also be unveiled as part of the programme along with an artists’ exhibition, special honorary window displays and theatre programmes.
The annual Féile Bríde, organised by Solas Bríde in Kildare, will commence with a candlelight pilgrimage and ritual at St. Brigid's well on January 31st, the eve of St. Brigid's Day. On February 1st, County Kildare and Solas Bhríde Centre & Hermitages will lead the "Pause for Peace'' movement. Residents of County Kildare will call upon people worldwide to observe a one-minute silence at 12:00 noon (local time) on Saint Brigid's Day, February 1st, 2024. Further information on these events and the annual Justice & Peace Conference can be found at solasbhride.ie
Kildare County Council and the Brigid1500 team are partnering with Into Kildare (Kildare’s Tourism Board) for Féile Bríde, featuring notable events such as the illumination of the Hill of Allen on January 31st and February 1st. During these dates, the hill's tower will be bathed in white light, symbolising hope for the new year. Other activities include engaging with the global diaspora through embassies and various campaigns. For further details, visit intokildare.ie
Professor Mary Corcoran, Chair of The Brigid 1500 Steering Committee, commented: “We are inspired by who St Brigid was, the strength, compassion, and resilience she had, and the values she upheld. The Brigid 1500 Programme is not just a celebration of her life but also a promise to carry forward her legacy of unity, kindness and empowerment. We want to ensure that her influence continues to shape our community for years to come, as we embark on this journey to honour St. Brigid, a woman, a life, a legacy."
On Thursday 1st February, 2024, there will be a special ecumenical service in St Brigid’s Cathedral, Kildare entitled, ‘Celebrating St Brigid. Brigid 1500: A Service of Thanksgiving’. The service will mark the Feast Day of St Brigid through music, prayer and worship.
For more information and updates on the programme, please visit brigid1500.ie and all Brigid 1500 social media channels.
- Lifestyle & Sports
- 27 Sep 23