Waterford’s Imagine Arts Festival turns 20 this year and the annual festival having taken place solely online in 2020 will this year host a full hybrid program of online and live indoor and outdoor events at venues across the City from October 15th to 24th 2021.
The festival showcases a multi-disciplinary range of arts events which also includes Waterford Writers Weekend; some of the big-name authors lined up include Waterford native and one of 2021’s most celebrated debuts, Megan Nolan who will read from Acts of Desperation and speak about the process of writing her second novel. Writer and podcaster Sophie White will speak about her bestselling essay collection, Corpsing: My Body and Other Horror Shows. The Observer columnist Séamas O’Reilly will be discussing his memoir ‘Did Ye Hear Mammy Died’ and the author of Leonard and Hungry Paul Rónán Hession will be discussing his latest release Panenka, these are just some of the many literary events.
The festival’s visual art listing will feature an exhibition by renowned artist John Shinnors at Goma Gallery from October 15th. John is best known now for his three-tone colour scheme on a large scale. In addition, an Arts Trail and Art Shop featuring 10 different artists will also be on offer showcasing a variety of techniques from sand artists to printmakers to surfboard graffiti artists and more.
‘Diverse Creatives’ will also be unveiled, this is a showcase of the potential of the arts to celebrate the richness of culture and experience of migrants who have made Ireland their home. These cultural performances feature dance, music, and crafts from the Igbo Community Waterford, Dance Group, Minnie Marley, Singer-songwriter, Intercultural Quilt created by the women of the Shakti Programme and Murka Murcury who is an Artist, DJ, and Producer.
Theatre events include Spliced a Timmy Creed Production, Sylvan from Tinderbox Theatre Company, and Marbleface, which was the winner of last year's Imaginings competition which was hosted to identify and commission new artworks.
Four headline music events include gigs with Dublin-based singer-songwriter Aoife Nessa Frances, singer and songwriter Junior Brother. Chosen as one of RTÉ's Rising Irish Stars of 2018, and as one of The Irish Times' contenders ready to breakthrough in 2019, Junior Brother has built a rabid following thanks to unmissable live shows. Rapper Nealo will perform at the Theatre Royal in the City and he will be supported by Waterford’s very own Carrie Baxter. Dublin-based singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist Eoghan Ó Ceannabháin will also take to the stage. Eoghan’s musical roots lie in the sean-nós style of his father.
Music of the 18th and 19th centuries will be performed by Tonos at the Waterford Crystal Showrooms. Tonos comprises of Waterford-based soprano Róisin O’Grady and Wicklow-based Baroque and early guitar specialist Dr Eamon Sweeney. Along with them is special guest Carthach Mac Craith, sean nos singer.
Best-selling and critically acclaimed broadcaster and comedian Colm O’Regan will take to the stage for a much-needed dose of comedy at the Theatre Royal Waterford. Colm will be supported by Sean Murphy who won the Imagine Arts Festival comedy competition for the paid spot to support Colm on October 23rd. Sean has been entertaining crowds in Ireland and Europe and has a natural style, enthusiasm, and confidence.
A number of workshops will also be on offer from Mini Musos to a DJ workshop to a surfboard graffiti art workshop. Waterford Youth Dance will host a re-imagined online event due to the pandemic. They have commissioned five youth dance companies to collaborate with local filmmakers and videographers, together with musicians, poets, and spoken word artists to create short dance film pieces in a show titled New Horizons.
The Imagine Arts Festival will take place online and in-person in Waterford this October 15th to 24th, further details and tickets can be found at www.Imagineartsfestival.com