Inaugural BallaghDream Arts Festival promises nine days of excitement and entertainment!

Great line-up from 5-13 August

From Saturday, 5th to Sunday, 13th of August this year, the inaugural BallaghDream Arts Festival will take place in Ballaghaderreen, Co. Roscommon.

Joe Thomas from The Inbetweeners is will be performing

The festival is the first of its kind in Ballaghaderreen and has been planned and organised over the last 12 months by a small team of local business people, creatives and supporters of the arts working voluntarily to bring some extra colour, sound, and excitement to the town.

The nine-day festival includes both free and ticketed events happening in various venues in and around the town including St. Nathy’s College, St. Nathy’s Cathedral, Edmondstown House, Willowbrook Glamping & Hideaways, and the Ballaghaderreen Family Resource Centre.

The goal of the festival team from the outset was not only to bring to Ballaghaderreen some of the most talented artists in their various disciplines from all of Ireland and abroad, but also to provide a platform for local talent to shine.

Many local groups and individuals will be involved in the Ballaghaderreen Players’ production of John B Keane’s Big Maggie, and in the busking day on Bank Holiday Monday, 7th of August.

There will also be lots of local artists exhibiting in the Art and Poetry trail which brings shop windows and the windows of derelict buildings around the town to life with artworks and poetry.

As Tuesday Whitfield, a member of the festival team put it “I know so many amazing artists, poets and musicians from the local area who never get the platform they deserve, so I really wanted to be able to shine a light on these people and their work during the festival”.

Add to the local talent the big names at the top of the festival bill and it adds up to an incredibly exciting line-up, the like of which is rarely if ever seen in any small town in the west of Ireland.

John Connor

Irish Trad band Lúnasa, Matt Molloy & John Carty and world champion Irish dancer Ronan Kelly, all perform on Wednesday (9th). Classical pianist John O’Conor is joined by cellist Ailbhe McDonagh on Thursday (10th). Two of Ireland’s top electronic artists, Daithí and Mayo native Elaine Mai are joined by local live looping artist Death Milkshake on Friday (11th).

Also that evening there is a GAA panel discussion which features Mayo legends Cora Staunton and Andy Moran alongside Joe Brolly, Seanie McDermott and John O’Mahony.

During the second weekend of the festival (11th-13th) at Edmondstown House there are four performances of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream by UK-based Theatre Company The Pilgrim Players.

Throughout the week there will be other theatre performances, art, creative writing and Music software workshops, a programme of children’s workshops and a battle of the bands competition, before the festival is brought to a close on Sunday, 13th of August with a comedy night that features UK comic Joe Thomas, best known for his role as Simon in the UK sitcom The Inbetweeners.

Ballaghaderreen is in for an incredible week!