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Donegal Bay and Blue Stacks Festival 2018

27th Sept – 7th October 2018, South & SW Donegal

Keep up to date with all event details on Facebook: @BlueStacksFestival

The Donegal Bay and Blue Stacks Festival which commences next weekend, is an initiative of Donegal County Council, supported by The Arts Council and Creative Ireland.  Running from Friday next, September 28th  to Sunday, October 7th, the event which is now in its 18th year, is set to support artists and engage communities throughout South and South West Donegal, with another packed programme of theatre, music of all kinds, spectacle, literary and visual events and events for children.

FREE Festival Programme

The FREE Festival Programme will be widely available throughout the South and South West of the county, from this weekend. Look out for it in local shops, libraries, hotels, restaurants, tourist information points and at all participating venues.

The full Festival Programme is also available on the Donegal County Council website www.donegalcoco.ie and our Facebook Page.

Click on the image below to download the Programme

Choral Highlights

Reflecting the current popularity of choral singing in the county, the Festival opens with the truly inspiring Ceol le Chéile Donegal Choir of Ages, who will perform at the Abbey Arts Centre, Ballyshannon on Saturday night, September 29th, from 7.00pm. The intergenerational ensemble comprises over 80 children and older people, and is led by charismatic, Cashelard-based Choral Director, Veronica McCarron. Veronica memorably led the Choir of the Presentation Secondary School, Kilkenny, to the semi-finals of Britain’s Got Talent in 2016.

There will be further choral magic with the operatic stylings of the Bluestack Chorale in Donegal Town ( St. Patrick’s Parish Centre) on the same evening, while  the wonderful Donegal Voices ensemble will be joined by a 15 piece Chamber Orchestra for their performances of Mozart’s ‘Requiem’, in Ballyshannon (St. Patrick’s Church) and Stranorlar (St. Mary’s Church), on Friday and Sunday evenings, October 5th and 7th. respectively.

New Theatre

The Festival has excelled in recent years as a platform for showcasing new drama writing in the county. This year, there are three more new works to excite, enthrall and entertain local and visiting audiences. Ballybofey father and son Conal and Rory Gallen’s new comedy special, ‘Off Your Trolley’, commences its nationwide tour at the Balor Arts Centre on Friday and Saturday night, September 28th. and 29th. while Dunkineely writer and composer Leslie Long’s new musical, ‘At The End of The Day’, can be seen at the Foresters  Hall, Killybegs on Friday, October 5th . and at Halla An Pharóiste, Cill Chartha  on Saturday, Octber 6th.

Well known South Donegal playwright and actress Maura Logue’s new play with music, ‘Síle Molloy’ – featuring a stellar six piece band – opens at the Sandhouse Hotel, Rossnowlagh, on Wednesday, October 3rd. and plays the Aparthotel, Bundoran on Thursday, October 4th. and McIntyre’s Bar, Ballyshannon on Friday, October 5th.

Meanwhile, festival stalwarts Donegal Drama Circle also have new work to share. They will present the first ever full-length performance of Irish Palestinian writer Hannah Khalil’s powerful family drama, ‘Bitterenders’, at the Abbey Arts Centre, Ballyshannon on Wednesday, October 3rd.  The play, in a double-bill with Washington film maker Pamela Nice’s ‘Its What We Do’, can also be seen at the Bluestack Centre, Drimarone, on Thursday and Friday night, October 5th. and 6th.

Literary Afternoon at The Abbey Centre.

Writers and book lovers will be making their way to the Abbey Arts Centre on Sunday afternoon, October 7th. to meet with two of Ireland’s most popular novelists – Mary O’Donnell, writer of the bestselling 1990s novel ‘The Lightmakers’ and Nuala O’Connor, whose new novel, ‘Becoming Belle’, is attracting immense public and critical attention.  Special guest for this event will be well-known Ballyshannon pianist and composer, Niamh Currid.

Music

The Festival’s music propgramme opens on Friday night, September 28th.  with a special concert at Glencolmcille Folk Village, featuring  virtuoso Breton duo, flautist Jan Michel Veilion and guitarist Yvon Riou. We extend a big Festival welcome also to Derry jazz legend Gay McIntyre, who will perform at Aislann Chill Chartha, Kilcar, two nights later, on Sunday, September30th.

The Ghostlight Sessions complete their first year at the Balor Arts Centre with another intriguing line-up featuring Our Krypton Son from Derry, Donegal singer songwriters Tommy Callaghan and Dean Maywood, as well as Cork singer, Nathan O’Regan.

This year’s concert at Leghowney Community Hall – on Saturday night, October 6th. – features the stellar talents of Leitrim singer Eleanor Shanley, of Dé Danann fame, and John Feeley, one of Ireland’s finest guitarists and a peerless interpreter of the music of Turlough O’Carolan.

Fionn Uisce Clear Water Carnival Parade

This year’s Ballyshannon Carnival Parade takes place on Saturday night, October 6th.  The ‘Fionn Uisce’ parade will be a celebration of the clear waters of the River Erne  – a defining feature of the town of Ballyshannon – while the Carnival Finalé will feature a newly commissioned fire sculpture by LUXe landscape theatre and a special lighting-up of the Cathaleen’s Fall hydro electric power station, courtesy of the ESB.

FREE Festival Programme

The FREE Festival Programme will be widely available throughout the South and South West of the county, from this weekend. Look out for it in local shops, libraries, hotels, restaurants, tourist information points and at all participating venues.

The full Festival Programme is also available on the Donegal County Council website www.donegalcoco.ie and our Facebook Page.

Contact:

For General Information on The Festival, please contact Donegal County Council Arts Service

Tel. +353 (0)74 91 53900, E: traolach@donegalcoco.ie

Follow us on Facebook: @BlueStacksFestival / Hashtag #DBBF

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