The waiting is over and last week's official launch of the Earagail Arts Festival has signalled that the biggest names on the world arts stage are set for Donegal. The 20th year of Earagail takes place from 10-20 July and with excited eyes quickly running over the 2008 Programme it is clear that box office staff will be kept busy.
From the new commission by Donal Lunny to the first ever collaborative Irish performance by Toumani Diabat and Liam Maonla, to Mark E. Smith’s post-punk legends, The Fall it is billed to be the most memorable line-up in its two-decade history.
Also among the line up are Mercury Prize nominee Richard Hawley, Hungarian Olah Gypsies, Romano Drom, Ulrich Schnauss & Ham Sandwich, Spanish guitar virtuoso Francisco Garcia and rising Scottish Gadhlig band rachadh with Martin Tourish & Luke Ward which will be topped off with the Festival Closing Party featuring the Aliens, Foy Vance, Dry County, Cashier No. 9 and David Holmes.
Theatrical funfair will be oozing from the veins of Eargail this year with a new production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream featuring a cast of Donegal’s own aspiring theatrical talent. A first for Ireland in the form of international touring Victor Vasarely (1906-1997) retrospectively, will be curated by the Regional Cultural Centre.
Outdoors in Donegal will be a mecca of family entertainment with towns and villages across the county hosting colour, craft, story-telling and street theatre. Free family fun is the order of the festival and must-see highlights are the fabulous award winning Sensazione in Letterkenny Town Park – a threatrical funfair powered by human energy - during the family fun weekend from 17-20 July; PIG, a 30-foot long sleeping sow in a pen, a show with a difference; and Swiss children’s theatre Compagnie Nicole et Martin which showcases in The Glebe Gallery.
An extravaganza on Tory Island with Soils Thora (Tory Lights) takes place from the 18-20 July celebrating the culture of this magical and mystical island. Among the line-up are John Spillane, Sean-ns dancing with Ronan Regan, family street theatre, the first ever Tory Island currach race, and of course a Cil Mr.
Speaking at the official launch Festival Manager, Celine Haran said, “We haven’t held back with this year’s programme. It is truly a wonderous programme with colour, creativity, culture and charm running right throughout the ten-days of festivities. The best of Donegal, Ireland and world acts are coming to Donegal to ensure the people of Donegal and our 35,000 visitors are entertained to the full.”
Town Mayor, Cllr. Jean Crossan congratulated the Earagail Arts Festival team describing its impact on the local and visitor population as immense. She also said, “Donegal has a rich heritage of music, poetry, literature and the visual arts and the Town Council is proud to support the Earagail Arts Festival’s programme as it draws on this heritage and showcases it with an international context.”
According to Paul Brown, Artistic Director with the Earagail Arts Festival, “we are anticipating huge demand for all aspects of this year’s programme so we would encourage early booking as enquiries to our box office have exceeded previous year’s indicative of our impressive line-up.”
Tickets are now on sale for all shows and ealry booking is advised. For bookings and more information on this year’s line-up visit www.eaf.ie and/or call our box office on 074-9120777.