7 - 14 July 2018

Celebrating 250 Years of Circus

Cairde Sligo Arts Festival are inviting you to run away and join the circus!

2018 marks 250 years since the first ever circus was invented by Philip Astley in 1768. Now in its tenth year, the Festival is delighted to announce a major new addition to the Festival in 2018; a Big Top tent has moved into Stephens Street Carpark, with a specially selected programme of events from today Thursday 12th to Saturday 14th July.

The Big top will be filled with circus, street theatre and cabaret performances; with Tumble Circus and the legendary Britain’s Got Talent Semi-finalists Lords of Strut, clowning and circus workshops for children, and a night of comedy with Karl Spain, Danny O’Brien, Eve Darcy, and Ger Staunten.

Forget what you think Irish circus is, and give you and your family one incredible hour of extraordinary feats of circus skills at the Big Top at Tumble Circus Unsuitable on either Friday, July 13 at 6 pm or Saturday 14 at 3 pm. The award-winning Tumble Circus is much more than your average high-wire act, mixing breathtaking spectacle with theatre and comedy. Laugh, be enlightened and entertained by a cast of five internationally renowned circus artists – acrobats, aerialists, jugglers and clowns. Tickets cost €12 for adults €6 for children and €30 for a family of four. Buy Tickets

Circus workshop fun for children take place on both Friday, July 13 (SOLD OUT) and Saturday 14 (LIMITED PLACES), from 11.30 am to 1 pm, these workshops will cover an introduction to circus skills including juggling, balance, diabolo, trapeze, clowning, slack rope and acrobatics. Ticket cost €8 for children aged 8 to 12. Buy Tickets

Enjoy a Friday night comedy club at The Big Top on July 13 with Karl Spain, Danny O’Brien, Eve Darcy and Ger Staunton taking to the stage from 9pm. Tickets for Comedy at The Big Top cost €14. Recommended Age is 16+. Buy Tickets

And finally, on closing night see Lords of Strut as you have always wanted, FULL craic… smashing out the freakiest funniest routines and sexiest routines that these high fashion dancing legends can manage through their endless melodrama. No one does absurd dancing soap operas better than the LORDS OF STRUT! Laughs come fast and hard as the boys leap around in less clothing than a naturalist at a bongo party and generally unleash a full dose of madness. Lords of Strut Release the Freak, Saturday, July 14, 8 pm at The Big Top. Tickets: €14 (For ages 16+) Buy Tickets

And that’s just some of the great events still to come at Cairde Sligo Arts Festival. Full line-up here

Music Highlights for 2018 

Cairde Sligo Arts Festival will kick off on Saturday, July 7 with a free party – Disco É Cultura – a blend of music and cultures from Latin America, East Africa and the Caribbean islands. Over the week that follows, Cairde has a fantastic line up of Irish and global acts performing in venues throughout Sligo.

An Tara – the unique duo of Matthew Noone & Tommy Hayes will perform a special Trad at Lunch gig at the Hawks Well. Niwel Tsumbu and Éamonn Cagney whose sources range from classical to Central Africa, with pulsating rhythms, wild guitar solos and so much more play Tricky McGarrigles.

Jerry Creedon & Friends and Manus Noble will fill Calry Church with a fascinating mix of the classical and the modern, in a programme ranging from the cool jazz of Thelonius Monk to the Tango sensations of Astor Piazzolla.

Flook weave and spin traditionally rooted tunes into a breathtaking sound. The flutes of Brian Finnegan and Sarah Allen, the guitar of Ed Boyd and the bodhran of John Joe Kelly blend a rare blend of fiery technical brilliance, delicate ensemble interaction and a bold, adventurous musical imagination.

 

New Jackson – the new project from the ever-prolific Dubliner David Kitt –  plays nocturnal house jams with a ghostly disco tint at Tricky’s McGarrigles. Recently named by the Irish Times as one of their 50 people to watch in 2018 and voted best newcomer at Electric Picnic 2017, Katie Laffan will close the Festival on Saturday 14th.

