- 14 Aug 19
Ireland's longest-running community arts festival returns for a 42nd year in September.
With a newly revealed programme chock full of superb literary, musical and visual art content, the 42nd Clifden Arts Festival is shaping up to be something very special. The festival returns to Clifden in Connemara from September 18 to 29, with a star-studded line-up.
Paul Noonan, lynchpin of national treasures Bell X1, will take his audience through the band’s back catalogue during an intimate solo show (September 21), while legendary composer Bill Whelan and alt-trad maestro Colm Mac Con Iomaire come together with special guests for what's set to be a magical performance (Sept 22). Also be sure to look out for performances from Lisa O'Neill (Sept 19), The Green Fields of America (Sept 20), Seafoam Green (Sept 20), Kilfenora Céilí Band (Sept 21), Ultan Conlon (Sept 22), Phelim Drew (Sept 24), the RTE Concert Orchestra with Zoë Conway and John McIntyre (Sept 27), John Sheahan with Michael Howard (Sept 28), Afrobeat Orchestra (Sept 28) and more.
Literary appetites, meanwhile, are in for a feast of ideas, with bestselling authors Colum McCann, Sinead Moriarty and Mike McCormack joining human-rights hero Alice Leahy and RTÉ politics hounds David McCullagh and Martina Fitzgerald. Seamus Mallon, a key architect of the Peace Process, will be the subject of a live interview with RTÉ’s Tommie Gorman.
Clifden also welcomes back Olivier Award-winning dramatist Pat Kinevane with his new play Before, while Ann Henning Jocelyn with four actors will present her latest play and novel The Sphere of Light - Secrets of the Boleyn Women, with readings, drama, song and music.
Meanwhile, local legend and recent Aosdána inductee Margaret Irwin West will be the subject of a 50-year retrospective, and award-winning architect Sheila O’Donnell brings her refined watercolour studies to the town. Mischief and western wit will be on the menu in new works by Ted Turton and the launch of a new book by Joe Boske.
The full programme for the Clifden Arts Festival, dubbed "Ireland's best-kept secret" by Novel Laureate Kazuo Ishiguro, is available here.