Pictured (l-r): Greg Mulcahy, Manny Lange, Kieran Doyle, Trish Walsh, Clodagh Connaughton and Neil Fitzpatrick. Pic: Seán Phair
You are cordially invited to Clonakilty’s first ever “Organic Arts Festival”, a four day festival like no other. The word “organic” describes it best, as this festival’s program is filled with home-grown artistic talent of all kinds. With Clonakilty natives, and even a few returning ex-pats, this festival showcases for the first time the diverse and high quality talent that Clonakilty and its surrounding area has to over all in one bumper weekend! That weekend being the 18th to the 21st of June, 2015.
Just under a year ago, Kieran Doyle, a prominent member of Clonakilty’s resident amateur drama group “The Tadhg an Astna Players” approached fellow group members Greg Mulcahy, Neil Fitzpatrick and Trish Walsh with an idea: “‘Why, with all the artistic talent that Clonakilty has in spades, is there no arts festival in the town to rival the other festivals in West Cork?’ is what I said to Greg first day,” says Kieran Doyle, English teacher and playwright. “It’s just a shame that Clonakilty, one of the most talented places I’ve ever seen, doesn’t have an arts festival! It was a no-brainer really! We sat down for our first meeting and we wrote one thing down on a piece of paper, and that was what became our mission statement: to provide a creative space and stage for local talent. That’s what we’ve achieved with Clonakilty Organic Arts Festival.
That first meeting included two members of Clonakilty Community Arts Cetre, Clodagh Connaughton and Manny Lange, who would go on to bring their priceless knowledge and experience of the Clonakilty arts scene to the committee.
Now, ten or so months on, they have a full three and a half day program of events, ranging from poetry, spoken word, dance, music, performing arts, history talks, street pageantry and drama. There are events so diverse and unique to sustain even the most discerning artistic palettes! The festival will open on the Thursday night in De Barras with a taste of poetry, drama and singing, featuring acts such as the singing talents from Clonakilty Lodge and opened by Clonakilty man and renowned poet, Dave Lordan.
What follows can only be described as a prolific program of events, including workshops, readings, concerts, film screenings and world exclusive premieres of drama performances. There is even a special treat for the smallies, as Tracey Lombard presents “The Three Little Pigs”, playing out across mystery locations around the town. The only way to get to them is via the Choo-Choo train! The festival will close on Sunday night with a special street theatre performance directed by renowned local artist Manny Lange.
Clodagh Connachton has also created an artist trail to showcase an array of visual artistic talent, and the consensus from many of the local business to ‘display some of the local art’ in their premises for the duration of the festival.
“The local venues have been great in giving us space for the performers and we have tried to spread the performances around the town as best we can, including a dramatic pageant out in Inchydoney amphitheatre”, says Greg Mulcahy. “Everyone we have dealt with has been so supportive and all we need is people to come along, enjoy and spend some money in the town”.
Most of the events are free and the programme will range from morning to late over Friday, Saturday and Sunday as well as the opening Thursday evening. Neil Fitzpatrick and Trish Walsh, the financial officers, have informed us that “the festival is being run on a shoe-string and any money we have received is for promotional purposes. The performers have all wavered any expenses which has made it easier for us. However we would be delighted with any sponsorship or donations!”. Check out Clonakilty Organic Arts festival on facebook and http://www.clonartsfest.weebly.com for morew information, and for the official festival program, which is almost ready!
Now that you have heard about it, there is nothing left to do but put the dates in your diary, facebook calendar, phone, whichever! June 18th to 21st, 2015. Keep an eye out for our unique advertising around the town, designed by local artist Cathrine Johansen. When the program hits the shops and cafés of Clonakilty in mid-June, Kieran Doyle promises “you will not be disappointed! That’s a fact!”