Making a welcome return to venues, streets and unusual locations across the county of Sligo, Cairde Sligo Arts Festival is delighted to unveil details of this year’s programme. With a line-up featuring new and familiar faces, the 10 day festival edition, taking place from 1 to 10 July, is a fully live affair featuring new work, exclusive commissions and events spanning music, theatre, dance, visual art, street theatre and more.
The festival will ignite with a specially commissioned live dance work from award winning dance-theatre innovators Junk Ensemble over the opening weekend from Friday 1st to Sunday 3rd July. Crossing Skin examines the myth of the selkie and our conflicted connection to the sea. Taking place at The Factory Performance Space, this intimate performance combines dance, original sound score and a stunning visual design.
An interweaving of disciplines and genre are a feature of another new festival commission A Fool’s Errand, by composer and musician Nick Roth, responding to the seminal book length poem by Dermot Healy, which charts the migration of the Barnacle Geese to Sligo. Presented in collaboration with The Model Sligo, this performance sees Nick collaborating with musicians Emer Mayock and Donal Siggins, visual artist Diarmuid Delargy and actor Alan Devine as well as incorporating recorded readings by Healy’s family, friends and colleagues. A Fool’s Errand will premiere on Friday 8th July at The Model.
Delving further into the music strand, Sligo audiences can expect intimate concerts, lively sets and barside sessions from a range of Irish and international artists taking in folk, world, trad and classical. A highlight includes a special evening’s entertainment at Juniper Barn with two of Ireland’s rising musical stars on Saturday 9th July. Anna Mieke is a singer, multi-instrumentalist and songwriter at the vanguard of the Irish folk scene, for her performance at Cairde, her sound will be rounded out with percussion, saxophone and synth. Merging classical and contemporary influences, Rachael Lavelle has captivated audiences with her arresting voice and humorous observations on life. Her hypnotic live performances blend electronic soundscapes with spoken word and acrobatic vocals. They will be joined by Ireland’s foremost DJ, Donal Dineen, whose music policy incorporates dance music from every era and everywhere.
Within the theatre strand, Still Floatingis a brand new piece of warm-hearted comic storytelling by BBC award-winning writer/performer Shôn Dale-Jones. Revisiting his 2006 show ‘Floating’, there will be three opportunities to see this two-time Fringe First award winner with a fresh story about love, resilience and laughing at the things that should make us cry. A large scale open air performance by Sligo’s own Blue Raincoat Theatre Company will bring audiences to the stunning setting of Cummeen Strand for a one-off performance of Yeats’ On Báile’s Strand. We are also delighted to welcome Growler to Sligo, she’s an 81 year old shamanic vulva exiled in Berlin who has plenty to say about class, housing, feminism and more.
For art lovers, the 2022 festival edition sees Cairde Visual move to new host partner the Hamilton Gallery, with further opportunities to explore contemporary art with three additional exhibitions in venues, on the street and in the open air running throughout the extended week-long programme.
Elsewhere in the festival will be a thrilling mix of talks, workshops, film screenings and events with young audiences in mind. The beautiful surrounds of Sligo’s Peace Park will once again be the setting for a two-day Cairde in the Park (formerly Park Fest) which promises a feast of fun with a packed programme featuring live music, circus, theatre, dance, family yoga, DJ’s, interactive play and delicious locally sourced food.
Cairde Sligo Arts Festival would like to thank its funders, patrons, sponsors and partners and in particular our principal funders The Arts Council and Sligo County Council.