Abhainn Ri Festival 2015, Callan Friday 26th June - Sunday 5th July 2015

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Callan, Co. Kilkenny

Friday 26th June – Sunday 5th July 2015

The Abhainn Rí Festival, is a unique community festival that showcases the diverse and exciting cultural and community life of the small town of Callan. Now in it’s sixth year, the eclectic festival’s ten day programme, running from Friday June 26th to Sunday July 5th, is bursting with visual art, music, theatre, heritage, inclusion, street theatre, architecture and food events. The real star of the Abhainn Rí Festival is the town itself and the programme highlights forgotten and overlooked corners of this handsome town, such as Bridge Street, The Abbey Meadow, Lockes Hall, The Workhouse, Fennellys, an old agricultural co-operative, and the streets of the town itself.

The annual Field Day will make another appearance this year and will take place in Abbey Meadow on 28th of June. This fun day out for all the family will include a vintage car display, vintage tractor run, dog show, The Great Callan Duck Race, bouncy castle, bungee trampoline, wheel of fortune, food stalls and much much more. The field day will coinside with a special event The Elemental Session, a music event for all gae groups, begins as the field day winds down. On Sunday 5th of July Children at Play will be in full swing on Bridge Street Lower and will include street games and food stalls. Abhainn Rí 2015 will host a number of outdoor workshops throughout the duration of the festival including grafetti, yoga and willow art to name a few.

On the menu this year, The International Dinner and Dance which will take place at the Parish Hall on Friday 3rd of July will serve a variety of delicious European and Persian cuisine. Bring your own wine and dance the night away to the tunes of Callan’s own Highway Men. Highlights also include the Farmers Market and Food Fair. The 4th of July Food and Games celebration will include hot dogs, pie eating competition, American fancy dress, rodeo bulls, line dancing and much more! In conjunction with the Festival Gig, Festival Courtyard Tapas Bar will be serving up tasty nibbles from KCAT’s courtyard.

Spoken Word
Take a trip down memory lane with Callan’s Pictorial Past Evening, enjoy an evening of poetry with the Poetry Reading and Persian Food event or just sit back and have a laugh at Comedy Night. Enjoy the very best Callan has to offer and explore the deepest recesses of verbal communication in all it’s applications with this year’s Open Mic Spoken Word evening.

This June at Abhainn Rí Festival 2015, The Bridge Street Project, an inclusive theatre and architecture project, is taking over houses, shops, the street and our imaginations. The project will rediscover the possibilities of our town centres, through a collective re-imagining of Bridge Street as a public space with a civic future. Across Ireland the lights are going out in our rural town centres. The Bridge Street Project will culminate in Bridge Street Will Be, an innovative site specific contemporary theatre performance that will take place on the streetscape and interiors of overlooked buildings on Upper Bridge Street. This is a unique, choose-your-own-adventure, inclusive theatrical experience where the audience decides the future of Bridge Street. The performance takes place on Bridge Street and runs every night from Tuesday 30th of June to Saturday 4th of July.

Other highlights include Everybody Needs A Little Magic taking place Friday the 3rd of July in the Workhouse Chapel, whislt Monkeyshine Theatre will be bringing their wandering venue, The Vagabond, to Abbey Meadow on Sunday 5th of July where they will be holding a number of storytelling performances and workshops.

Visual Art
From Saturday 27th June until Sunday 5th of July Still, We Work (Sarah Browne, Vagabond Rieviews, Mirrian O,Connor, Anne Tallentine), the touring exhibtion from the National Womens Council of Ireland will be showcased in the newly developed Callan Workhouse Union space. This exhibition considers contemporary representations of women and work, and produces new connections amongst artists, activists and audiences. It is a unique opportunity for artists and women to come together and examine issues around women and work today.

On the Bright Side, a retrospective exhibtion by KCAT Studio Artist, Andrew Pike will take place in KCAT’s Art and study Centre . This retrospective exhibition presents an extensive and broad selection of his work made since 1999, including sketches for the 2006 Big River Parade, self-portraits, animations, and commissions highlighting his ongoing dedication to the artistic process.

Breda Lynch, a Kilkenny born artist, based in Limerick, presents an exhibtion comprising of multi-disciplinary elements that display her ongoing interest and research into identity, the double, and dialogues from the peripheral of history. An exhibition of three local photographers capturing moments in time through nature, portraits and landsacpes will be be on display in L’Arche Cafe fromTuesday 30th to Friday the 4th July.

This year Callan will be alive with the sound of music with a wide variety of free events ranging from a trad-session in Hourigans Bar on opening night to The Elemental Session taking place in the Abbey Meadow on the 28th of June, hosts a fine mix of local and national artists of all genres. This year’s festival is sure to have something for everyone, culminating in The Festival Gig on Saturday 4th July at Abbey Meadow car park.

This is Callan’s 6th annual Abhainn rí Festival of participation and inclusion. We have a full varied programme of exciting events and activities to share with you. Join in on the fun, educational and inspiring workshops on offer. Learn new skills and meet new people. We hope you come along and be apart of something spectacular!

Download Full Festival Programme »


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