For two weeks every summer, the entire county of Donegal is transformed into an amphitheatre for a unique international arts festival.
To mark its 30th birthday this year, the Earagail Arts Festival will team up with the home of Clannad for a joint birthday bash.
The festival will host a special programme of events in the world-famous Leo’s Tavern, which is celebrating 50 years in the heart of the Gaeltacht.
The extended party, which will take place from 12 July to 16 July, will include a special performance by Clannad and Hazel O’Connor and a unique cabaret hosted by Daniel O’Donnell.
“We are very excited to be collaborating with Leo’s this year to celebrate these special birthdays,” says festival director, Paul Brown.
Named after the county’s highest peak, the festival is inspired by Donegal’s spectacular landscape as it delivers a world-class arts programme in venues that vary from theatres, galleries and arts and community centres, to pubs, village squares, forest parks and beaches.
“The festival is synonymous with the landscape and Donegal is one of the greatest backdrops you could have. We try to introduce as much of this as we can to artists and audiences.”
As well as celebrating home grown and fostering new talent, the festival commissions original work that celebrate aspects of Donegal’s past.
Two years ago, a theatrical production inspired by the rich knitting tradition in the Gaeltacht was performed in the disused doll factory in Crolly.
“We continually endeavour to tell the story of Donegal in new ways. It never stops being a festival that rethinks itself.” says Paul.
He acknowledges the essential support of an Arts Council annual festivals and events grant, supported by the National Lottery, which is in the region of €165,000.
“We try and do the best we can with limited resources, to get as much of the community involved, and reach as many people as possible.”
Approximately 30 cent of every €1 spent on games go back to National Lottery funding for Good Causes in the areas of sport, youth, health, welfare, education, arts and heritage.
Over €5.3 Billion has been raised for Good Causes since the National Lottery was established 30 years ago. In 2017 alone, the National Lottery raised over €226 million for such good causes