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The tent was huge. It could fit hundreds of people. Some in the village didn’t want it there. Objections were raised. After all, in the most remote and westerly part of Ireland, local people lived a quiet life. Who were this circus crowd, bringing with them dozens of musicians, poets and actors? Why did they want to pitch their tent in Ballinabuck, population 105? Who’s idea was that?

This is the story of when Footsbarn Theatre Company came to the Dingle Peninsula, eventually finding a field to pitch their tent and stage several nights of shows with some of Ireland’s most well known musicians and performers. Featuring live music from Ye Vagabonds, Lisa O’Neill, Cormac Begley, Glen Hansard, Liam Ó Maonlai, Swell Season, Mongoose, Interference, Bitch Falcon, Stephen James Smith and many more.

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National Campaign for the Arts – TV Ad

The National Campaign for the Arts is a volunteer-led, grassroots movement that makes the case for the arts in Ireland. They work to ensure that the arts are on local and national government agendas and are recognised as a vital part of contemporary Irish life.

The NCFA work is continuous, and focuses on sectoral engagement, policy analysis and research, and advocacy. Since its establishment 2009, many people have gifted their time in support of the NCFA by joining committees, coordinating actions, running campaigns and advocating for research.

The National Council for the ARts are made up of a Steering Group, a broader advisory group and working groups. The Steering Group is responsible for long-term strategy and its members focus on specific campaigns or research objectives. Occasionally, supporters may volunteer or be invited to bring their expertise to a working group, undertaking a specific campaign or research task within an agreed time frame.

Click here to register your support to the NCFA

They are a voluntary organisation, relying on supporters’ donations and participation in fundraising events and campaigns to cover essential costs. “We thank everyone for giving what you can to keep the work going. We accept donations according to the Standards in Public Office Act 2001. Click here to donate to the NCFA. “

The current Steering Group is Angela Dorgan (Chair), Eoghan Carrick, Tom Creed, Aileen Galvin, Aideen Howard, Georgina Jackson, Cian O’Brien, Liv O’Donoghue.

Early in 2017, the NCFA undertook an insight survey, encompassing a sample of 1,000 respondents across our membership and the general public. NCFA Community Survey indicated worry across the entire sector about Creative Ireland’s focus on publicity and marketing over long term sustainable policy change and investment.

The insight gleaned through this process indicated strong support for the organisation’s priorities as well as some unique feedback regarding new policy initiatives, such as Creative Ireland. The NCFA’s pre-budget submission reiterated that Ireland spends 0.2% of GDP on cultural services (Eurostat), exactly half the EU-28 average – placing Ireland among the bottom three EU countries for cultural spend. NCFA welcomed the commitment made by An Taoiseach to double investment in the arts over seven years and the commitment, alongside the re-prioritisation of arts and culture in other policy measures, of the creation of a Department of Culture, indicate a much-needed move to place arts and culture at the centre of government thinking.

Following the budget, there was widespread disappointed as the Government rhetoric was not translated into investment. Budget allocations to key organisations were modest. The Taoiseach’s commitment to doubling investment in the sector over 7 years would have required a minimum 10% year on year increase.

Later in the year, the Government responded to our calls for reform of the social welfare system for artists by introducing a new pilot scheme for visual artists and writers. We have called for its early expansion to include performing artists.

In November, the NCFA joined with colleagues in the theatre community in condemning sexual harassment in our workplaces. The NCFA, in advocating for the ongoing improvement of the working lives and conditions of artists, recognised the importance of safe and supportive working environments and as such, encouraged the arts community to put in place adequate policies and supports to ensure that sexual harassment has no place in arts organisations.

Find out more on the campaign here

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Preview: Dublin Fringe Festival 2020

Dublin Fringe Festival takes place from 6-19 September. To view the full programme and buy tickets, see

Dublin Fringe Festival is home to bold ideas, brave performing arts and adventures audiences. Fringe is a curated, multi-disciplinary festival and year-round organisation focusing on fresh and innovative approaches to the arts from Irish and international makers.

Twenty Fifty Line Up

The festival is where artists challenge, subvert and invigorate their disciplines and practice. An active curator, Fringe supports artistic vision, ambition and excellence across a range of art forms. It offers supports, resources, space, time and professional development to the Irish independent arts sector.

Followed by fans and first-timers alike, Dublin Fringe Festival draws more than 30,000 spectators for 16 days and nights each September, transforming Dublin into an exposé of great creative talent from around the globe. The scale and environment of the festival broadens arts participation, introducing artist sand audiences and playing a pivotal role in the fabric of Dublin and Irish Cultural life.

Dublin Fringe Festival is a platform for the best new, emerging Irish arts companies and a showcase for the finest international contemporary performing arts. For artists, Fringe facilitates opportunities to innovate, to cross boundaries and strengthen the conditions in which they work. For audiences, Fringe is the place to discover meaningful, exciting and unforgettable cultural experiences.

Visit: for Tickets and more info.

