July 6th to 13th 2019

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Festival Highlights for 2018

Each year in July, Sligo transforms into a kaleidoscope of colourful cultural happenings with an incredible range of visual art, kids events, theatre, spoken word, performance and music from all over the world. Cairde Sligo Arts Festival, an annual multidisciplinary arts festival takes place from July 7th to 14th this year with events taking place in venues throughout Sligo town and into Sligo County.

Highlights for 2018 include the annual massive outdoor family celebration Park Fest on Sunday July 8th, and the addition of the Circus Big Top coming to Stephen St Car Park in Sligo town from July 12th to 14th filled with circus, cabaret and comedy. This year will see the premiere of Foyle Punt, a new site-specific theatre piece which will take place in the seaside locations of Rosses Point Sailing Club and Raghly Harbour from Wednesday July 11th to Friday July 13th, the addition of a poetry trail, and New Zealand theatre and performance artist Julia Croft will bring her award-winning Power Ballad to the Factory Performance Space on Tuesday 10th July. (Get Tickets)

Highlights for kids include the multi-award winning theatre company This Egg with Me & My Bee – an engaging and comic show with a serious message about saving the bees. Multi award-winning theatre company, This Egg, invites you to save the world – one bee at a time. A new comedy for children and adults alike. Plant the seed for change, join the Bee Party at 2pm Tuesday July 10th at the Factory Performance Place. (Get Tickets)

The Big top will be filled with circus, street theatre and cabaret performances; clowning and circus workshops for children with performances by Tumble Circus, Lulu’s World, the legendary Britain’s Got Talent semi-finalists Lords of Strut and more. Opening the Big top at 6 pm on Thursday July 12th is a Family Concert with Moxie. And on closing night the Lords of Strut will be smashing out the freakiest funniest routines that these high fashion dancing legends can manage through their endless melodrama on Saturday July 14th at 9pm in the Big Top. No one does absurd dancing soap operas better than the Lords of Strut! (Get Tickets)

The annual Cairde Visual open submission show presented by the Model will run from Wednesday July 11th to August 19th and will present work from local, national and international visual artists across a range of media. An opening reception will take place at The Model on Wednesday 11th at 6pm.

The festival’s annual giant garden party – Park Fest – is without doubt one of the anticipated highlights of Cairde Sligo Arts Festival. Marking the start of Cairde on Sunday July 8th, Park Fest is a day-long free celebration in Sligo’s Peace Park featuring a circus show with Nakupelle; the Irish percussion group Maracatu Ilha Brilhante, a kid’s science tent; family yoga, storytelling, animation and street performance by Cillian Rogers. Sligo Global Kitchen, winners of this year’s Irish Food Writers’ Guild Community Award will have a tent presenting food from around the world. This year’s line-up of music includes performances by Sligo Gospel Choir, Well Dressed Hobos, Red Ellen, and more. Bring a picnic blanket to Sligo’s Peace Park on Sunday July 8th and prepare for a feast of good food and entertainment.

Photo: Peter Martin

Cairde Sligo Arts Festival is renowned for an exceptional line up of music and 2018 is no exception. Music highlights will include Flook, Jerry Creedon & friends, Katie Laffan, Lemoncello, New Jackson & Margie Lewis, Niwel Tsumbu & Eamon Cagney; La Orquestre Kalamares; and the return of the popular Songs by the Sea. Songs by the Sea – a series of music events in seaside cafés – returns in 2018 with performances by Lemoncello in The Gallery Café, Rosses Point; Native Oak in Nook, Collooney; Carriages in Shells Seaside Café, Strandhill; and Sarah Crummy and Jessie Whitehead in Pudding Row, Easkey.

2018 will also see the introduction of a Vagabond Verses, a poetry & spoken word trail, as well as fantastic line-up of comedy! Full programme will be released 05 June.

Tickets on sale now: Get Tickets

The Model presents Cairde Visual Submissions Open / Deadline June 10th

Cairde Sligo Arts Festival’s fifth annual open submission exhibition, Cairde Visual, is now accepting submissions from visual artists. The submission forms are available to download here or to collect at front of house at The Model. Submissions will be accepted up to Sunday June 10th. Cairde Visual will take place at the Model in Sligo from Wednesday the 11th- of July to Sunday 19th August 2018.

Anna Spearman won the Model Cara Award during Cairde Visual 2017

A significant, international open submission exhibition for the North West., Cairde Visual was established in 2013, by a group of Sligo based artists together with Cairde Sligo Arts Festival. The first annual submission took place in The Hyde Bridge Gallery in 2014. The fourth annual exhibition took place at The Model in 2017 and boasted over 100 artworks from local, national and international artists, featuring a great diversity of media.

The move of Cairde Visual to The Model for 2017 was an exciting development for all concerned. The exhibition has, in a short space of time, become a much-anticipated feature in the arts festival’s programme and in the cultural calendar of the region, not to mention an increasingly important fixture for artists all over Ireland and abroad.

2018 sees the return of The Model Cara Award, The Hamilton Gallery Award and the Cosgrave’s Delicatessen Award. Introduced in 2017, the Cosgrave’s Delicatessen Award offers a €500 cash prize to the selected artist. The Hamilton Gallery, a pioneering contemporary art gallery in the heart of Sligo, offers the winner a solo exhibition in the gallery’s calendar of exhibitions in 2018. Clive Bright was the recipient of this award in 2016 and Daniel Chester was the recipient in 2017. Recipients of the Model Cara award – a short-term residency in The Model’s artist studio – to date have been Helen Blake in 2015 and both Daniel Chester and Selma Makela in 2016, and and Anna Spearman in 2017.

Cairde Sligo Arts Festival is very grateful to have such exceptional partners and would like to thank all of these organisations for their incredible support.

The BIG Auction – A BIG Thank-you!

Each year, Cairde Sligo Arts Festival holds The Big Auction – a fundraising event which raises essential funds towards making the festival happen. This always proves to be a great night out with amazing donations, unbelievable bargains and a lot of fun along the way with our auctioneer Niall Canning.

Cairde Sligo Arts Festival wishes to take this opportunity to thank all of those who have supported The Big Auction.