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25,000 People to Attend Next Week's Carlow Arts Festival

Acclaimed Spanish artist Joan Català will host an outdoor performance as part of the opening ceremony for the 45th Carlow Arts Festival.

The 45th annual Carlow Arts Festival, a key event in Ireland's cultural calendar, will open to the public from next Wednesday, June 5th and continue until Sunday, June 9th. Anticipated to attract over 25,000 locals and visitors, this year's festival offers an impressive lineup of more than 80 events spanning various art forms from dance and literature to theatre, circus and the visual arts. To kick off the festivities, the opening performance will feature a free outdoor interactive show called Pelat, created by acclaimed Spanish artist Joan Català, which will take place on the grounds of Carlow College on Thursday, June 6th.

Among the notable events in this year's festival programme, esteemed UK circus company, Gandini Juggling, will present their award-winning show The Games We Play on Friday, June 7th at VISUAL Theatre. On Saturday, June 8th, The O'Hara's Big Top Tent will feature a headline show by indie-rock sensation Basht. On Sunday, 9 June, renowned storyteller Aindrias de Staic will present By the Light of the Silvery Moon an enchanting evening of Irish stories told through words and music. A highlight of this year's festival is First Light by Asylum Productions. A collaboration with the local community, this immersive indoor and outdoor street theatre experience, will take place each evening across the festival weekend.

Speaking ahead of this year’s event, Carlow Arts Festival, Executive Director, Andy Currums invited audiences to come and join the celebrations: 

“The 45th edition of the Carlow Arts Festival is ready to dazzle visitors of all ages. A vibrant selection of events awaits, promising something for everyone to enjoy. Beyond honouring our homegrown talent, the festival will embrace international creativity with artists and performers hailing from London, Edinburgh, Paris, Barcelona, and Cueno, offering a rich tapestry of diverse voices. I encourage audiences to explore the programme, plan your visit to Carlow Town and come join the celebrations”

Elsewhere on the Programme, on Wednesday, June 5th, Caitríona Ní Mhurchú will present her captivating children's show entitled A Suburban Legend. Carlow VISUAL will present their Summer exhibition titled Behind the Curtain featuring invited and commissioned works along with Irish and international artists. A continuous stream of entertainment will take place inside the O’Hara’s Big Top tent with Carlow Live & Local showcasing local music acts including Eric de Buitléir, Danny Carthy and Tumbling Dice. The annual Carnival of Collective Joy, which honours the imaginative spirit of school children throughout the county, will commence on Saturday, June 8th, starting from Carlow College at 1:30pm.  

Travel & Accommodation

The festival encourages the use of public transportation whenever possible for travelling to and from the town. Carlow Town is served by daily rail services from Dublin Heuston. Additionally, JJ Kavanagh Coaches provides 26 daily services from Dublin Airport. The Wexford Bus, on Route 376, offers a connection between Carlow and Ballon, Bunclody, Enniscorthy, and Wexford. If you're looking for accommodation during the festival, The Talbot Hotel offers rooms starting from €169 per night.

Carlow Arts Festival 2024 will take place from Wednesday, June 5th, to Sunday, June 9th. Many events are free but booking is required. A Music Pass is available granting access to all music events with a day pass priced at €15 and a weekend pass priced at €35.

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