2021 Festival dates + highlights announced

Cairde Sligo Arts Festival will return to Sligo from July 3rd to 11th, 2021.

As we face into another year of uncertainty; we are looking forward to working with artists, audiences and communities to find new and resourceful ways to create art and to celebrate together. We are focussing on safe outdoor environments, custom made indoor happenings mixed with streaming events to wider audiences.

LUXE Landscape Theatre

We are delighted to have commissioned landscape theatre specialists LUXE to create an illuminated spectacle event inspired by Blackrock lighthouse, Oyster Island,  the ‘Waiting on the Shore’ sculpture and the surrounding coastal area of Rosses Point. The event will explore themes of coastal living; beacons of safety & hope; way making; community, people and place. 

The festival welcomes back award winning circus company Tumble Circus for The Travelling Cycle Circus which will bring circus by bicycle into Sligo communities. A 45 minute experience inspired by Flann O’Brien’s satirical and absurd writing and biking adventures has been created by Tumble Circus in direct response to the Covid 19 pandemic. A comprehensive circus training programme for young people, funded by Sligo Leader Partnership, will accompany this project both before and during the festival. 

Tumble Circus, Travelling C\cle Circus, Photo Neal Campbell

Cairde Word returns with writing from the west featuring Kevin Barry, Louise Kennedy and Una Mannion (on Tuesday July 6th); an In Conversation event with Ingrid Persaud – winner of the Costa First Novel award for her debut novel ‘Love after Love’ (on Thursday July 8th); and the award for the inaugural Cairde Word – Short Story Competition will be presented (on Saturday 10th July).

The inaugural Cairde Word – Short Story Competition is a welcome new addition to the festivals’ literary strand. Submissions will be accepted from March 1st to April 30th via the festival website and the competition will be judged by Sinead Gleeson and Louise Kennedy. The first award of €2,000.00 is being generously sponsored by Callan Tansey solicitors. 

Other programme highlights include – Human Signature, a lens based exhibition curated by Barry McHugh, which will take place in the Hyde Bridge Gallery in July; the return of the popular Vagabond Voices curated by Patrick Karl Curley  and the Cairde Young Curators project with facilitator Andy Parsons, assisted by Sinead Sexton where a panel of 15 to 19 years olds will curate a strand of the festival programme.  

With further events still to be announced there’s lots to look forward to this summer.

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