THE organisers of the 19th Imagine Arts Festival have re-arranged events and venues to move to an entirely online festival – which kicked off yesterday, October 16.
Three of Waterford’s festivals take place under the Imagine Arts Festival from October 16 to 26, including Waterford Writers Weekend and the John Dwyer Trad Weekend programme.
“In true Waterford spirit, we hung on to the last moment in the hope that we would be able to offer people live performances, music and readings to lighten up the dark days of Covid,” Imagine Arts Festival Chairperson Jane Keen said.
“We have filmed as much as possible in order to provide an entertaining festival in this strange and difficult year,” she added.
Festival Manager Nora Boland said the festival organisers are proud to continue to support artists of all genres through holding the festival online after the Government announcement to move the entire country to Level 3 restrictions.
Kicking off the festivities is the John Dwyer Trad Weekend, which forms part of the multidisciplinary arts festival. Last night, a ‘Glór Na nDéise’ concert took place online, with some of Waterford’s finest trad musicians. A series of free online trad workshops continue over the weekend.
While exhibitions have had to be put on hold at cultural venues, a series of online visual arts events will take place, including a talk with abstract painter Laura James and a short film presentation.
Five art exhibitions will take place virtually and there will be music events, including a tribute to the memory of Eric Sweeney. The live gigs with Saint Sister, Junior Brother and Join In The Pines will not take place this year and ‘Flood’ by Ger Bourke has been postponed.
The Waterford Writers Weekend opens this Thursday, October 22, and runs for three days with 13 online events on offer, from workshops, masterclasses and readings to poetry events, author interviews and discussions with some of the country’s foremost writers.
Among these, Ambassador of Ireland to the U.S. Daniel Mulhall joins Writers Weekend curator Eimear Cheasty at noon on Thursday, October 22, to talk about the poems that shaped him as a reader and writer. Imagine is thrilled to welcome the Waterford native to the festival for the first time, live from Washington.
‘Booze, Blaas and Banter’, celebrating the City’s Quayside and maritime heritage, will also take place online featuring chats with journalists, historians and poets.
The online event schedule for these and loads more is available to view on www.imagineartsfestival.com