Getting the 2017 Imagine Arts Festival off to a colourful start is the opening of the Bernadette Kiely art exhibition at 6 pm on Thursday, October 19th at Greyfriars Gallery in Waterford. The official opening of the 10-day arts festival is a free event and it launches a programme of some 120 acts & performances for all tastes and ages, with 58 of those events on offer free of charge at venues across the City from October 19th to 29th.
Later on, opening day is a gig with one of Waterford's great singer and songwriters Lorcan Reidy who will perform at the stunning St. John's College; the event will also uniquely be a recording for a live album release.
On Friday the much-anticipated John Dwyer Trad weekend gets off to a lively start with a giant concert as the stage at St. Patrick's Gateway Centre featuring the man the weekend is named after Mr. John Dwyer on fiddle along with all of the guest musicians and artists taking part in the trad weekend. On Saturday afternoon a series of music and dance workshops are on offer with some of the country's most talented musicians and dancers. On Saturday evening two giants of Irish traditional music come together for a rare performance, Noel Hill, and Frankie Gavin, with Brian McGrath will be in concert on Saturday, October 21st at 8 pm at St. Patrick's Gateway Centre. Many more events are set to take place during the John Dwyer Trad Weekend including a series of ‘Pub Sessions' will also be on offer at venues across the City.
Art is front and centre for the weekend with exhibitions on offer at GOMA with Ben Hennessy and Elaine Hoey; South East Makers Space will showcase an immersive interactive lighting exhibition and 16 O'Connell Street. In total 30 artists will take part in the 2017 Imagine Arts Festival, with exhibitions, book signings, workshops and works also on display
For families and young festivalgoers, there will be puppet making workshops, baby boogie, and readings with Judi Curtin and of course Waterford's biggest ever flour fight as BLAAMAGEDDON is set to take place at the Apple Market on Sunday, October 22nd at 1 pm.
A host of authors and poets will be at venues across the City for workshops, readings, panel discussions, and interviews, be sure not to miss, Paul Howard, Stefanie Preissner, Cat Hogan, Barry McKinley, Mark Roper, Hazel Gaynor, Francis Brennan in interview with Sinead Crowley, Jane Casey, Alex Barclay, Sam Blake and Alan Shatter plus a ‘Newsageddon' event with Waterford Whispers News. On Sunday at noon enjoy a Secular Sunday Service with Doreann Ni Ghriota, Sinead Gleeson, Rob Doyle, Sarah Clancy and local poets Edward Denniston, Mark Roper and Frank Farrelly at the Garden Room in the Medieval Museum. On Sunday afternoon authors Sally Rooney, Ciaran McMenamin, Eithne Shortall and Liz Nugent all take to the stage.
World-class musicians are also set for the Waterford stage as the festival welcomes Kila for a free outdoor gig at The Apple Market on Saturday evening plus a gig with Propeller Palms at the Theatre Royal on October 21st plus a music trail featuring Oatsie Jones, Big Bang, The Silk Road and more.
Theatre productions and dance performances are aplenty with Close Encounters at the Medieval Museum, Alice in Wonderland and ‘Will It Fit In The Van?' at Garter Lane and ‘SLSD' and Savage Love will be performed at Besco Ballybricken. Plus a unique shadow theatre performance will be on offer in the City's 12th-century underground cavern ‘The Undercrofts' on Sunday evening.
A first for Waterford's planned new Cultural Quarter also takes place at Imagine Arts Festival when one of the Cultural Quarter's new buildings 3 / 4 George's Street will be used for the first time as an Arts venue. On Wednesday, October 25th, ‘Submerged' will be premiered. 'Submerged' is a new interdisciplinary performance piece written and directed by Natasha Everitt, filmed by Mick Fortune.
Music highlights for the second weekend of Imagine include gigs with lead guitarist with the legendary indie band The Coral Bill Ryder Jones, the ‘must see' Martin Stephenson and the Daintees. Find out more about the 10-day arts in Waterford on imagineartsfestival.com