Imagine Arts Festival Programme 2016

Imagine Arts Festival Programme 2016
Helping to launch the festival programme is India-Lily Muller (age 10) for festival details see Picture: Aileen Drohan

15th annual Imagine Arts Festival Programme announced in Waterford

International and national acts gather in Waterford from October 20 to 30, 2016

A colourful international programme of events featuring theatre, dance, music, visual art, discussion and debate, alongside a strong focus on home produced work will be announced for the 15th annual Imagine Arts Festival in Waterford City.

Artists and companies from the U.S.A. and the UK, join forces with artists from all across Ireland and Waterford to create what promises to be an unforgettable series of the unexpected.

According to the Festival Director, Ollie Breslin, the programme for this year’s Imagine festival is ‘action packed’. “The streets, stages and some unexpected venues in Waterford will be transformed this October by a creative collision of the Arts. The 2016 programme is our biggest to date and represents another move forward for Imagine and the arts scene in Waterford, which is abuzz with talent and new energy. We are delighted to welcome so many internationally renowned acts and to unveil a number of premieres and one off events curated especially for this festival.”

Imagine Arts Festival Programme 2016
Isla Gavin (age 10) for festival details see Picture: Aileen Drohan

Journalist and author Manchán Magan officially launched the 2016 programme, speaking of the festival programme Manchán says, “The Imagine 2016 line-up is like a roll-call of the best of what Ireland is becoming – a socially inclusive, outward-looking society, keen to learn about local heritage and nature, to widen our horizons towards an international future and to let our hair down and party from time to time.

There are performances from renowned alternative rock, new folk and political rap artists, talks with (and about,) inspiring world travellers, visionary designers and pioneers of social history, as well as a hoedown between Ring Gaeltacht musicians and their Waterford city rivals. An early morning Hootenanny on Waterford’s quays will explore the city’s maritime labour and social history, while Waterford’s principal industrial school and Magdalene laundry will be potently commemorated by the Waterford Memories Project through performance, talks and first-person accounts.”

Amongst the highlights of the 2016 festival programme is the world premiere of a new opera, ‘The Green One’ by composer Eric Sweeney and poet Mark Roper, the final farewell gig of the acclaimed U.S. band Richmond Fontaine, a 1916 Gala Trad Music Concert and the unveiling of a new visual art exhibition curated by Artist Colin Martin.

Imagine Arts Festival Programme 2016
Amelia Pim (age 10), Isla Gavin (age 10) and India-Lily Muller (age 10) for festival details see Picture: Aileen Drohan

A key element to the Imagine Arts Festival is its partnering with the John Dwyer Trad weekend, a strong traditional music and dance programme is on offer throughout the weekend with Seamus Begley and friends set to take to the stage and also a moving tribute to 1916 created by Waterford Trad musicians, poets and singers called ‘Where East meets West’ and this Gala concert takes place in the Large Room.

Literary highlights include a ‘Rap and Rhyme Workshop’ lead by London based spoken word artist Potent Whisper, an interview and reading with award wining author Mia Gallagher, poetry with Vincent Woods and with Waterford’s Raymond Chandler connections; the festival will host the ‘Chandler Chat’ a discussion on the influence of Raymond Chandler on crime writing with authors Alan Glynn and Declan Hughes.

A ‘Visual Art Trail’ featuring a number of surprise exhibitions and pop up visual art trail elements will feature in pedestrian areas across the City. ‘Nature, History and the Arts’ and will happen each day of the festival and at Greyfriars Gallery a new exhibition will open featuring the works of Artists Colin Martin, Martin Gale, Mick O’Dea and Eithne Jordan and has been curated by Colin Martin RHA.

For young festival visitors enchanting tales and stories will be to the fore at the ‘Horribly Historical Trails’ a guided walking tour, which will explore Waterford’s ghastly history. Mask making, Origami making and puppetry are all on offer and the ‘Flights of Imagination’ event is sure to be a high flyer, this ‘Fly A Kite’ spectacular is a free event at WIT’s Carriganore campus.

A host of Theatre productions will be on offer and a plethora of music gigs inlcude performances from ‘Malojian’ fresh from their summer performing at Glastonbury, Irish artists Little Green Cars, BBC Folks Awards duo ‘Josienne Clarke and Ben Walker’ and the festival will play host to the final farewell gig of the internationally renowned band ‘Richmond Fontaine.’

The annual ‘Booze, Blaas n’Banter’ event celebrating the City’s Quayside and maritime heritage will also offer lots of interesting chats and craic with speakers including RTE’ s Marcus Connaughton, and even local historian David Toms flying in especially from Norway for his presentation and many more.

Join the fun this October in Waterford from the 20th to 30th – see


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