Imagine Arts Festival 2020

Imagine Arts FestivalComments Off on Imagine Arts Festival 2020

Waterford is set to celebrate the arts with a mix of live and online events at Imagine Arts Festival 2020

The annual Imagine Arts Festival is set to take place in Waterford from October 16th to 25th with a mix of live and online acts announced for the 2020 festival. In total 45 events are programmed for the 2020 festival with 16 of those events being made available to the public for free online attendance.

Three of Waterford’s finest festivals take place under the umbrella of the Imagine Arts Festival, including the Waterford Writers Weekend along with the John Dwyer Trad Weekend an eclectic programme of multi-disciplinary arts events to choose from under Imagine Arts.

Amongst the highlights of the 2020 festival programme are live music gigs with Saint Sister, Junior Brother and Join Me In The Pines, a Desert Island poetry reading with Ambassador of Ireland to the US Dan Mulhall, conversations with authors Sara Baume, Doireann Ni Ghriofa, a Margo Banks exhibition, an artist’s talk with California based abstract painter, Laura James, a Felispeaks session with poet and playwright Felicia Olusanya and an ode to the late musician and composer John Dwyer with a concert to celebrate the man and his music and much more.

The ten days of festivities commence with the John Dwyer Trad Festival on the opening weekend, with a strong traditional music and dance programme featuring a ‘Glór Na nDéise’ concert on Friday, October 16th with some of Waterford’s finest trad musicians; a series of free online trad workshops tutoring singing in Irish, instruments and compositions will take place on Zoom on October 17th and the trad sessions will culminate in the ‘Music of John Dwyer Concert’ on Saturday evening with a host of well-known trad musicians all of whom performed alongside John in the past.

Literary highlights are many and the Waterford Writers Weekend with a rich programme of in-person and online events featuring Sara Baume talking about her first non-fiction title, an interview with award-winning writer Doireann Ní Ghríofa, a collaboration of local writers and Colm Keegan who will premiere ‘This is Waterford’, a reading with poet Kerry Hardie, Brian Conaghan will chat about his latest title The M Word, Two of Irelands finest writers and directors Jim Nolan and Jimmy Murphy will chat writing, process and legacy plus there will be a beginners poetry workshop with Mark Roper.

A host of theatre production and film will also be on offer including a showing of the award-winning film When All is Ruin Once Again by Waterford native Keith Walsh, Flood by Ger Bourke will open at Theatre Royal Waterford on October 22nd and Clare Scott’s ‘The Galway Incident’ will be showcased online.

Renowned for its rich musical programme, this year’s Imagine Arts Festival features an impressive schedule including performances from “Best Irish Band” by The Irish Times, Saint Sister will take to the Theatre Royal Stage on October 25th, one of RTÉ’s Rising Irish Stars of 2018, and as one of The Irish Times’ contenders ready to breakthrough in 2019, Junior Brother will perform on October 24th and Join Me in the Pines the solo moniker for David Geraghty also known to audiences as a founding member of Bell X1 will perform at the Theatre Royal on October 21st.

The annual ‘Booze, Blaas and Banter’ event celebrating the City’s Quayside and maritime heritage will also offer lots of interesting chats and craic with Journalist, broadcaster author and filmmaker Catherine Foley, National Heritage Officer of An Taisce Ian Lumley, Poet Dave Lordan, Author, broadcaster and local historian
 Andrew Doherty, Writer and historian Paul O’Brien, award-winning historian
 Jack Burtchill and more.

Festival Manager Nora Boland says, “As a nation, we have been starved of the arts this year and life has been rather colourless so our ambition with our 2020 festival is to fill the City will colour and life for ten days from October 16th.”
“It is really important for us to support members of the arts community, I think now more than ever we have come to the realization of just how much the arts community adds to daily life. We may have previously taken for granted the availability to see a show, go to a gig, view an exhibition so we are hoping that Waterford, Ireland and beyond come on board with our 2020 festival either in-person or online and help to support the creators who bring so much joy to our lives.”

Chairperson of Imagine Arts Festival Jane Keen says, “Imagine Arts Festival has been an exciting multi-disciplinary series of events that promote the best of the arts featuring regional, national and international work and though much is different in 2020 the ethos and this festival offering remains steadfast.
It is a festival packed with events from spooky happenings to music gigs, theatre, spoken word, art exhibitions, and a litany of literary events with some of the country’s top authors planned for all tastes and ages happening with live audiences and online.
Imagine Arts Festival has taken place in Waterford for the last 19 years and we have worked very hard within all of the safety requirements to ensure that the festival can take place again this year, we are delighted to have a mix of online and in-person events and we see a real opportunity to be able to take Imagine Arts Festival to audiences across the globe this October.”

Support the arts and join in the fun this October in Waterford from the 16h to 25th – by visiting

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