Every year, Féile na Bealtaine builds on the already rich tradition of arts and culture that exists on the Dingle peninsula and this year is no exception.
The festival aim to highlight and promote Dingle’s traditions and bilingual culture and to introduce the arts and artists from other parts of Ireland and the world to the people of Corca Dhuibhne.
From the start of the Festival on May 1st till when it ends on Monday, May 5th, there will be events for all tastes and age-groups. Street theatre, children’s events, music, poetry recitals, art exhibitions, short films, long films, comedy acts, theatre, art exhibitions and a poetry are just some of the special happenings that visitors can enjoy.
Irish folk rock outfit Little Green Cars, a band “teetering on the brink of greatness have turned down all other Irish festivals this year, but will headline the musical lineup at Féile na Bealtaine. Other musical highlights include a recital with Cara O’Sullivan & the Degani Ensemble, a home-coming for Muireann NicAmhlaoibh’s trad super-group, Danú while the Eriú Ensemble weave an impressively rich acoustic tapestry around Irish traditional melodies in St James’ Church. Lisa O Neill, Seamus Begley, Eoin Duignan, Claudia Schwab, Sophie Coyle, Birds of Chicago, Early House & the Booka Brass Band are among a long list of diverse performers.
There's plenty for kids to enjoy to with clowns, acrobatis, jugglers and puppetry and a sure highlight of the Festival will be the parade of street theatre which takes place on Sunday, May 4. The theme for this year’s street theatre is Children’s Literature.
Dingle’s District Courthouse will host a series of talks with some Ireland’s visionaries and thinkers including homeless activist, Fr Peter McVerry, former Mountjoy governor, John Lonergan, and New Beginning founder Ross Maguire who will combine with artists and writers to try and bring sense to modern Ireland and life as it is.
Small Plastic Wars, Mikel Murfi's Man in Woman’s Shoes and After Sarah Miles with Don Wycherly, as well as A Practical Guide to Women are the theatre highlights and there will be screenings of locally shot Irish film Run & Jump throughout the run of the festival, as well as the annual short-film event.
Poets and musicians will blend words and musical notes in Dingle Peninsula during the festival. Among the writers attending this year are novelist Gerry Stembridge, poets Nuala Ní Dhomhnaill & Michael Longley. An exceptionally strong line-up of Performance Poets, such as London's Chill Pill collective, and the Poetry divas will find resonance on street corners, morning pubs and even in a boutique streetside horsebox theatre.
20 art exhibitions and installations, cookery workshops, meditation, yoga, dance, Kevin McAleer performing as Gaeilge, a 125km cycle around the stunning Dingle Peninsula, the dawn chorus at Gallarus Oratory and a reflective walk with Reverend Mairt ensures that there really is something for everyone.
The festival will culminate on Bank Holiday Monday with a political symposium and of course the annual sheep-dog trials.
2014 is a special year for the Festival as it marks its 20 year anniversay. Welcome the summer by spend your May Bank Holiday weekend in Dingle and in sampling the exquisite cultural events our festival has to offer and remember, above all Féile hopes to entertain and to invigorate.