These are just some of the music acts playing at Cairde Sligo Arts Festival, full line-up here

Welcome to Cairde Sligo Arts Festival 2018

Welcome to our new-look Cairde Sligo Arts Festival – our eight-day cultural adventure set amidst the backdrop of the stunning Wild Atlantic Way. We invite you to join us for a feast of eclectic events and happenings taking place right across Sligo town and county for this year’s Festival.

Now in its tenth year, Cairde Sligo Arts Festival has been on a journey since its inception in 2008. Since then, we have been steadily growing the Festival each year; adding new strands of work, collaborating with a great number of artist and arts organisations, building support and gaining many friends, and creating many great memories along the way.

Supported by a loyal and experienced voluntary team, the Festival is taking great leaps in 2018 with enhanced programming and engagement with artists, new venues and locations, and wider promotion and publicity.

As part of an ambitious three-year development, 2018 sees a major re-brand and visual identity for the Festival which rolls out this summer.

Inspired by the creative energy of Ireland’s Northwest, today’s Cairde Sligo Arts Festival is a unique coming together of artists and audiences.

It is a celebration of imagination, and shared experience, that welcomes all.

This is your invitation to imagination – come join us!

Tara McGowan
Festival Director 

Big Top Developments for Cairde SAF

Excitement is building for this year’s Cairde Sligo Arts Festival.

Now in its tenth year, the Festival is set to embark on an ambitious three-year strategy which will see major growth across programming, promotion and production.

We are delighted to announce a major new addition to the Festival in 2018; a Big Top tent will move into Stephens Street Carpark for the Festival weekend, with a specially selected programme of events throughout the day and night. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Line-up for The BIG Top is as follows:

Thursday July 12

Friday July 13

Saturday July 14

 

Family Fun Day for Park Fest Line-up

Sligo’s annual giant garden party – Park Fest – is, without doubt, one of the most anticipated highlights of the Cairde Sligo Arts Festival each year.

Taking place on Sunday July 8th from 12 noon to 6pm, Park Fest is a day-long free celebration for all the family in the beautiful surrounds of the walled garden of Sligo’s Peace Park featuring music, theatre, circus, art, craft and science workshops, along with global food stalls to keep bellies full all day long.

Park Fest kicks off at 12 noon with a family yoga session with Louise Waters – what better way to gear up for a day filled with performances by circus and street theatre artist Nakupelle, Irish percussion group Maracatu Ilha Brilhante, and walk-about performance by Cillian Rogers of the Workhouse Studios.

At 3pm, Nakupelle will keep audiences spellbound with his brilliantly funny and physical performance of The Trap; described as ‘ slapstick in the very best tradition of Charlie Chaplin & Buster Keaton’ ‘Innovation, Imagination and Improvisation at its best!’.

Throughout the day families can enjoy mind-boggling magic by multi-award winning entertainer and magician Joel M; storytelling sessions by Wayne O’Connor; science experiments with Yvonne Lang.

Sligo Global Kitchen, winners of this year’s Irish Food Writers’ Guild Community Award will be running the intercultural café as part of Hands Across the World, a pop-up hub that celebrates intercultural food and performance. When in need of a break, drop into the intercultural café for a feast of food and some much-needed r and r!

This year’s line-up of Park Fest music includes performances by Sligo Gospel Choir, Moonstone, Well Dressed Hobos, Sarah Crummy, Sligo Youth Jazz Quartet 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.

Park Fest at Cairde Sligo Arts Festival is an amazing and fun day out for people of all ages.

In addition to the massive free family outdoor event the Cairde Kids programme includes a family concert with Moxie, One World Kid’s Disco with Will Softly, and family performances by Tumble Circus and Lu Lu the Clown. Also, Myth and Magic with Wayne O’Connor, Storytelling with with Imelda Ní Ríain, and a Pop up Family Sing-along with Dave Flynn, RTE Choir of Ages!

More details on the Cairde Kids programme will be released very soon, but sure to be a festival highlight is 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. Tickets available here

Save the dates! Cairde Sligo Arts Festival takes place from Sat 7th July to Sat 14th July 2018.

 

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.