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Feature: Kila Live at St. Marys Church Youghal

Kila perform live at St.Mary’s Collegian Church in Youghal to launch their 2010 album Soisín. Kila performed the sound track for the 2010 Oscar nominated animated feature ‘ The Secret of Kells’. Filmed and edited by Myles O’Reilly. Additional camera David Stokes.

Support the artist via Kilas Paypal Link –

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Kíla are an Irish folk music/world music group, originally formed in 1987 in the Irish language secondary school Coláiste Eoin in County Dublin.

The band’s first performance was upstairs in the Baggott Inn, Dublin, and was attended by three people. The original lineup for the band was Eoin Dillon (uilleann pipes), Colm Mac Con Iomaire (fiddle), Rossa Ó Snodaigh (whistle, bones), Rónán Ó Snodaigh (bodhrán), Karl Odlum (bass), and David Odlum (guitar). Colm Ó Snodaigh, the brother of Rónán and Rossa, joined the band before the first recordings were made. Rónán, Rossa, and Colm Ó Snodaigh are sons of publisher Pádraig Ó Snodaigh and artist Cliodna Cussen and are brothers of Irish TD, Aengus Ó Snodaigh.

In 1991, Colm Mac Con Iomaire and Dave Odlum left Kíla to join The Frames, an Irish rock band. In the same year, Dee Armstrong and Eoin O’Brien joined the band as replacements. Dave Reidy also joined as a lead guitarist, though he emigrated to San Francisco a year later. Karl was then replaced by Ed Kelly on bass who emigrated to Scotland a little over a year after the recording Mind the Gap in 1994. Eoin O’Brien was replaced by Lance Hogan. Laurence O Keefe filled in temporarily on bass until Brian Hogan assumed that position prior to recording Tóg É Go Bog É.

In 2003, in a review of their album Luna Park, Kíla’s blend of Irish traditional music and world music with a modern rock sensibility was credited with breathing new life into contemporary Irish folk music.

In 2009, Donegal guitarist Seanan Brennan joined the band to replace Lance who was on a sabbatical. He has remained with the band since then bringing an electric guitar to the line up for the first time since Eoin O’Brien was a member. He made his first appearance with Kíla in early January of that year on a televised version of Leath ina Dhiaidh a hOcht.

In 2008 Kíla recorded “The Ballad of Ronnie Drew” with U2, Shane MacGowan, Glen Hansard, Damien Dempsey, The Dubliners and a host of other artists. With proceeds going to The Irish Cancer Society. The song was later included on a album of collaborations that U2 recorded with other artists – Duals (2012).

Kíla have played at many festivals around the world, including Dún Laoghaire Festival of World Cultures, Electric Picnic, Womadelaide, Glastonbury, Féile an Dóilín, St. Chartier, Reading and Cambridge Folk Festival, Montreaux Jazz Festival and the Stockholm Water Festival. All members of the group participate in composing and arranging Kíla’s songs. they have also performed at student events such as the NUIG Arts Ball in 2010, the biggest event of its kind in Ireland.

The band collaborated with French composer Bruno Coulais on the soundtrack of The Secret of Kells, an animated film by the Irish studio Cartoon Saloon. The film was nominated for best animated film at the 82nd Academy Awards in 2010. That same year their music was heavily featured in two other feature films – Maeve Murphy’s controversial Beyond the Fire and Ciarán O’Connor’s Trafficked. Kíla’s music also features in the award-winning documentary film Fight or Flight.

In late 2011, Kíla published their long-awaited Book of Tunes. Comprising over 100 of their compositions and lavishly decorated with photos, poems & prose, the book was a huge success, being described as ‘a masterpiece’ by Seán Laffey from Irish Music Magazine. The publication of the book ended a fine year for Kíla in style. Through this year they played three sell-out shows in Harare, Zimbabwe at the HIAFA festival, played at the Possibilities conference that welcomed the Dalai Lama to Ireland and played the inaugural concert in Temple Bar Meeting House Square, under the elegant retractable canopies, two days before Christmas.

2015 could be termed the ‘year of the awards and nominations’ for Kíla. They collaborated on the music for the Oscar nominated animated feature, Song of the Sea with Bruno Coulais. They received an Annie Awards nomination for ‘Outstanding Achievement in Music in an Animated Feature Production’. They also received an Emmy nomination for their work on a Crossing The Line production called The Secret Life of the Shannon. In June Eoin Dillon left and James Mahon from Shankill took his place.

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Spotlight: Cirque du Soleil – Alegría, Kooza

The premier of this latest spectacular Cirque du Soleil production takes place on 30 May. The iconic tent will be set up at the end of the former Grau Station in Valencia.

‘Kooza’ is an amazing and colourful tribute to circus tradition; combining exciting acrobatics with clown art. Another surprise for circus fans: we have the next spectacular special for you while we’re all #TogetherAtHome this week featuring Alegria, KOOZA and KÀ!

Together, an international cast of 50 acrobats, musicians, singers and actors will astound visitors with their amazing feats and antics. The show is completed with a live soundtrack fusing jazz, funk and Bollywood rhythms.

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